You may have heard people talking about Inbound Marketing and wondered what all of the fuss is about.
Here is an introduction into the world of Inbound Marketing where we explain what it is, why it is used and how it has benefited businesses worldwide.
What is Inbound Marketing and how does it work?
Before we start, here's a quick background into Traditional Marketing
For many years, businesses have used traditional outbound marketing techniques to promote their products. Well known examples of this are TV Advertising, Direct Mail (Junk Mail), Mass list E-marketing (Spam), Cold Calling and Outdoor Advertising.
Promoting your products this way is a form of interruption-based marketing. You are essentially pushing your content onto people who are not necessarily inviting you to. Whilst it can work in mass numbers, it is not really customer focussed at all. You in a sense, are talking to people who may not really be listening or wanting to be talked to.
As time has progressed there are far more distractions in life for people to easily ignore your messaging. Technology such as caller ID blocking, spam filters on emails and also recording TV have allowed people to ignore unwanted promotion.
Inbound has really changed the entire marketing landscape...
So, what is Inbound Marketing?
Sometimes referred to as Content Marketing, Inbound is all about being customer focussed. Instead of interrupting people with your one-way messaging, Inbound is focussed on engaging with your customers in a helpful manner.
Instead of creating a TV advert... maybe your business could create a 20 minute helpful online video to assist your customers.
Instead of running a full page newspaper advert... maybe your business could create and publish online a series of engaging blogs for your customers, each one full of helpful tips and advice that they will find useful.
The bottom line is, if you can position your business as helpful your customers will engage with you. People love being listened to. Best of all they love having their questions heard and answered.
Inbound Marketing comprises of:
- SEO - What is Search Engine Optimisation and how can SEO help my business?
- CRM - What is a CRM and why you need to have one for your business?
- Blogging - What is Blogging? And how can it grow my business?
- Landing Pages - What are Landing Pages and how do they work for business?
- Social Media - What is Social Media and how can it benefit my business?
- Call To Actions - What are Call to Actions and how do they generate leads?
- Email Marketing - E-Marketing: Why Business Email Marketing is alive and kicking
If your business can do Inbound Marketing effectively, you will create trusted relationships with your customers. You will be top of mind and when they are ready to buy or refer. Your business will have 'poll position'.
Inbound is really about being part of their conversation. Part of their decision making journey.
People nowadays have really engaged online research when making important buying decisions.
Let's consider when a person is buying a car or is deciding on a holiday destination. They far more likely to have looked up something up online and read a few reviews before engaging with a sales person. Their buying journey has begun far before they have knocked on your door.
So how do you get in on the conversation earlier? Inbound Marketing of course!
Inbound is all about leaving a positive online imprint for your business.
How can Inbound Marketing work for your business?
Inbound can help your business in many ways, depending on which area you need assistance with.
For example you may be focussed on attracting new clients, or you may be struggling to hold onto existing clients.
Throughout the entire journey, a well planned and executed inbound marketing plan can help your business grow.
To make it easier, here are the 4 main stages that make up the Inbound Marketing and Sales journey.
Attracting Clients (Awareness Phase)
Does your business need more clients or customers?
Some tools inbound provides here are: Website optimisation and keyword research, Blogging and Social Media
Converting Clients (Consideration Phase)
Does your business struggle to convert enquiries into a genuine leads?
Some tools inbound provides here are: Contact Forms, Call To Actions and Landing Pages
Closing Clients (Decision Phase)
Does your business need help converting your genuine leads into wins?
Some tools inbound provides here are: a CRM system, E-Marketing and automation
Does your business struggle to hold onto clients through lack of ongoing engagement?
Some tools inbound provides here are: Surveys, Engaging content and Social Media Monitoring
As you can see Inbound is really about providing remarkable content to attract, convert and delight your potential and existing customers. We hope we have been able to enlighten you on What is Inbound Marketing and how it works.
So be helpful and people will engage with you!