Accelerate your Business Growth with Inbound Marketing
Every efficient digital marketing strategy combines inbound and outbound marketing to engage and convert leads. Inbound marketing is all about creating reasons for customers to join your company. This article will help you understand inbound marketing in depth.
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What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is one of the prominent digital marketing strategies used by innovative and successful businesses to attract and build long-term customer relationships by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. With the focus on quality over quantity, ‘content’ holds a major place in inbound marketing; it enhances brand awareness and creates a customer experience that increases visibility in a way that people don’t feel ‘sold’ to.
As per the inbound marketing definition, it is much more than just creating good content. Many costly and highly regulated industries like financial services, recruitment, healthcare, education, and manufacturing benefit largely from inbound marketing. Some of the common inbound marketing content types include videos, blog posts, research, infographics, social media, Slideshare, e-books and white papers, news articles, and webinars. However, the variation, style, and intensity of each differ.
Unlike traditional outbound strategies, inbound marketing is all about creating reasons for customers to join your company. This inbound online marketing strategy involves four stages –
- Attract – Drawing people with client-friendly content and experiences that establish you as a trusted company with whom they would want to engage.
- Engage – Providing valuable solutions to users’ pain points and helping them reach their goals so they feel delighted to buy services from you and tend to convert.
- Close – It’s not necessary that every converted user will reach the close page. Automated emails or any other automation technique is a great way to remind users of their abandoned carts and reach the close page.
- Delight – Empower your customers with the required help and support, so they feel satisfied with their purchase.
Inbound Marketing VS Outbound Marketing
Every efficient digital marketing strategy combines inbound and outbound marketing to engage and convert leads. But are you aware of the differences between them? Let’s find out.
- Inbound marketing focuses on using the ‘pull’ approach to bring customers and attract brand visibility. On the other hand, outbound marketing uses the ‘push’ approach and proactively reaches out to customers to drive leads and sales.
- Inbound marketing targets digital content to specific audiences to educate or entertain them. While outbound marketing captures customers’ attention by selling non-digital content.
- Inbound marketing uses a multi-channel approach and works within a short time frame for implementation and results. Whereas outbound marketing works within a longer time frame for results and implementation and takes a more linear approach.
- If you are looking for an interactive and cost-effective marketing style, prefer inbound. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, is likely to be expensive and involves just one-way communication.
- Types of content included in inbound marketing are – E-books, SEO, webinars, blogs, social media posts, whitepapers, etc., and outbound marketing includes print and media ads, billboards, direct mail, TV ads, etc.
Fundamentals of Inbound Marketing
There are five fundamentals of inbound marketing that help marketers plan strategies to establish long-term relations with customers.
- Buyer Personas – These represent your choice of ideal audience and their requirements based on your data and insights. These insights contain information regarding behaviors, goals, demographics, and motivations. Knowing about buyer personas helps in easy targeting and better conversions.
- Buyer’s Journey – It is the entire journey a person experiences till making a purchase. A buyer’s journey involves three stages: Awareness, consideration, and decision. The awareness stage starts when a customer visualizes and starts researching their problem. When the problem is analyzed, and customers start finding the best possible solutions, it is called the consideration stage. Lastly, the decision stage occurs when the customer has identified the best solution. This stage involves strong communication with the client for guidance in the decision-making process.
- Goals – It is essential to set goals before the launch of any campaign in the inbound marketing industry. It gives a working baseline, and the objectives help accelerate company growth in the changing environments and measure performance accordingly.
- Clients or customers – Your clients or customers are your actual audience with whom you want to establish long-term relations. It is essential to have a robust contact database. It includes people in your email or newsletter list along with partners.
Content – Content is the king in inbound marketing. The content is based on the buyer personas, the buyer’s journey, and your list of clients. If your content solves your clients’ problems, there are chances of higher conversions.
Inbound Marketing Funnel
The inbound marketing funnel is an easy depiction of the different tools, strategies, and content types used to attract and engage customers at different stages. The leading online marketing agency, SkyTrust IT Solutions, ensures to follow the funnel for effectiveness. Some of its key terms are – Top of the funnel (ToFu), Middle of the funnel (MoFu), and Bottom of the funnel (BoFu).
- ToFu (Awareness stage) – It is classified as the ‘Learner’s stage,’ where you attract visitors using various strategies. Here, people are researching multiple solutions to their problems, and the best way to shine here is by focusing on relevant keywords, social media posts, pages, and blogs.
- MoFu (Consideration stage) – It is the ‘Shoppers stage,’ accounting for around 10% of the total website traffic. Here, shoppers are not decided about purchasing, they search for specific information about products or solutions. Converting visitors at this stage requires effective call-to-actions, case studies, landing pages, forms, and contacts.
BoFu (Decision stage) – Less than 5% of people fall in the ‘Buyer’s stage.’ The customer is ready to sign up, order, and spend money on your services or products. The focus is to convert them using product demos, consultations, moment opportunities, etc.
Inbound Marketing Strategies to Drive Business Growth
Below is a list of inbound digital marketing tips and strategies that can help accelerate your business growth.
- Create a target persona – Initial part is to create compelling content that helps you understand your customer’s demands. Check your meta or other social platforms insights for general know-how of who is interested in your products and services.
- Run a survey – The best way to know your target audience is through a survey. It can be a simple form sent through the mail that helps you know about your target customer’s pain points, so you can create content that provides solutions to their problems.
- Spread the word – Once you have your customer’s insights and their problems, identify the audience who would be interested in your content and contact them for in-depth information. You can have a small 10-minute video or audio call with them to explain how your services or products can reduce their problems. This is one of the best digital marketing tactics to inform customers about your inbound marketing efforts.
- Create engaging content – The quality of your content should be engaging enough to trigger your customer’s pain points. Creating generic articles and videos might not lead you to success. Instead, focus on customer-centric content quality.
- Headline that creates an impact – Crafting an enticing headline that appeals to your customers is the best strategy to draw new customers and increase convertible leads.
- Make it visual – As a leading content marketing agency, it is essential to maintain a balance of written as well as visual content for inbound marketing. Instead of just including large blocks of text, you should make it more visible by inserting relevant images, videos, infographics, etc.