Digital Marketing has taken the marketing landscape to the next level. Without any doubt, all the dimensions of marketing are being used at an optimal level.
One such dimension of Digital Marketing is Inbound Marketing. I’m sure you must have come across this term.
In the era of technological advancement, Inbound Marketing is the new trend. It is a strategy that is used by marketers and advertisers to attract their target audience by using high-quality content & different channels like social media, SEO and even content marketing.
Hubspot has given one of the best definitions for Inbound Marketing.
“Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.”
Since Inbound Marketing uses content that is laser focussed on generating traffic till the time you want the traffic to come and it, unlike paid methods that stop lead generation once you stop paying for it. This efficient feature of Inbound Marketing makes it more reliable and trustworthy.
The main objective that Inbound Marketing takes into consideration is that it creates valuable and deep relationships with the potential customers that generally leads to a positive impact on the overall business.
What is Inbound Marketing gained so much of popularity?
Just a decade ago, a majority of marketers, business owners and advertisers were inclined towards normal marketing strategies. However, these strategies somehow lacked creating a connection with the audience. However, the need to create a marketing strategy arose that focussed on creating direct & result oriented relationship with the target audience. This is when Inbound Marketing was highlighted.
Inbound Marketing is one of the most ideal marketing strategies that help in increasing the online presence of a business. It basically targets the audience through content and converts them into loyal customers.
Why is Inbound Marketing important for business?
As the marketing landscape has changed from traditional to digital, a change in consumer behaviour has been witnessed. The consumers, now look for information in a different pattern than they used to look a few years back. Furthermore, it can be said that Inbound Marketing has created a trend in the marketing sphere and has additionally become an important part of any business.
As mentioned earlier that Inbound Marketing is a process where visitors are converted into potential customers. This Inbound Marketing process is divided into 4 stages which are as follows: attract, convert, close and delight. Each stage has its own importance through the buyer journey.
Elements of Inbound Marketing Methodology
The inbound marketing methodology is divided into four stages: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight.
Attract is the very first stage of the inbound marketing methodology. This basically has a special goal of converting a general audience into visitors. While being in an online business, it is quite obvious that you’ll be looking forward to more traffic that is ready to convert.
To get a loyal audience base, you have to start connecting with them and build a relationship. This is essentially important because it will attract people and let them know about your online business.
After you start building relationships, target the audience who have an interest in your product or service. Segregating the audience will help you to filter the unwanted audience and will enable you to connect with people who are ready to get converted into customers.
To define your target audience, you need to create buyer personas for them. Buyer personas are the fictional characters of your target & ideal customers. They can really help you in creating a focused inbound marketing strategy.
Once you have designed your buyer personas, the next thing that you need to do is to create engaging content to influence the target audience to take the action which will help to reach the next stage of inbound marketing methodology.
Attract Stage Content Strategies
Blogs – Blogs help in educating visitors. Once the visitor feels that your blogs provide them with the perfect information, he/she will keep returning to your blogs and will develop a trustworthy relationship with you.
Landing Pages – These pages are the ones which come in direct contact with your target audience base. The Landing Pages should be highly optimized to deliver the best results & attract a majority of the target audience. Make sure that your landing page has user-friendly navigation, eye-pleasing images, and videos.
Keywords – The online competition is highly intense & everyone wants to rank on the top. To get a better rank on the Search Engine Results Page & attract the right audience, make use of the keywords that are relevant to your product/service.
Social Media – A majority of the population is currently active on social media be it Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Thus, you should use the power of Social Media to attract customers. Social Media Channels are also suitable for sharing content & building connection.
Once you have successfully attracted the right audience, the next thing that you need to do is to convert them into long term and loyal customers. To take them ahead in the buying journey, start grabbing their contact information like their name, email ID and phone number. This will help you to create leads.
Somehow, getting the contact information of the target audience is a real challenge. People are reluctant in providing their details for free. Thus, you will have to provide them something valuable in return eBooks, reports, case studies, webinars, etc.
Convert Stage Content Strategies
Landing Pages – Make sure that your visitors are directed to a specially designed conversion page called landing page whenever they click on any CTA. This is the point where the exchange process starts and the visitors fill their contact information in return for some valuable information. Include a form in the landing page where your visitors can fill in their contact details.
CTA (Call-To-Action) – These are the specially designed conversion buttons. They persuade your visitors to take the desired action and move ahead in the buying journey. Some examples of CTAs are “Download Brochure”, “Download E-book”, “Download Case Study”, “Register Now” etc.
This is the stage that comes after you attracted the right visitors and successfully converted them into qualified leads. Now you need to make them your customers. This is a conversion-oriented audience and is also customer focussed at the same time. At this stage, crucially assess that the leads are sales oriented and are ready to buy your product or service.
Close Stage Content Strategies
Emails – They are one of the traditional methods of connecting with the target audience. Emails bond together with your leads and nurture your leads to convert into sales.
Lead Scoring – Here a numerical value is assigned to each lead on the basis of interest. This certainly checks whether your leads are sales-focused or not.
Marketing Automation – It is the combination of email marketing and targeted sales & is one of the most effective ways to nurture your leads.
This the fourth and last stage of the inbound marketing methodology. A point to note here is that inbound marketing does not come to an end with the sale of the product or service. It even continues after the sale of the product/service. This stage particularly designed for creating good, positive and long-term relationships with the existing customers.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
1. Cost Effective
The most popular benefit of Inbound Marketing is that it is very much cost-effective. Totally opposite from Outbound Marketing that involves huge budget. Inbound Marketing is substantially cost-saving.
2. Builds Trust & Credibility
One of the fastest ways of building a brand reputation is by Inbound Marketing. Since it provides the target audience with relevant content, it builds a trustworthy relationship. Rather than imposing sales, Inbound Marketing provides valuable information to the prospects which makes it more credible.
3. Long Lasting
Inbound Marketing looks forward to creating long term connections with customers. By posting content on Social Media Channels, Inbound Marketing makes sure that it stays online for a long time so that more potential customers can take advantage of the content.
4. Provides Accurate Content
Through Inbound Marketing, your target audience searches and finds your content by choice. The benefit of Inbound Marketing is that rather than using unnecessary ads to catch the attention of the prospect, your target audience will now see appropriate and relevant content regarding the product/service and they will be more likely to get converted.
How to get started with Inbound Marketing
- Learn Inbound Marketing
- Build your Inbound Marketing Team
- Recognize Your Target Audience
- Perform Audience Research on their tastes, preferences, needs and requirements.
- Create Buyer Personas
- Create a Compelling Story
- Choose Content Delivery Platform
- Create an Inbound Marketing Calendar
Types of Inbound Marketing
1. Pay Per Click
This form of Inbound Marketing is purely paid in nature and is based on keywords. PPC gives immediate and faster results which are highly conversion oriented. Pay Per Click allows the advertisers to reach a much targeted and qualified audience rapidly and the advertisers are only liable to pay when someone clicks on their ads. In other words, it a simple method of buying visits to your websites rather than earning the visits organically.
2. Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the process of optimizing your website with the aim of ranking higher in the Search Engine Results Page, increasing online presence and getting more organic traffic. The SEO process is generally conducted so as to attract the target audience to the website. Being one of the main types of inbound marketing, it begins with keyword targeting.
3. Content Marketing
Content Marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies that help marketers to reach and engage the target audience. This strategy is efficient enough to attract the customers by delivering quality and valuable content. Also, when a prospective consumer discovers you through your content, they are likely to trust you more and build a credible relation with you. Content Marketing is a core component of Inbound Marketing strategy. There are various forms of content that you can use in Inbound Marketing for example – videos, blogs, podcasts, and infographics.
4. Social Media
Lately, social media has become of the most used digital platforms that help the marketers and advertisers to connect with the target audience. As more and more people are active on social media, this makes social media an ideal platform for conduct Inbound Marketing strategy.
Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing
Inbound and Outbound Marketing is often used in contrast with one another. While Inbound Marketing majorly focusses on attracting the customers by providing information, Outbound Marketing generally advertises to a larger population on different platform without having a clear idea of the target audience.
|Point of Distinction||Inbound Marketing||Outbound Marketing|
|Target||Target only the interested customers||Targets a larger population|
|Content Required||Content used in Inbound Marketing is drafted according to the needs of the target audience.||Content used in Outbound Marketing is drafted according to the needs of the product/service.|
|Type of Communication||Two-way & interactive||One-way & non-interactive|
|Customer Attention||Attracts the target customers||Looks for the target customers|
|Examples||Blogs, Social Media, Case Studies, Infographics, Landing Pages, Email List||Display Ads, Magazines, TV Ads, Radio, Billboards|
Inbound Marketing has emerged as a profitable & cost-effective marketing strategy over the years. All thanks to its process of attracting & converting leads into customers. Being one of the most dynamic methodologies of marketing, it is surely going to be in trend for a long time. So, this was all about Inbound Marketing.
Mention any doubts if you have any comment section and do let me know which component of Inbound Marketing Methodology excited you the most.