What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a form of online marketing that pulls customers to your company. It involves providing potential buyers with the information they seek or enabling them to create needed content by utilizing blogging, social media, and other forms of internet activity.
The inbound methodology includes search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, content marketing, and emails. It is using the internet as a helping hand to spread awareness about your business online. It also helps you make conversions and generate leads.
How it differs from outbound marketing
Inbound marketing is different from outbound marketing methods because it focuses on the customer first and engages them by making valuable content available to them instead of bombarding them with sales or advertisements. It works as an effective tool for businesses that need to establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and build trust among their customers before selling.
“Inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers by providing valuable content that solves their problems.”"Inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers by providing valuable content that solves their problems." #inboundmarketing Click To Tweet
Why do you need inbound marketing?
Most people turn to Google when they have a problem and are looking for solutions. So, if your company is not getting relevant web traffic from search engines, you will lose the chance to connect with your target audience. With inbound marketing, you can attract customers who are looking for solutions to their problems.
This is how inbound marketing works:
- Your potential customers may be typing problem keywords into the Google search engine, while the search engine recognizes these keywords and sends them to your site.
- The customer may find that your site provides the solution to their problems.
- When customer sees that your website offers what they need, they may contact you or buy from you immediately.
With inbound marketing, your company benefits from a strategic approach of generating leads and making sales through engaging customers with valuable content. Inbound marketing lets you attract the right people to your site- people interested in your products or services.
The benefits of inbound marketing for your business are:
- You get the opportunity to engage your customers.
- You start thinking like a customer and put yourself in their shoes, which will help you understand their needs better.
- It is more cost-effective than outbound marketing because you promote your business to people who are already looking for what you have to offer.
- It helps you build trust with your customers by providing them with helpful content and helping them solve their problems.
- It drives web traffic to your site, which improves customer loyalty and generates sales. You can target new customers and keep your existing ones engaged by creating a blog on topics of interest to them and publishing fresh, new content consistently.
- It increases brand visibility on the internet and makes you visible to your target audience.
- You can build professional relationships with potential customers.
What are the downsides of inbound marketing?
- It can take time to see results because it depends on how much the customer is willing to engage with you.
- If your competitors are using outbound marketing, they will attract more people than you.
- You need to analyze the data collected about your target audience through inbound marketing methods. This is a huge task and requires a lot of time and effort.
Examples of successful inbound marketing campaigns:
Here are some of the most successful examples of inbound marketing:
Moz is a company that provides SEO software and services. It is a well-known name that people turn to for SEO help. The company’s website connects with customers by providing valuable, relevant content such as tips and tricks on SEO and using it in the modern era.
A company that helps small and medium businesses to use inbound marketing techniques for their marketing campaigns. It has a free blog where it posts informative content on different topics such as social media, email marketing, blogging, etc. Its website is full of valuable resources that make it easy for customers to answer their questions.
An email marketing platform that provides solutions for subscribers to send targeted emails to the right people at the right time. The platform also offers other resources such as ebooks, webinars, etc. It has a blog full of free content and valuable tools and resources for its customers.
Provides a platform for sending automated email newsletters through a user-friendly interface. The website has a blog where customers can learn how to use its services and get ideas from its case studies.
Inbound marketing strategies you can try:
Here are some of the best inbound marketing strategies that have worked for other companies. You can use these tips to implement inbound marketing techniques for your own business:
1) Update Your Site Regularly.
Make sure that your customers are not getting the same old information every time they visit your site. Instead, engage them with interesting, new content regularly so that they do not lose interest in you. When you update it regularly, your site will rank higher on Google and other search engines.
2) Publish Useful Content.
Make sure that the content you publish on your website is helpful for customers. If it does not help them in any way, they may lose interest and stop visiting your site altogether. Think like a customer and put yourself in their shoes. What kind of content would you like to see?
3) Publicize Your Content.
Promoting your content on other websites is an integral part of inbound marketing strategies. You can go about it by sharing it on social media accounts, emailing the link to your subscribers, etc. so that more people get exposed to the information. If people are exposed to your content, they will have a better idea about you and are more likely to visit your website.
4) Create an Email List.
Create an email list of all the people who interact with your company regularly so that you can keep them informed about new offers, promotions, events, etc. You can share this list with your marketing team so that they regularly send promotional offers to the people on your email list.
5) Go Mobile.
If most of your customers use mobile devices that have a small screen, you need to optimize your website for these devices so that they can read and navigate it easily on their phones or tablets. You may even consider creating a separate mobile website.
6) Ask Customers for Feedback.
You can create surveys to ask for feedback from your customers. If they have a positive experience, you can ask them to rate your business on a scale of 1 to 10. On the other hand, if you receive negative feedback from customers, you can use it as an opportunity for improvement and take appropriate actions to resolve whatever issues they are facing with your products or services.ts
Things to keep in mind when using inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a long-term strategy that requires dedication from your end. Don’t be disheartened if you do not see immediate results, as it takes time to establish yourself as an industry leader through inbound marketing techniques. Here are some valuable tips that can help you succeed with your inbound marketing efforts:
1) Have a Plan.
Before starting your business, you need to have a plan of action so that you can set realistic goals. You need to know what you are trying to achieve with inbound marketing techniques before investing time and effort into it. This way you will be able to measure the success of your efforts.
2) Create an Editorial Calendar.
An editorial calendar is a helpful tool that can help you determine the kind of content you will publish on your website. It lists out the dates when posts are scheduled for publishing on your blog, social media accounts, etc. so that there is consistency in your marketing efforts.
3) Add Calls-to-Action.
A call-to-action is a highlighted text or button in your website that encourages visitors to subscribe to your email list, buy a product, etc. It provides an instant solution to what the customer has read on your site so that they take action right away without overthinking about it.
4) Use Social Media.
Social media is one of the best inbound marketing tools available since it allows you to engage with your target audience for free. You can use social media posts to link back to your website so that more people visit your site and learn about your services or products. Social media also provides valuable feedback from existing or potential customers, which you can then use to improve your business further.
5) Add a Blog to your website.
A blog on your website is essential as it helps you keep potential customers informed about what you are doing and how your business evolves. A blog is an excellent way of building trust with existing or potential customers. You can regularly publish content that informs or entertains so that people develop an interest in your brand.
6) Add Social Media Buttons to your content.
By adding social media buttons like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn on blog posts or articles you publish on various other sites, you allow readers to easily share the content with others through their social media accounts, increasing its reach and visibility. This way, more people will get to know about your business and products/services.
7) Tell Stories.
Stories are compelling in engaging people’s attention and getting them interested in what you have to say, which is why you need to tell stories that touch the hearts of your customers. You can add videos or images that highlight your stories to catch the interest of potential customers.
8) Automate your marketing efforts with Marketing Tools.
There are several tools available that you can use to automate your inbound marketing efforts, like creating an email list, publishing content on social media sites, and more. This way, you can spend more time working on other aspects of your business while the tools take care of marketing. Tools like Feedblitz and Hubspot can help you build your email list. At the same time, Buffer and Hootsuite help schedule social media posts so that you don’t have to post content manually on social media sites multiple times a day.
Must use tools for your inbound marketing strategy
Email Marketing Services
It is an online automated marketing system beneficial for businesses that sell products or services using newsletters. You can send subscribers regular updates about your business and its latest offers, encouraging them to buy more of your products if they are interested in them.
- Campaign Monitor – offers customizable email templates, gives access to some apps, and allows you to integrate your mailing list with third-party software.
- AWeber – offers 500 contacts for free, which you can expand up to 2000 contacts depending on the plan you choose. It provides a 30-day free trial period so that you can test their services and decide whether they suit your business needs.
- Active Campaign- offers many automation features that allow you to set triggers on sending out your emails based on subscriber behavior. This tool is paid and only provides a 15-day free trial period.
Website Analytics & Reporting Tools
Website analytics tools help you monitor the performance of your website in terms of how many visits it gets, what people search for when they land on your site and which pages visitors spend more time on. You can then use this data to build a strategy that increases the traffic on your website through search engine optimization or content marketing efforts, among others.
- Google Analytics – the most widely used website analytics tool, gives you access to reports on your site’s traffic and visitor behavior. It also allows you to gain insights into how people reached your website to use these insights for marketing purposes as well.
- Segmetric – offers a range of website analytics tools, including heatmaps that show you how people interact with different pages on your site, keyword analysis reports, and more. It also offers a 14-day free trial period, after which the paid version starts at $49 per month.
Sales Tracking Software.
This is a great tool for businesses that sell products online. Customer data like their location, when they visited your website, etc., are automatically tracked with this software. This helps you build an effective marketing strategy that opens up channels of communication to engage with customers at every stage of their buying cycle; before making a purchase decision, during the decision-making process, and after the purchase.
HubSpot – offers all of the features mentioned above in one place. This saves you time and effort that would have been spent otherwise on separate marketing tools for different purposes. It is a paid software but offers startups $200 worth of free credit to spend on its services so that they can try it out before buying it.
Social Media Marketing Tools
These tools help you schedule your social media posts in advance and track how well they are doing. You can use them to reach out to new customers who like the content you post on social media sites, increasing the chances of conversion for sales.
- Buffer – is an excellent tool for scheduling tweets on Twitter, tweets on Facebook, and Instagram posts. It offers a 14-day free trial period after which you can choose any one of the following paid plans: $10 per month for 500 social media connections, $15 per month for 1000 social media connections, or $50 per month for an unlimited number of social media connections.
- Tailwind – offers a 14-day free trial period, after which paid versions to start at $9.99 per month, depending on the number of social networks you want to connect with the software. It offers automation features for Pinterest as well as Instagram management options.
- Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial period after which paid versions start at $9.99 per month, depending on the number of social networks you want to connect with. It offers automation features for Instagram and Pinterest as well.
Inbound marketing is not a one-time effort but a continuous process that helps you build a brand and business. It requires planning, everyday struggles, and hard work to be successful with it. If approached in the right spirit, it has the potential to change your business for the better.
To your success!