Although inbound marketing is becoming a more common term, we still get asked: What is Inbound Marketing? Well, Inbound marketing is promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, physical products, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to attract customer through the different stages of the purchase funnel.
In contrast to cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, telemarketing and traditional advertising, which are considered “outbound marketing”.
Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found (online), and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.
The major themes of Inbound Marketing are:
- Content Creation + Distribution – Create targeted content that answers prospects’ and customers’ basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide.
- Lifecycle Marketing – Promoters don’t just materialize out of thin air: they start off as strangers, visitors, contacts, and customers. Specific marketing actions and tools help to transform those strangers into promoters.
- Personalisation – Tailor your content to the wants and needs of the people who are viewing it. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs.
- Multi-channel – Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you.
- Integration – Content creation, publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine – allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time.
According to a study conducted by Search journal, Inbound Marketing leads can cost up to 61% less than outbound lead generation.
So now you are probably asking yourself, what is inbound marketing going to do for my business? Far too many businesses think about their websites as broadcast channels for addressing a large group of people. Your website functions best when its content and design are built with a human touch. Instead of writing copy to impress your competitors, create copy and experiences an individual customer will love and share.
In order to help you visualise all of the marketing activity that can go into a week defined Inbound Marketing funnel we have included this great graphic found on the MOZ blog by Slingshot SEO.
An inbound marketing strategy has five ordered sections, and all of them are required to widen the sales funnel, create acceleration through it and to optimize Marketing’s impact on revenue.
According to Kuno Creative’s Content Marketing Manifesto, publishing five to ten posts per week led to a 633% increase in leads versus just two to three posts per week.
Instead of interrupting people with television ads, they create videos that potential customers want to see. Instead of buying display ads in print publications, they create their own blog that people subscribe to and look forward to reading. Instead of cold calling, they create useful content and tools so that people call them looking for more information.
If your business is not already implementing inbound strategies then you will lose out to your competitors sooner rather then later.
We help clients continually provide value to their existing customers to foster referrals and generate new upsell opportunities. Delighted customers become promoters of your brand and evangelists for your marketing efforts, helping to drive your lead attraction process forward.
If you would like to find out more about Inbound Marketing then get in touch for a free consultation.