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What is Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing serves as a principle for attraction. It attracts clients to your business because it uses the high quality content. Inbound marketing brings visitors to the market rather than the marketers going out to seek visitors. It creates audience trust and reliability by taking them smoothly and kindly through that process, as of buyers. It attracts customers by using blogging and social media keywords. It uses marketing to get clients closer to you because it’s all about producing and sharing information to the world and this is made for customers who are interested. It attracts them to your business and makes them always want more from you. Inbound marketing promotes business organizations by use of newsletters, SEO, blogs, EBooks, use of social media and other marketing platforms that catch the attention of customers through their ways of purchase.

 

How it works

There are four actions for inbound marketing that can fully depict how inbound marketing works. These four actions are discussed below.

Attract

The right traffic also known as " Unique Visitors " to our sites is important because most people will likely become leads and ideal clients. Blogging is one of the most important tools that pulls people to your website and also attract new users to the site. For you to get potential customers, you will have to make content that will attract them and get to respond their questions. SEO is another tool that enables customers to use a search engine to look for what they want. It is good to carefully put the keywords, optimize the pages, make the content and create links that match the terms of what the customers are searching for. Social publishing is another tool that attract users in marketing by sharing vital information on the social websites and interact with your ideal customers on those platforms.

Convert

Converting is the other action of inbound marketing. After attracting the visitors to your website, you can convert them into leads by gathering their contact information. When it comes to convert, there are various tools which are used to convert guest to leads. Filling a form by visitors is one way of getting information and they convert to leads. The other tool is calls- to – actions this allows customers to take action. An example of calls-to-actions is a “download a whitepaper”. A marketer who does not have calls-to-action is not likely to generate leads. Also, marketers whose calls-to-action are not enticing are not likely to get enough leads.

Another important instrument is landing pages which involve fulfilment of the offer in the call-to-action. It’s also where the visitors submits information that the business representatives can start a conversation with. Hence, when a prospect clicks calls-to-action, they should automatically be directed to a landing page. Developing contacts is another significant consideration during converting visitors into leads. This involves keeping track of the converted leads says using a centralized information custodian such as a centralized marketing database. This helps in monitoring the progress leads and the subsequent interactions between the leads and the business representatives.

Close

This is another tool of inbound marketing which encompasses converting those leads to customers. This is after enticing visitors and after converting them to leads. For you to achieve this, one can use a customer relationship management (CRM) program. By using this tool you should save details of your contacts so that you can connect with them at the right time. Get the right information so that you can involve yourself better with every channel. Email is another tool of close which can bring customers closer to your business. A sequence of emails containing valuable and relevant content it can help build trust and help visitors to become leads. Marketing automation is another effective close tool whose main objective is creating email marketing and nurturing the generated leads according to their needs and their stage in the lead generation lifecycle. For instance, when visitors download whitepapers from a business’s site in the past, the business representatives can send the lead emails of related topics. This keeps the leads bolted in the business’s website. Also, changing the messaging style should be a consideration by the needs like posting information in the social media accounts when the leads start following the business in a wave.

Delight

This tool of inbound marketing aim is to provide amazing content to users regardless whether they are first time visitors, leads, or long-time customers. Inbound companies involve themselves with, pleasure, and make their current customers to happy promoters of their organizations and the products they like. Using surveys is one effective delight tool of inbound marketing. Surveys are essential for determining what the users have to say about your products and pinpoint any service gap that could be there. Use of smart texts is another tool which involves providing the existing customers with incredible content basing on their preferences and challenges. This can help these existing customers in achieving their goals as well as introducing new products or add-ons which might interest them. Social monitoring is another noteworthy delight tool of inbound marketing. Social monitoring involves keeping track of the social conversation between among the customers that are significant to the business. This includes monitoring questions, likes, dislikes and comments being raised by the customers and responding appropriately.

How to do inbound marketing

The most important thing to consider before initializing inbound marketing is determining the business’s customers and the content to create that can delight them. After cracking these two aspects, then the process of developing an effective inbound marketing campaign can be embarked on. The first step is to develop a strong marketing strategy which will act like the whole inbound marketing foundation. There is one consideration that is very vital to any strong marketing strategy. This is creating a free advanced guide for your business. Free guides are usually very important for providing potential customers with solid information regarding your business. The guide should be relevant to your business, as specific as possible and updated. This is necessary for converting a random visitor to a potential customer and promoter with ease

The next step after developing a strong marketing strategy is creating and maintain a successful website for your business. A successful website should have delightful content relevant to all the potential customers and promoters of the business. Another vital consideration while developing a successful marketing strategy, is picking one or two keywords and optimizing them to the fullest. Keywords are very important for attracting a lot of traffic to your site. The best approach is focusing on few keywords that are valuable; carries loads of information regarding your business and creating specific pages on your website using them. The other consideration is making sure that the business’s brand is palpable on the website. This is very important for attracting and retaining your customers.

After creating a website, the next focus should be to generate more website traffic with an objective of converting many visitors into customers and promoters. Appling the relevant inbound marketing tools essential for converting visiting strangers to visitors, to leads, to customers and lastly to promoters. These tools have been plainly discussed in the above section. To mention a few, blogs, videos, eBooks, whitepapers and webinars among others are very resourceful in this step.

The last step is setting benchmarks for measuring success and tracking your metrics. This is step is very useful for determining gaps that might arise and make sure the whole inbound marketing strategy is on track. Examples of metrics are the size or amount of traffic visiting the website at a stipulated time, the number of leads generated after a period and the general performance of the inbound marketing experience regarding revenue garnered. Comparing your inbound marketing experience with that of your competitors can be another significant consideration with an aim of assessing the market trends and the effectiveness of inbound marketing.

Inbound vs. outbound marketing

As earlier discussed, the inbound marketing main goal is to create quality content that can pull strangers toward your business or brand. This is through aligning your content with the potential audience’s interest. This will naturally attract them to your business because it proves to serve their purpose. Inbound marketing can be described as utilizing digital marketing strategies using digital content distribution methods. As it has proved, inbound marketing is result oriented and highly measurable. Through the feedback paradigm created, it has proved to benefit many marketers as well as customers as there is a two-way communication.

Conversely, outbound marketing is regarded as the traditional marketing. These are the old normal marketing strategies which have been used across continents since decades ago. They include television, radio, magazines, direct mails, newspapers, business exhibitions, sponsorship events, billboards adverts among others. Although some outbound marketing strategies employ digital distribution methods such as email blast, PPC, SPASM and banner ads, the marketing message is usually still inherent, obnoxious and duplicitous.

Inbound marketing is permission based while outbound marketing is interruption based. An inbound marketing main approach is to get a large audience at a go without giving the associated implications into consideration. The truth is that the whole experience is short characterized with subsequent interruptions from disassociated adverts. With this, there is a mix up of adverts making it hard, aggravating, the easiness of customer attraction.  As for inbound marketing, communication involves mediums that the target audience has given the business permission to pass the information. In this case, the target audience is usually smaller than that of televisions, radios and newspapers. However, since that small audience has wholly accepted to get your information, the conversion rate to customers and promoters is very high compared to the interruption based marketing methods.  Another aspect is that customers concerns are easily addressed since the communication with the audience is online. Through using keywords, almost 95% of the visitors can be posted on the business’s website making an easy experience then the interruption oriented marketing strategies.

Inbound marketing is less costly compared to the outbound marketing strategies. For instance, it is going to cost a customer very less to search a product using an Internet search engine than visiting a business exhibition or seminar held in the city.  More so, it's less costly for a marketer to create a website and develop an inbound marketing strategy compared to advertising using televisions, radios and newspapers. Marketing with mass media is very expensive and time-limited. Time limits are instigated by the presence of other programs that go hand in hand with the ads. Also, the more time an ad spend the more the marketer shall be forced to pay more.

Pros and cons of inbound marketing

One benefit of inbound marketing is that it simplifies the whole sales and marketing experience. This because the sales and marketing representatives join hands to create extensive content for their prospects. It is apparent that these representatives are the ones that know what customers need at every stage of the buying cycle. With that information, they can develop highly-personalized content to offer educative information to their potential buyers. Together, they can distribute content as a package, answer and address all of the raised problems by leads and the existing customers.

Inbound marketing increases brand awareness. Due to technological trends and the digital world, it is becoming, even the smallest brands are gaining global recognition, driven by inbound marketing. Through producing contents that are wholly per the buyers'' preferences, it becomes very easy for the target audience to meet find your information. Simply, increasing brand awareness for all types of businesses; be it start-ups, small or large businesses. Another aspect is that when your content and brand gets liked, it can be shared round the social media networks; increasing visibility too.

Inbound marketing also increases trust and credibility. As buyers in this digital era want to consume information at their pleasure and leisure, inbound marketing becomes very credible. The majority of the buyers have shunned interruptions by calls, emails and over repetitive television and radio ads. Also, since there is usually a two-way communication between the marketers and the buyers, it becomes more trustworthy.

The only notable disadvantage of inbound marketing is that it requires sturdy and diverse skill set. This includes web designing, content writing and social media expertise. Hence, a small business that does not have a large marketing workforce may struggle to meet the target audience concerns. Also, the small group of marketing team should have all the skill sets which can be regarded as unrealistic.

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