Inbound marketing is by far the most successful digital marketing strategy you could adopt. It's all about creating and sharing pertinent and helpful content with your potential customers. It's about pleasing the consumer in a consumer-driven market.
This type of marketing is all about meeting the demands and expectations of the modern consumer. What the modern consumer demands most is good quality information that helps them solve their problems and make decisions. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your target audiences, inbound marketing attracts increased numbers of qualified visitors to your website and entices them to come back for more.
The primary elements of inbound marketing to keep in mind are:
1. Content Creation
It is important to create helpful and targeted content that answers your audiences’ basic questions, meets their needs and helps them make informed decisions. It is also important that you are creating content that speaks to the right audience. With the inbound methodology, your target consumers are reflected in the creation of buyer personas. Keeping a specific buyer persona top of mind will help you create the right kind of content. Good quality content targeting the right audience will result in higher quality leads visiting your website. Once this content is created, you share the content on your website and promote it through your social media channels. It can take some time before your content efforts get any traction, but once they do they will prove to be more cost effective than paid traffic and will only gain momentum over time.
2. Lifecycle Marketing
It's important to recognize that people go through different stages in the decision-making process. In the inbound marketing methodology, these stages are referred to as the buyer's journey. Your prospects will interact with your organization at different points along the buyer's journey.
The following example outlines the different kinds of content that should be created for a company that sells furnaces. At the initial phases of the buyer's journey, prospects are seeking to learn more about their problem. At this stage, it would be appropriate to present brand neutral information such as a FAQ on the different ways to conserve energy at home. Further along their journey, prospects will want information about what criteria is used when determining what a solution looks like. At this stage, the prospect might be helped by an ebook on the different types of features to look for on a furnace. At the last stages of the buyer's journey, a prospect has decided upon a type of solution and is now ready to compare different options. Content for this stage could include a comparison chart of different brands of furnaces, or a case study on the money saved by selecting a brand of furnace. Each stage would require information that is targeted to the needs of the individual and in a format that is easily digestible. Creating the right kind of content and presenting it at the right time builds trust in your brand. Increasing brand awareness and brand trust leads to better client retention.
Putting some effort into the creation of your buyer personas and an awareness of the buyer's journey will allow you to become better aware of consumers. The higher the level of personalization the better. As you learn more about your leads over time, you are better able personalize your messages to their specific needs. Segmenting your leads is an important part of the inbound methodology and allows you to meet your consumer where they are. Another way to increase the level of personalization is by the inclusion of smart features. The addition of smart content or smart CTAs will pay dividends. Personalization increases the likelihood of a website visitors engaging further with your site. A digital marketing platform such as HubSpot makes list segmentation, the use of personalization tokens and the addition of smart features a breeze.
Inbound marketing makes all of the moving pieces work synergistically. Your publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine, allowing you to focus on publishing the right content, with the correct optimization, in the right place at the right time. An automated marketing platform such as HubSpot takes away a lot of the guesswork, increases conversion rates and allows you to make the most out of your time.
By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful, instead of being interruptive. In addition, your content can act as a demonstration of the quality your clients can expect. You can establish your company as a thought leader in your industry when you produce intelligent and well researched content.
Inbound marketing is about making content that people love. Because the entire inbound methodology is focused on the consumer's perspective, it will inevitably lead to better client relations, higher client satisfaction and improved client retention. Before you launch your next campaign, start by thinking about what kind of marketing speaks to you and use that as your inspiration.