What is Inbound Marketing? We have been getting asked this question a lot lately. To us Inbound Marketing is a refresher. It is a new and necessary tool that must be utilized in this modern internet business driven society to attract our customers. It’s refreshing because with proper use, Inbound Marketing can be the key to turning any business around. It is not like the traditional forms of marketing and it provides information to our target audience in a way that proves our expertise in our specific fields.
Inbound Marketing is defined in general as ‘pulling target customers toward your business’. There are many in depth definitions of the term but in general this short phrase will suffice. It is the distrubution of authentic and engaging content online that brings "prime" customers attention to your business. The key to this definition is ‘how’. Inbound Marketing is all about driving the attention to your brand, not just any attention, but the right attention, the target audience.
Long gone are the days of buying attention or ‘outbound marketing’. The more traditional cold calling, advertisements, billboards, TV commercials, telemarketing, bla bla bla, spam spam spam. The average consumer is over the ‘disruption marketing’. They want to find what they need, and can now with the power of the internet in their pockets. (35% of American adults have a smartphone and 87% of smartphone owners access the internet on their mobile devices.) With this kind of access to information the average consumer is not sitting around waiting for someone to disrupt them with an idea for a product they may or may not need. Instead he or she is scouring the internet for information. (89% of US internet users search online before they make a purchase, even when the purchase is made at a local business.)
This is where the beauty of Inbound Marketing comes in. As a business it’s now our jobs to create content designed to cater to our customer’s needs. The first goal of Inbound Marketing is to ‘get found’. How do you get found? You engage with the target audience through Inbound Marketing techniques. As a business your considered the expert in your field. Show your customers that through producing and distributing authentic content. Some typical content examples are:
Among many others. It really comes down to marketing to YOUR key audience and catering to what and where they are.
Content is key but there also must be a centralized hub for all your new attention to turn to. Your website. Having a keyword optimized site with the right balance of visual appeal and intellect is also a large factor in the success of your Inbound Marketing campaign. Content is produced for a reason, to drive attention to your site. Once your audience is there, the make up of your site can be just as important as the content you create.
Once the content is created how do we share it? There’s no right answer for all businesses but the key is catering to your niche community of customers and prospects. Social Media is no doubt a mainstay and must be utilized to an extent as a medium for content and communication. But you can’t focus your efforts just there. Inbound Marketing is not only about being found, it’s about efficiently converting those who find you into customers.
Converting leads into customers is one of the largest driving factors of any marketing campaign, and it’s no different in Inbound Marketing. The difference is in how you do it. The most common forms of converting leads into customers are done through on site Calls to Action, Landing Pages, and of course, Forms to capture contact information. Once the contact information is captured, effective email campaigns are executed to nurture the leads. Email campaigns should be handled as another way for you, the expert, to reach out to the prime prospects and provide more information. Non-spammy and informational reach outs are the key to effective email campaigns. Once you've developed and managed a healthy email lead nurturing program, if you've executed well it's time to close the deals and create loyal customers.
With all this in mind it is important to realize the fact that, though this may seem like a lot of work to some, the cost per lead for Inbound Marketing verses traditional outbound is significantly lower. It is also an important fact that the ROI of Inbound Marketing is Increasing every year at astounding rates. With a basic Inbound Marketing campaign in place most businesses see drastic results within the first year. I decided it was important to define Inbound Marketing in my terms and break down a very basic overview of what could be an effective and successful Inbound Marketing Campaign.
For More Information About Inbound Marketing Check Out Our eBook Inbound Marketing For Beginners.