In addition to being much easier and more user-friendly than outbound or “traditional” marketing, inbound marketing is a strategic and effective way to produce great business results.
Read on to learn more.
What is Inbound Marketing?
The definition of inbound marketing often stumps people. Fortunately, however, this marketing tactic isn’t that difficult to define. Put simply, inbound marketing is the practice of attracting customers to a business using content. To do this, a company creates content that is user-focused and designed to be valuable, interesting and exciting for the customer. The themes of inbound marketing are as follows:
- Multi-channel Distribution: By nature, inbound marketing is a multi-channel marketing method. In order for inbound marketing to work, it needs to go out and find people where they are. This means that inbound marketing is present on a variety of social media and web-based platforms, which makes it easier for users to find and more accessible for them to interact with and share.
- Integration: Inbound marketing tactics work closely with content creation, analytics and publishing in order to create the best content for a given user base. These three tools combine to ensure that a company is publishing the best possible content for their unique customers.
- Content Creation/Distribution: The main tenant of inbound marketing is that it seeks to create content people will love. Great inbound marketing content is helpful, interesting, and valuable and assists customers in answering questions or solving problems. Additionally, it is meant to be shared so that customers can help their friends and loved ones solve the same problems, as well.
- Personalized Content: Inbound marketing content doesn’t cast a wide net and talk to everyone who might pass by. Instead, it narrows down and focuses on a specific set of customers, for example – 25-32 year old men who enjoy mountain biking and work in outdoor pursuits. This allows inbound marketing tactics to be much more effective while also being more useful and interesting to your clients.
- Lifecycle Marketing: Inbound marketing is a long-game marketing tactic that seeks to turn strangers into customers but takes its time getting there. Studies have proven that pushy sales tactics drive customers away. As such, it’s wise to focus first on providing value to customers before focusing on asking them to buy from you. This allows a company to turn strangers into leads and leads into paying customers and, most likely, to retain those paying customers for a very long time.
The Benefits of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing tactics offer a variety of benefits. For starters, 79% of businesses that use inbound marketing tactics reported a positive ROI in 2013. In addition to being a better financial investment, companies that utilize inbound marketing tactics reap the following benefits:
- More Streamlined Sales/Marketing Process: In outbound marketing, a sales and marketing team have very different jobs and function that are often almost completley independently of one another. In inbound marketing, however, these two teams join together to create content that is aimed at fulfilling a common goal. While a marketing department knows how to produce valuable content that enlightens and assists the reader, the sales department knows about customer desires at different points of the purchasing decision. These two skill sets are used together in content marketing and can produce a fantastic ROI.
- Greater Brand Recognition: Inbound marketing is a fantastic way for companies to gain brand awareness that was previously reserved for huge businesses with world-class heft. Need some examples? Think about Dollar Shave Club, Jackson Coffee Company and Help Scout. Each of these brands used inbound marketing tactics to make a name for themselves and promote brand awareness.
- Increased Credibility: One of the most important pieces of building a great company is to build trust with customers. Outbound marketing is invasive, disrespectful and obnoxious in the eyes of most customers and, as a result, they’ve found hundreds of ways to shun the process. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, doesn’t violate a customer’s privacy or wishes and, as such, it builds trust between the customer and the company. When a customer knows they won’t get spammed by a company, they’re much more likely to want to get involved with a product.
- Ability to Educate Prospects: In addition to being great for the marketer, inbound marketing tactics are also great for the customer. Because inbound marketing seeks to educate customers, it provides real value and helps customers along the purchasing process According to CEB, most B2B customers are 57%-70% finished with their product-related research before they ever contact a company. If you play your cards right and place your inbound marketing content correctly, it’s easy to see how the research these buyers have done could be your content.One of the main draws of inbound marketing is that it’s great for companies and even better for customers. In today’s marketing environment, it’s clear that inbound marketing is the best possible way to go about finding customers and bringing them in via quality content and genuine interest.
To learn more about how your company can take your inbound marketing tactics to the next level, visit Bigfoot Media today.
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