For any business to survive in this digital age, they must keep up with the changing strategies in marketing thus adopting an inbound marketing master plan.
What does inbound marketing mean?
Inbound marketing is an approach that focuses on creating tailored content based on the needs of the target audience. Its main aim is to attract and appeal to potential visitors and customers for your business hence you end up having meaningful relationships with your customers.
With inbound marketing, you not only build good connections with your clients but also improve customer experience, by providing valuable information exactly when the customer needs it, this in turn builds trust and authority for your business.
Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing
Imagine watching your favourite football match, and just when the penalty is about to be scored, a commercial ad pops up, annoying right? Or when watching videos on YouTube, the last thing you want to see is an ad about a product that doesn’t interest you.
This is referred to as outbound marketing and they are traditional marketing strategies that have become less effective in the world of today as people find them to be disruptive.
For your business to grow, drive up sales, attract potential clients and retain loyal customers, the Inbound strategy is a more useful tactic as it provides your target audience with quality content based on their needs and offers solutions to them and not what you want to project to them.
Why and How Does it Help Your Brand?
Inbound marketing uses a variety of tools such as high-quality content creation, blogging, use of social media platforms, paid ads, and search engine optimization to attract customers to your business and keep them coming back for more. This strategy, therefore, promotes your brand in the following ways:
- Lower advertising expenses
Paid advertising campaigns are expensive and often risky because they are unpredictable in times of crisis unlike inbound marketing, which creates more focused advertising and has a higher rate of investment (ROI) thus making it more cost-effective.
- Builds trust and credibility
Providing valuable information that meets the needs of your customers, will allow them to trust you and your brand as they will perceive you as a leader in your business niche. This also grows your brand authority.
- Quality leads and sales
With inbound marketing, content is targeted to audiences who are already on the search for products and services hence they are more likely to convert from visitors to customers. They can even be ambassadors who can recommend your services to others.
- Improves Customer Experiences
Inbound marketing helps you interact with customers by responding to their feedback and providing solutions to their problems. These interactions also help you understand how to improve your brand for the betterment of your clients.
- Longer life span
Compared to an average social media post, inbound marketing has a longer shelf life. This is because it focuses on curating relevant content, which usually gets leads and traction years after the content was published.
Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy
After identifying your target audience and analysing their needs, the following steps should be followed for the marketing strategy to be effective.
- Attract Potential Leads
At this step, you aim to attract the right visitors to your business and make them aware that you have solutions to their needs. This is done by creating valuable content and engaging with your audience on social media platforms. You will also need to perform search engine optimization (SEO) so that your content appears right in front of your visitors at the right time.
- Conversion stage
This is transforming your visitors into leads, by encouraging them to find out more about your brand. You can do this via their contact information. You will also need to optimize your landing pages, use opt-in forms and call to action (CTA)to convince the visitors to sign up or subscribe to your newsletters.
- Nurturing leads into customers
At this point, it is all about reaching out to your potential leads and demonstrating to them how your products or services will be of benefit to them. This will prompt them to act and make purchases from you. Email marketing, customer relationship manager (CRM) and marketing automation are some of the tactics you can use to increase your chances of converting leads into customers.
- Gratify customers
Not only does this strategy get you quality leads but also promotes customer retention. When your customers are content and happy, they can help grow your brand by promoting your services. i.e. through good reviews and positive word-of-mouth. You can delight your customers by engaging with them on social media, live events and webinars and offering excellent customer care services.
In summary, Inbound marketing can be used in all kinds of businesses as it helps you attract more quality leads and shortens the sales cycle of your brand.
In the long run, apart from saving you money, you can also measure the success of this strategy by seeing how many people visited your site, how they moved through your site and how long they stayed on each page.