Are you still paying for online ads to target new users? There’s nothing wrong with that, but besides online ads and traditional advertising, it’s time to add inbound marketing into your strategy to attract more new users and retain the old. In this article, we will walk you through the methodology of inbound marketing; how to execute inbound marketing; to reach more audience and convert more sales.
What’s Inbound Marketing? Is it better than outbound marketing?
About ten years ago, HubSpot has introduced us to “Inbound marketing” This new strategy has allowed brands to attract customers with content that is rich in knowledge to turn users into buyers and elevate a brand’s image and value.
Disadvantages of Outbound Marketing
The traditional method of marketing we saw on television, OOH, magazines, online ads, flyers…etc, is called Outbound Marketing, it can reach a massive audience in a short period. Unfortunately, it is costly and less effective in targeting the right audience.
Advantages of Inbound Marketing
Unlike outbound marketing, the approach of Inbound Marketing focuses more on attracting customers that fit a company’s target audience. It is designed to draw visitors and potential customers with content, rather than outwardly pushing a brand or product onto the mass audience. With inbound marketing, potential customers can find solutions and knowledge that are useful while visiting your website, in the hope of generating leads or conversions for brands. Moreover, brands can integrate SEO into their inbound marketing strategy to improve search engine ranking.
Image via Moz
Inbound Marketing Methodology
Inbound marketing is composed of 3 stages—attract, engage, and delight. In each step, you’ll incorporate a variety of channels such as social media, blogging, SEO, landing pages, whitepapers, and email.
Turn strangers and into website visitors. These individuals are called buyer personas, which are a fictional representation of your ideal customers. Attracting buyer personas starts with quality content creation. This content needs to not only draw your persona’s attention but also impel them to continue to the next step of the conversion process.
Once the right visitors have been attracted to the site, the goal is to engage conversion tools such as CTAs and forms to capture their information. Usually, when you want something, you need to offer something in return. This also applies to inbound marketing. The value your buyer personas are looking for comes in the form of eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, etc. And some tools to collect their information are Call-to-Actions, landing pages, form, and more.
With the collected information, use CRM to personalize the website experience with smart content, and nurture them with email marketing and other valuable content and ultimately leads them to conversion.
In this stage, we’re looking to turn customers into brand promoters, by using context and personalization to deliver a tailored message, continue to engage with your current customer base on social media, email, and marketing automation, etc to achieve this. By delighting your customers you create greater sales opportunities and possible user-generated content to promote your brand, service, and product to impress new visitors.
Image via HubSpot
What are the Tools to Execute Inbound Marketing
It’s important to keep in mind that the goal of inbound marketing is to build connections with your customers, which means it’s not a one-time action, but it’s something that should last for more time to establish trust. In this section, we’ll introduce some critical elements you’ll come across when practicing inbound marketing. A lot of people may debate that inbound marketing is highly relevant to content marketing. I believe that content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing while inbound marketing is a set of tools, technology, and process.
The power of blogging is underestimated. A blog is the best medium for your brand to explain product features, educate and provide valuable information to your visitors, and more. If you have successfully turned your visitors to customers, your blog is still a great way to keep on engaging with them.
In addition, while most of your visitors will come to your blog via social media, so figuring when to post and how to post should also be taken into consideration. Find out the right time to publish your blog and promote it.
Social Media Marketing
Nowadays, when people discover a brand and wanted to know more about it, they’ll usually go on Facebook or Instagram to check out more about it and to read customer reviews. Social media is a great and casual way to connect with the audience, where a brand can share its latest news, promote services or products, creating compelling posts to engage with visitors. Although social media is described as a tool in the early stage of inbound marketing, it could also be an important tool to convert visitors into contacts and even customers.
The difference between SEO and inbound marketing is a lot like the difference between a house and its foundation. SEO is critical to incorporate into an inbound marketing strategy. SEO is all about improving the ranking factor in Google to make your website more visible, and bring people to your website where they can consume the great content, and your content feeds SEO.
Lead Generation (whitepaper, CTA’s, landing page, forms, and more)
After your visitor discovers your business and receives valuable information through one of your marketing channels, you’ll hope to receive something in return. By incorporating a Call-to-Action to the end of your blog post, social media posts and more can prompt users to take some specified action that leads you to a landing page with a form.
HubSpot stated that “ The CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page that is designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer; An offer is a content or something of value that’s being “offered” on the landing page, like ad ebook a course, or a template. The offer must have enough perceived value to a visitor to merit providing their personal information in exchange for access to it. And once they fill out the form on the landing page you got yourself a new lead.”
Image via HubSpot
Email can be used in both inbound and outbound marketing. The difference lies in whether people willingly provided you with their email address. When sending out emails, you can segment your audience by buyer persona and create the type of email that will catch their attention; personalize your message and make sure the content of your email is relevant for the person receiving it, that it addresses their specific needs.
The Benefits of Inbound Marketing
1. Enhance Brand Credibility and Improve Conversion Rate
Creating quality content will help to enhance your brand online and bring you out as a leader in your industry. With an enhanced brand, it’s easier to make sales. According to the Custom Content Council, 61% of people are more likely to buy from a brand that delivers valuable content to them.
2. Improve Digital Advertising Effectiveness
Traditional marketing such as print ads, television ads, OOH displays, etc can be very costly. And Digital Marketing like Google search ads, Facebook ads, Yahoo ads and more can be time-consuming with less effective results. With almost every business participate in delivering ads on the internet, the advertising reach has significantly lowered compared to the early years. So coming up with ways to optimize your SEO, ad copy, and the content of your landing page has become increasingly important to keep your visitors on your site. (Maybe add more content marketing benefits ）
3. Reach New Audience
The fact that inbound marketing is purely executed online, this allows you to reach new audiences and diversify your reach by running different types of campaigns. It’s more targeted, more relevant and it goes out to people that need it without reaching out to a larger group of people hoping that some will be interested in your products or services.
Simply put, content marketing is the core of inbound marketing, and with the companion of social media, digital advertising, SEO and more, it helps your brand to become more visible and attracts more visitors. Social media is the channel where you can interact with your customers in real-time and with online ads you can promote your brand and products, and a well-planned SEO strategy can help you achieve great search ranking. However, to have great content is the key to keep your loyal customers.
If you want to start creating content for your brand, you can build a blog with SHOPLINE easily in our admin panel and start your adventure on inbound marketing.