Inbound Marketing. A new buzzword? Not really. The concept of inbound marketing has been around since the late 90s. And you’ve probably been hearing the term more and more. But you may be asking yourself, why should I go inbound?
To start off, let’s look at the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Here’s
You’re at work, in a meeting, or on your way to a meeting. Or you’re busy typing up a proposal. Your phone rings. You don’t necessarily recognise the number the call is coming from. And you answer… It’s yet another unsolicited call. Someone trying to sell you insurance, or a phone upgrade, or a second credit card, but you never signed up for these calls. Where did they get your number from? This interrupts your train of thought, or the task you were busy with. Marketing has been pushed onto you when you least expected it and you did not want it.
This is a prime example of outbound marketing or push marketing. It includes cold calling, emails to purchased lists, and outsourced telemarketing. A message gets pushed to the consumer, and they’re not always willing to receive it. Let’s look at another scenario:
You want to go on leave this year, and you’re dreaming of an idyllic getaway. So, you start searching for options online and looking at destinations that interest you. You decide on an island holiday. Next, you create a shortlist of places you’d like to visit, and start comparing them: location versus price versus duration of stay. You find some great blog posts about destinations, see some travel agency specials, and start emailing them to find out more about their deals. Finally, you book your dream holiday.
This is an example of inbound marketing. You went online, researched, compared and then decided what information you wanted to consume, as well as when, and how you applied it.
Inbound marketing and your business
According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is primarily about attracting customers with content and interactions that are relevant and helpful, not interruptive. If you own a business, your customers will find you via search engines, on social media or blogs, on their own time, when they are open to interacting.
Going the inbound route gives you the tools to respond in a way that’s applicable to where your prospects or leads are situated in the buyer’s journey. As a company, your goal is to nurture strangers into visitors, into leads, into customers and ultimately promoters by applying the four components of inbound marketing:
Attract > Convert > Close > Delight
This should be your guide when you want to encourage your prospects or leads to buy what you offer. It’s by no means a quick sell; it requires constant planning and work to keep delighting your prospects and later your customers and attracting new ones. Now that we’ve got this covered, here are eight reasons why you should go inbound:
1. It’s permission-based marketing
Customers opt in for you to send them marketing information. They can either fill in a form on your website, or provide their contact details for gated content (like ebooks, worksheets or even consultations). Their information is shared with you willingly.
2. It helps you find your positioning
Inbound marketing helps you to clarify your brand story, and define your position in the market. Through this, you also identify the interesting angles for your business, and are able to replicate your best sales practices.
3. It’s trackable and measurable
It’s possible for you to constantly know what your prospects are doing, when they become leads, and when they are converted into customers thanks to great marketing software that’s available. Content Candy is a HubSpot partner agency, and we believe they provide best-in-market software to measure results.
4. It offers long-term results
Your customers become promoters of your brand, which brings in new prospects for you to convert into customers. Inbound offers you a long-term strategy with short-term ‘quick wins’.
5. It’s your marketing strategy
If you sell holidays, build a landing page for your latest travel package, and with that, offer a free downloadable guide on how to make the most out of a breakaway at that destination. The guide is gated content, and people would need to provide their contact details to download it. When they provide their details, you can send them emails to nurture them into becoming customers. This is, in a nutshell, the magic of inbound.
6. Track your prospects throughout the buyer’s journey
With marketing software, you can create workflows to track each of your prospects through their journey towards becoming a customer. And, you can give them gentle nudges along the way, to ensure that the deal gets closed.
7. Nurture prospects towards a purchase
While your prospects are in the buyer’s journey, you can send emails, or follow up with a call to nurture them into becoming a customer.
You already have their contact details. And people go on holiday repeatedly. So, you can remarket travel packages and specials to these clients to close yet another deal. Delight your customers by remembering when their last holiday was, or what deal they viewed the last time they were on your website, and sweeten their next deal. This will also encourage them to promote your brand to friends and family.
Inbound marketing, when done right, is an investment worth making. When taking your clients’ interests and needs into account, and by not being invasive, you’re bound to end up with more and happier customers in the long run.