The constantly advancing technologies and easy access to the internet are two big realities of today’s world. It’s no longer meticulously tough to gain information regarding any topic as information is available to you at your fingertips. In just a few decades, the internet has done wonders and provided limitless information regarding everything at a distance of just a few clicks. With information accessible so easily, the traditional marketing techniques no longer work the way they used to. No one really pays attention to any of those TV or radio commercials anymore. All the marketing emails and text messages go straight to spam or are never read. People even hardly read newspapers, since all the news is easily available on their smartphones.
As a brand, it’s highly important for you to move with the times and give up on the old outbound marketing techniques. The ideal marketing in today’s world can be done with Inbound marketing. Not only does it get you better results, but it also makes it easier for you to contact the right sort of audience. Inbound marketing is probably much superior to outbound marketing in all its aspects. But, what really is inbound and how will it help you as a brand? Well, we have all your answers. Right from what it is to why is it perfect for every brand, we will tell you everything. So keep reading.
WHAT IS INBOUND MARKETING?
Precisely said, Inbound marketing is everything outbound marketing is not. It is the smarter way of marketing your brand. Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing works on the idea of drawing the right customers to the brand rather than running after a mass audience yourself. Inbound marketing focuses on attracting a targeted audience in a clever way and then drawing them to the brand to do business with them.
Inbound Marketing brings together various channels like blogs, infographics, email newsletters, influencer marketing, and social media to create a comprehensive plan.
WHY IS INBOUND MARKETING BETTER THAN OUTBOUND MARKETING?
Inbound marketing beats the traditional outbound marketing methods at every step. Here are some figures to convince you of the capabilities of Inbound Marketing over outbound marketing, because we know that numbers don’t lie.
- Low-cost: Outbound marketing is a high-cost process with a lower yield than Inbound marketing. In fact, inbound leads cost up to 61% less on an average.
- Higher ROI: Inbound Marketing promises you a higher return on investment, that is easier to track compared to outbound marketing. According to a report by CRM daily, more than 50% of companies opting to Inbound Marketing, experienced an increase in ROI by 25%.
- Interactive: Since Inbound marketing content is written according to the consumer’s needs, instead of the brand’s needs, it is more interactive for the readers. For a fact, up to 77%, online consumers prefer permission-based email promotion over the spam emails.
- Generates more leads: Inbound marketing not only creates more but better leads for the brand at lesser costs. A report by Demand Metric mentions that Content marketing generates three times more leads compared to outbound techniques for a 62% lesser cost. Even the B2B companies that started blogging at least 2-3 times every month confirmed that they generated up to 70% more leads than they did before.
- Preferable : From Infographics to content marketing, Inbound marketing in all its forms is more preferable. and thus more drawing than the Outbound techniques. Reports show that 80% times, people prefer getting brand information through a series of articles, rather than from advertising while making a business decision.
- Less interruptive: With commercials, disturbing TV shows and cold calls disturbing your working hours, inbound marketing is preferred by people since it is not interruptive. 8 out of 10 millennials confessed that they had to leave their favourite websites due to irritating intrusive advertising. Also. A report by Hubspot confirms that 68% of inbound organizations believe that inbound marketing is more effective.
HOW DOES INBOUND MARKETING WORK?
Now that you know what Inbound marketing is and why should your brand opt for it, the next question that arises is ‘How exactly does it work? or how you can do it?’ Don’t worry, we are here for you. Here we have mentioned a step by step guide to help you understand, how exactly Inbound Marketing works and how you too can use it for your brand.
Step 1: Attract
Like any other marketing strategy, here too the primary step is to attract the audience to your brand. But, the difference lies in the method. Unlike in Outbound marketing which targets literally everyone, Inbound Marketing focuses more on a certain targeted audience. You can write informative blogs and articles on various topics. People in search on that information might find your blog and that is exactly what you want, for your audience to find you. Another benefit is, that the reason someone was looking for a certain information implies that they might be in need of services related to it and if you can provide those services, that increases the chances that they might engage in business with you. For a fact, 88% of the times buyers prefer reading content published by a brand, before engaging in any business with them. Now, this way, after the first step, you have successfully distilled a target audience from a larger mass, with whom you can move on to the next step.
Step 2: Engagement
Now that you have your target audience, the next step is engagement. This is basically your first step of interaction with your audience. If your content is engaging enough and answers at least some questions of your reader, chances are they might want to interact more with you to get more information. So, it’s important that the content you are providing must be useful and detailed for your audiences to like them. You can use features like chatbots, live chat or messaging apps on your website to engage more with your readers. Another way is to promptly reply to your audiences’ emails regarding any queries relating to your blogs. This will not only evoke interest into the reader’s minds but will also ensure they trust you for your services, thus creating interest regarding your brand. In this step, the targeted audience is narrowed to candidates who are more interested in the content you are providing and will thus be helpful in the next step.
Step 3: Conversion:
The next big step on your list is to distil your interested candidates even further and convert them into leads. The beauty of Inbound marketing is that since you already have an audience interested in your services, your chances of converting them into leads is much higher than the respective outbound methods. You just need to ensure, your conversion technique is powerful enough to convert more and more people into leads. A way of doing this is by Call-to-action buttons, offering detailed information on a subject, may be in the form of a pdf, ebook or a whitepaper in return of the reader’s contact information. When they click the CTA button, they will reach the landing page, from where you will gain their contact information. So, this is basically a barter, where the reader gets the information they need and in return, you get their contact information. By using this information, you can easily contact them for further interaction. Here, the audience moves further down the marketing funnel from being just an interested audience to leads who may be potential consumers for your brand in the future.
Step 4: Closing the leads
Once the leads are generated, it is now important for you to convert them into customers for your brand. Having leads essentially means you have a set 0of audience that might want to do business with you, but that doesn’t ensure that they will do business with you and your job here is to make sure that they do. Good lead nurturing techniques and even some marketing automation software might be able to help you here. An option is to keep helping your leads by sending them emails with quality content regarding the related topic, thus staying helpful to them rather than just bothering them with advertising emails. You have to lure your leads into buying your services and for that, you need to make sure the marketing and sales teams of your brand are working in harmony to make this possible. After ending this step successfully, you will have customers for your brand, who will do business with you and might even like your services. But this doesn’t mean that the process has to end here. The next step is highly crucial, especially if you wish to generate more and more referrals for your brand.
Step 5: Delight
As we have mentioned before, the process doesn’t just end once your customers have done business with you. You need to stick around with them longer than that. You need to make sure they engage in business with you more than once and basically whenever they need your services. Nurturing your existing customers is as important as gaining new ones. As a matter of fact, your existing customers can help you gain newer customers by generating referrals for your brand. You can use email marketing to keep sending helpful emails to your customers to keep them engaged and in touch with you. Social media marketing is another option, through which you can keep your customers updated on your services. This way you can make sure you generate a customer base which can be used to generate referrals and engage with more and more customers. It is ultimately the referrals of your happy customers that will significantly rationalize your customer acquisition cost, At the end of this complete process, you will have delighted customers, who might even help you promote your brand among new people thus creating more business opportunities for you.
These steps will help you get a start on Inbound Marketing for your brand, but there are also some other aspects you need to remember for Inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing is a part of content consumption and hence the content you write is of major importance.
- You need to keep improving and innovating with the content to keep your customers interested in the brand.
- Consistency is a very important aspect of content marketing. You need to constantly update and add new content to keep your customers and target audience delighted.
- Your content should be inspiring and help create a trust for you in the reader’s mind.
- Smartly convey what you have to offer to the customers, while not being irritating like the Outbound marketing techniques, which seem to drive customers away.
We have tried to explain the working of inbound marketing and hope you found it helpful to build a strong Inbound marketing strategy for your brand. Inbound marketing is replacing the old outbound techniques more and more every day, which is evident by the fact that 32% of B2B companies believe that the traditional techniques of Outbound marketing are overrated and nowadays, even quite useless. Here are a few links you can refer to understand the concept even better.
If you have queries or need more information and data about Inbound marketing, don’t hesitate to drop your questions in the comments below. Here at Walnut Folks, we have skilled professionals who can help you resolve any query you have regarding Inbound Marketing.