Navigating the often rough waters of marketing in this digital age can be overwhelming, and downright terrifying for small businesses.
There are many benefits of inbound marketing, that make it crucial for business success.
Compared to the old methods of outbound marketing, where businesses bought advertising and promotion channels using cold-calling, traditional “snail mail”, telemarketing, and newspaper ads, inbound Marketing helps you to create engaging, quality content. This content will create customer loyalty and interest in your brand, products, and/or company and make them want to pass your message along at a minimal cost to you and your business.
When your content engages your ideal customer, you are able to naturally create awareness (called “inbound traffic”) so you can then convert a potential customer into a repeat, and happy, customer.
Know Your Audience
You should always have a targeted audience, or market, so you know exactly what kind of customer you are trying to attract, and how you plan on attracting them. Inbound marketing utilizes mainly digital promotional and distribution channels like blogs, YouTube videos, email blasts and/or newsletters, social media marketing, eBooks, e-zines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and other content marketing to help draw in the targeted audience and create an intimate connection with your brand or company. Due to this connection, your customers will be more inclined to share, and thus, recommend your product with friends and family and continue to be loyal to your brand or company.
Creating informative and engaging content isn’t the only theme within inbound marketing that you should be concerned with; you will have to recognize that each customer will connect differently with your brand, you should become aware of your target audience’s personal needs, recognize the marketing channel that your customers are coming to you from, and you should focus on maintaining a high standard of quality for your content to keep it engaging to your ideal audience at the ideal time. By doing so, you are ensuring that your content stays relevant and informative to your current customers, and to your ideal potential customers, so that you are promoting your brand as helpful and supportive rather than pushy and overwhelming like brands that use outdated Outbound Marketing strategies like cold calls.
The Essence of Inbound Marketing
The definition of Inbound Marketing can be summarised within three levels: Attract, Convert, and Analyse. It is important to note that you should have your customers’ requirements and their continued enjoyment and love of your brand in mind during these phases:
You don’t want to attract just everybody or just general traffic to your brand and company; you want to make sure that you’re attracting your ideal audience and customer. These targeted customers are those that will connect with your brand, buy what you have to sell, and keep coming back for more. There are several tools you can use to attract your target customer including blogging, social media, SEO, and website optimization. Regardless of the tool you use, your content should be informative, valuable, and appealing.
Now that you’ve brought in traffic that you want, you should try to convert this traffic into viable leads; you’ll need their contact information including their email address. Gathering this information is crucial to maintaining a channel of communication with your customers. You shouldn’t just assume that these potential leads will give you their information for “free”; you’ll need to offer them something like a bonus eBook or whitepaper that is informative and helpful. Make sure you have a simple process to help you keep your contacts organised and central so you can access it at any time and send emails to follow up with these leads to help them become paying customers.
You’ve got leads and have generated traffic, you’ve converted leads into customers, but you should now analyse your system to ensure that you’re going to keep your customers happy and turn them into promoters of your business. You should always be trying to stay relevant and supportive to your customers’ needs, so you should analyse which channels your customers are coming to you from, the psychographic (attitudes, personalities, and lifestyles) indicators, along with a thorough analysis of their demographic (age, income, location) and behaviouristic (values, usage rates, what they want from the product) tendencies. Facebook is a fantastic tool to monitor these factors, and they can help you target consumers with similar interest as your current clientele for any future marketing.
There are many great benefits to inbound marketing that can work great for you as a small business owner: it will cost you significantly less of your hard-earned cash by generating leads through social media, email blasts or newsletters, and various other digital, user-friendly channels instead of taking time, money, and energy to cold-call or make sales calls as in traditional, Outbound Marketing.
A common definition of inbound marketing is ‘the focus of being seen and found by customers’ to generate leads and, thus, generate profit. Staying informative, relevant, and informative is crucial to finding the ideal customers, keeping them happy, and having them promote your business because of their positive experience; all of this achieved for your business through Inbound Marketing.
For more information on how to best run an inbound marketing campaign, download your free ebook by clicking the link below: