I would term Inbound Marketing as New Marketing. In this kind of marketing, attention-grabbing contents of product and services are created, developed and made known to customers via various platforms on the internet. Of course with the changing world and technology, ways of marketing change.
The internet is one of the most essential and most adopted forms of marketing. Customers are drawn to the contents of the products and services through platforms such as the social media, websites, email advertising and use of blogs among other ways. In this form of marketing, target audience takes initiatives to look for what they want instead of being persuaded.
This article reviews Inbound Marketing, from its success to failures, channels to actions and how this form of marketing can work you.
Benefits Inbound Marketing
The benefits of Inbound Marketing have been witnessed all around. Besides the business gaining, the customers have never been happier with this kind of marketing.
First things first, the business has been seen to flourish in splendor since the introduction of inbound marketing.
Customers also enjoy this form of advertising at their convenience. The reasons inbound marketing prosper over other forms of marketing include the following benefits;
Building customer relations is not something that comes once and goes. You ought to be available for a longer period to establish that trust and loyalty.
Inbound Marketing explores the consistent delivery of information to the target audience, which builds aconnectionovertime. Besides the content being able to last long on your site, you can keep updating and delivering fresh info to the audience.
You keep advancing to new heights everyday too. Right? As witnessed in social media such as Facebook, the interested audience can scroll to previous posts to get the previously posted information in case of any retrieval.
- Cost Effective
I would tell you for free; Inbound Marketing is the real deal.Most of the times using platforms such as radio and television to advertise are costly. This is viewed in junctures where small businesses or those that have minimal budgets do not afford to promote their products and services through such platforms. Good news to them, they can advertise online at minimal dues.
With Inbound Marketing, you can always get the information you are looking for almost immediately. There is no specific time to receive the promotional messages. This is different from other forms of marketing, for example in radio whereby you have to wait for the commercial breaks to get the advertisements.
As I mentioned earlier, it is up to the customer to take the initiative and search for the products and services in which they are interested.
At any time of day or night, week or month, you can always visit the look for what you want through Search Engine Optimization or blogs and social media among other platforms. I can bet on this; it is the most convenient form of marketing.
- Image Building and Product Cognizance
Potential customers perceive you from the content you deliver. Consistent delivery of credible information to them builds trust and loyalty. They will always count on you to serve their needs. And hey, they will also create awareness of your business when they recommend your products and services to others if they find you reliable.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to know that people share links and like your blogs and pages online? This way, your business gains popularity and trust.
The effectiveness of this form of marketing is enjoyed in its speed. You just create content and post it via the various tools provided such as Twitter, and bam! Your content has been delivered. That should not even excite you. Enjoyment comes in when you can make conversations instantly with your prospects. You are in a position to meet their needs and smile while they make purchases.
- Reaches A Wider Geographical Area
What impresses me on inbound marketing is its ability to reach a large number of audiences. Considering platforms where people from various geographical areas meet, you can imagine the millions of people who can view content displayed on various sites.
I regard this as the most cost effective means of promoting products or services to a large number of people. Look at Facebook; you just need a few subscription fees to deliver your messages.
- Encourages Teamwork
For an ultimate goal, various personnelcomes together as one. Creating content is a process that needs thorough research. Staff members with good communication skills should be involved in delivering the content in an attractive way that catches the attention of the audience.
That is not enough.Content can be boring if not presented in awesome designs or beautiful and attractive sites. This process goes on and on to the point where the customers purchase the products and services.
The unity of the personnel will enhance sharing of ideas and incorporate them to achieving the aim of the marketing process.
Shortcomings of Inbound Marketing
Every form of marketing comes with its weaknesses. At times, the weaknesses can be turnedinto strengths that can evolve your business to a great shape, while others are inevitable. Some of the weaknesses of inbound marketing have been tackled in this article, which involves the following;
- Limited Audience
You post your content to a wider coverage of audience;then a few interested people get to view your message. How disturbing! If the audience is not captivated by your content, they will not even bother to throw a glance at what you have offered. This is when you feel like advertising your content via radio; people would hear it anyway unless you are too boring that they would switch off their radio. I bet you aren’t.
- Requires Skilled Personnel To Run The Content
As much as we view inbound marketing as cost effective, you have not hired content writers, web designers, graphic designers or web analysts to feel the pinch. As you know, you need this diverse personnel to feed the platforms with relevant information regularly.
- Takes Time To See Results
The ugly truth is, you have to feed your site numerous times before you get known to the target audience. It takes a hustle. You will not wake up today, write a promotional article about your business or products you offer, and expect people to flood to your site. But keep delivering the content, you are going somewhere.
Themes of Inbound Marketing
- Content Creation and Delivery
To attracted qualified prospects, inbound marketing aims at creating and developing catchy content overtime. The aspects involved focuses mainly on the products and services’ purposes and benefits to the clients among other vital information. The information is aimed at creating more leads.
- Development in Marketing
It takes time for promoters to be known in the market. It takes a series of events, starting from nowhere to somewhere. You have to start small, as they say. The cycle goes from starting as strangers to being customers. This involves being visitors to making contacts at some point, to access the products and services. There are particular actions and tools that are engineered to make the transformations.
One of the goals of inbound marketing is tailoring the content according to the needs of the prospects. I would love a situation whereby I get exact answers for what I search for in the search engines. Hence the companies or businesses should use the leads to provide more convenient information. This is in regards to what people seek more often. The information should charm their emotions to make purchases on products or services.
Your aim is making qualified prospects to interact with you. Being available in various channels of interaction is essential. Hence, you have to figure out the right platforms where the prospects want to use and can connect with you effectively. Personally, I would want to contact a company via email to ensure maximum confidentiality in our engagements.
When someone mentions inbound marketing, incorporation of various aspects crosses my mind. Besides requiring various skilled personnel to run and manage the content delivery, you need to meet the needs of the customers and quantify your success by the end of the day.
Channels of Inbound Marketing
These are the key elements that lead to the success of the inbound marketing content. As simple as they are, the reviewed elements below are the heart of the business’s prosperity.
- Content marketing
It’s the content that makes the audience to go ahead to purchase or continue to look more into what you offer. The content should, therefore, entail all the essentials that the customer need to know.
I would not want to search through and not find credible and relevant information that meets my needs. I would also want the content to inform, educate as well as to inspire me. You got to be creative in how you present your information so that I don’t doze off in the middle of reading.
I must admit to the fact that reading is not one of my favorite’s activities. Hence I would appreciate the incorporation of images, infographics, animation, pictures or videos among other interactive media in the content. Importantly, an informative content will always create a lasting image in the minds of the audiences.
- Social Media Marketing
Publishing the promotional content on your website is not enough. The big deal is having a large number of audience view the content. In this case, identify the most relevant platform to market what you have, be it Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter among other platforms. At their pleasure, the target audience will be able to access the links or read on pages that interest them.
- Search Engine Optimization(SEO)
Other people find search engine complex, but Ithink such people are just clueless. SEO is the rock! How do your target audiences find you online? By searching. SEO is the process whereby the website’s contents and structure for search are optimized.
Are you not getting it yet? Okay, you have to ensure that when potential customers search your content, they can get it fast. Therefore, the results of the search should be at the disposal of the right audience.
The content should also bring the right leads for more connections. Therefore, effective keywords should be heightened for easy finding of the information. The site should also be simple and well-structured to deliver all the necessary information to the prospects.
- Landing Pages
With the provided call to action aspects, landing pages refer to where the leads take you when you click on the provisions. The page should reflect what the call of action has offered. The purpose should be objective, to avoid misleading the potential customer.
You do not want to lose a potential customer with overwhelming navigations and adverts to other particulars in the page. This is a critical time to create good relations with the customer and make them proceed to perform the action, may be to sign up, download or fill a form.
Engage the prospects with further details and information. For more reference, you can remarket the product and provide links that keep reminding the prospects on the products and services in which they have shown interest.
- Email Marketing
Email marketing has proved to one of the most effective channels of building customer relations. Email is essential in following up a generated lead. Most people use emails for official purposes, and they tend to often go through their emails.
Unbelievably, I trust email so much for it has been embraced to be a more official channel of messaging, in regards to social media and such.
Before the company sends you any promotional message, in this case, they must have your email address already, which becomes an aspect of lead generation.
Features of Inbound Marketing
I always relate Inbound Marketing to respect. They say respect is earned, just like success in Inbound Marketing. You ought to do some things to earn the credibility, loyalty and attract customers to your content. There are various aspects that are incorporated if you want to enjoy the success. This is marked by the following features;
- Strategic Content
The message that you deliver should be well planned .key information, mostly regarding what the audience want to know or hear should be involved. Details are essential.
Drawing customers to take their time to go through the content is fundamental. Besides the content being well researched and reliable facts, it should appeal to the emotions of the readers.
- Conversion Opportunities and Customer Relations
Building relations is a vital element in every form of marketing. Obviously, it involves customer engagements with your company. Inquiries, bargains, and purchases lead to conversation opportunities. Hence, below your content, aspects that enhance ‘call to action’ are incorporated. Customers can leave their comments or reach your company using contacts provided.
Clearly, you cannot market what you offer without having the specific audience in mind. I mean, whom do you want to attract to your company? There is no way you will venture into business without having target prospects in mind.
- Measurement of Results
One of the most fundamentalgoals of every marketing strategy is to get as many customers as possible, to purchase the products or services.
Marketing success is therefore measuredby sales generated, which is a bit tricky in inbound marketing. In this case, you would measure your progress by the number of shares, links, comments or contacts made by the customers. You will need web analytics to measure your success.
- Regular Content Publishing
I know many of us in social media sites posts and update their status more often. This is the trick that I use to keep my accounts busy and get known to as many people as possible.
Every time my friends or followers scroll their pages, they find my posts or pictures. For you to create recognition and reliability from people, your contents in various platforms should be seen regularly.
This way, you will keep people updated and at the same time, make them remember you and search you whenever they have problems to solve.
- Lead Generation
Principally, the ultimate goal of inbound marketing is to generate leads and traffic. What I mean is customers’ interests should be initiated. Simply, the content should provoke them to make inquiries of the products or services offered.
A simple way of creating leads is leaving your contacts after the content for the potential customers to make connection with you.
- Use Of Interactive Media
A block of long texts has proved to be boring to read. Unless I want that information so bad, I do not concentrate on a boring page.
As I have mentioned before in this article, use of infographic, images, videos and display of info using various typefaces and font sizes will lure me. After all, inbound marketing content should be entertaining and fascinating.
Relevance in inbound marketing comes in when the content posted can solve the customers’ needs at that moment. If I can relate to what you offer in any situation, then you will be a dependable source that I will always run to.
In fact, I will share the information with friends on my site and always recommend them to consume your information, products or services.
- Instructive and Informative
Promotional content is not just entertaining. At the end of the captivating message, I will need something to take home. Something worth the time I have spent reading. Information.
The content should give definite answers to the needs of the customers. Directions should be offered, concerning what you ought to do or what you have to know.
- Use Variety of Tools
What I love with this form of marketing is the ability to deliver information through a variety of channels. Social media, emails, websites, blogs, name them.
Inbound marketing has demonstrated the use of channels that reach a wider coverage of people; in fact, every potential customer across the globe can access the information. Awesome!
Actions of Inbound Marketing
These are arrangements taken in various stages to keep the strangers or visitors from becoming leads to purchasing the products or services. Briefly, the actions can be explained as follows;
- Draw interest for strangers to become visitors
- Transform the visitors to leads
- Close the leads and make them customers
- Fascinate the customers to become promoters
How to Make Inbound Marketing Work For You
If you want to utilize Inbound Marketing, then you have to be keen on the following aspects;
- Identify your target audience
- Choose the best platform that will effectively deliver your content to the audience
- Get a working , interactive and attractive website/blog site/Facebook/twitter/ Instagram / Email
- Speak the language of the customer or buyer. Deliver the content they are looking for, content that is strategically created.
- Create a podium where customers can ask questions, and you answer them
- Engage your readers by making them download forms, leave their comments, click on the given links for more info, amongst other actions
- Ensure more traffic and leads are generated, and a large number of audience enjoy updated and credible content on your site
Inbound Marketing Content is all meant to attract potential buyers or the target audience of the products and services to the business. Personally, I do not like a situation whereby someone dictates or persuades me on what I should own or purchase.
Even if I hear some product promotion through electronic media such as television, or read information from magazines and newspapers, that’s not enough for me. I always go ahead to the internet, search for what I want, read more concerning the manufacturers and other products and services they offer.
I rate the credibility of the info from the reviews of fellow customers, and I trust the information given, especially if it is a well-researched, practical and factual. I would gladly give credit to inbound marketing because it’s not only customer friendly but also of great benefits to the company, as reviewed in this article.