Before we go any further, let’s define what inbound marketing is and then we’ll explore how it can help your business.
The Definition of Inbound Marketing
Rather than the direct promotion of a product or service through product ads, cold calling and spam mail, inbound marketing is the stage of the selling journey that attracts potential customers through people-centred creative content. Inbound marketing is less about the hard sell and more about the soft sell so the ideal marketing strategy will combine engaging digital content creation with direct selling, or outbound marketing.
Informed consumers have become savvy to advertising and the one-size-fits-all approach of blasting viewers and browsers with loud, obnoxious ads no longer works. And rightly so. We expect nuance and inbound marketing offers it. As with all marketing approaches, balance is key. Instead of posting endless product promotions that fail to convert, assess what kind of content your target audience responds to and give it to them. Get to know your customers, ask them what they want and they’ll repay your genuine interest with sales.
The best way to maintain an effective inbound marketing presence is through your digital marketing channels. You can respond quickly and imaginatively via your social media platforms, engaging browsers with entertaining, thoughtful and compelling content.
Your Inbound Marketing Strategy in 4 Steps
Inbound marketing is all about ‘who’ you are, not ‘what’ you sell. There’s no room for aggression here but it is about driving traffic.
Focus on the following:
Knowing your target market
The best way to hone your message is to create a buyer persona. By analysing your social media engagement, using Google analytics and asking the right questions (shopping preferences, background, age, gender, location) you can build a picture of who your main buyers are and design content around them.
Content marketing is the perfect way to communicate with consumers about topics that matter. There’s no need to push a product, just offer an engaging story that reaches out to potential consumers and they’ll get to know your business on their terms. Carefully thought out helpful blog articles, case studies, how-to guides and video content are your first steps to building a community. Leading browsers to your content requires an understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). With the correct usage of key words and phrases, page titles and meta descriptions you’ll rank higher in search engine results and attract more users to your business.
Make sure your website works
Inbound marketing may not be aggressive but you still want your warm lead to convert to a sale. So, ensure that all of your internal links work and pepper your content, whether it’s blog articles or social media content, with clear calls to action that lead to your website. The more enticing your content is, the more likely the browser will trust in your brand and reward your hard work with loyalty.
Social media marketing
Entertaining browsers with well thought-out social media content is easier said than done. Let’s go back to your buyer persona: with this information you can easily post content that will appeal to your target audience. Posting on the most appropriate channels will help that content reach even larger numbers of users. Take the time to plan in advance a mix of valuable content that encourages user engagement, such as ‘how -to’ videos, behind-the-scenes clips and funny memes, with more traditional outbound marketing, like ads and product reviews. Keep on top of your social media content with daily checks, ensuring you always respond to queries and comments. The more you engage with your followers the more visible your content will be to them.
We hope this whistle-stop tour of inbound marketing has offered some food for thought. The main thing to remember is this: it’s all in the strategy! When building your inbound marketing strategy keep the following in mind: attract – engage – convert. Providing valuable content will attract new users and, with ongoing engagement, convert them into customers.