What is Inbound Marketing?
Traditionally, outbound marketing is the strategy businesses opt for to attract customers and create sales. This is done through traditional media means such as TV, radio and printed advertisements. However, with the growing digital age and increasing time spent scrolling social media, it seems fitting to utilise the accessible tools in order to create sales; this is what inbound marketing is all about.
Inbound marketing is an approach used more recently by businesses to build trust and credibility relating to their brand through inline means. It ensures the customers are happy and provides the business with positive growth.
Inbound marketing utilises the web and its ability to bring the customer to you. It uses different online forms of marketing to create brand awareness and bring more attention to the product. Through content marketing and creation, online blogs and social media coverage, it allows your business to grow organically and effectively. The customer finds you rather than you having to find ways to reach them. By letting them find you, it leads to a stronger influence on their future buying decisions as they feel they are choosing to engage with your brand. Creating a marketing campaign like this across online platforms can increase engagement, leading to increased sales.
This new form of marketing in the digital era has been utilised by many businesses as it allows you to tackle problems within an organisation that may be stopping you from creating the desired sales.
Problems Inbound Marketing Solves for Businesses
- Diving in without a Plan
Inbound marketing requires a strong strategy. You need to know the optimal times to share content, the best streams to do so as well as having content prepared in advance so you can develop a consistent flow of traffic to your brand and website.
It is easy to get ahead of yourself in wanting to jump straight in with this strategy but taking the time and care to create a plan that is based on research best vpn and is fully understood, will allow you to produce a more successful campaign. By collaborating with colleagues to create a game plan, you can improve your brand's credibility and organic engagement from potential buyers.
- Expecting Results Overnight
This is not a strategy for the impatient. Immediate gratification is not what this strategy offers but it does offer stronger brand credibility and loyalty from those it attracts.
Even when an inbound strategy has been well implemented, it's a slow burning process and can take weeks, even months, to see the desired results of increased sales. The key is not giving up; be proactive and keep creating content for the audience you have. In time, through online engagement from users and through word-of-mouth, the results will surface; views will increase and so will subsequent sales.
- Marketing Budget and ROI (Return of Investment)
Outbound marketing that relies on traditional media is known for being costly while inbound marketing offers a cheaper alternative. It utilises the free social media services in order to create content that is optimised for search engines. There is less pressure for your content to perform well due to the smaller monetary investment needed for this to happen. Compared to outbound marketing, the ROI for inbound marketing is significantly higher; it's much easier and clearer to create an ROI using inbound marketing, making it a better financial choice.
- The Website Does Not Support Your Inbound Campaign
From the marketing campaign created and published across social media and blogs, engagement and click-throughs to the business website will rise. However, do not fall at the final hurdle. In order to convert engagement to sales, your website must convey the same message marketed across the campaign.
You have gained the attention of a potential buyer to keep their attention by implementing a similar strategy and message across your website. Take the time to ensure the message of your website is consistent with the campaign as well as giving the customer all the information necessary to make the informed decision to buy the product. With your website supporting your campaign's message, your hard work on the inbound campaign will pay off.
- Merging Sales and Marketing
Usually, marketing and sales work independently within a business. But inbound marketing sees an opportunity to bridge the gap between these two areas to allow them to work together to benefit the inbound campaign.
Recognising where the problems lie in the creation of sales within your business can help solve them from a marketing perspective and allowing marketers to ensure the sales happen. Combining marketing and sales can allow the business to create targeted content that aims to address any problems a customer may have, as well as strategically distributing the content that leads to an improved ROI.
- An Inbound Strategy is Time Consuming
Yes, it is an effortful job and your boss may not fully grasp the effort and time needed for this new strategy. You may question whether the cost of time outweighs the benefits. However, content creation is something that, once you are in the rhythm of creating in a strategic manner, can become second nature and you will soon be able to open your computer and write what is needed in no time. If you take some time to plan, set deadlines and goals for implementing this strategy, you will be on your way to seeing the results.
It may require late nights, but when you look at the results months later it is best not to be seeing them and regretting not putting more time into the campaign. Instead, you want to see positive results and be glad your hard work paid off.
- Message Consistency
Across social media, your website and any documentation and marketing of your campaign, your business's message should be clear and consistent to advertise the same brand values across the web. Your aim is to give your brand a personality to allow your customers to see it as more than just a product but actually, relate to the brand. This consistency in your messages causes the customer to truly understand your message and lead to the reinforcement they need in order to buy your product at the end.
The Take Home Message
It may seem that creating an Inbound marketing campaign is effortful and that is because it is. It may seem risky as well in the investment of time and energy to use this new strategy. However, the proof is in the evidence of other companies and how so many businesses today are moving to this new innovative way of marketing.
With inbound marketing, you get what you put in; utilise the online market and social media platforms to their full potential to find your target audience without them even know they are being targeted. With the engagement starting to build, the sales will soon follow.