What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is the process of persuading the buyers to come to you—it’s where we as marketers meet our audience and engage with them on their own terms.
In short, inbound marketing is a modern, data-driven approach with many facets that work in tandem to attract people to your brand, which hopefully convert them into long-lasting customers. These facets include content marketing, blogs, social media, search engines, SEO, landing pages, white papers, e-books, webinars etc. Meaning, inbound marketing is multi-channel, where leads and customers can interact with you in one, but usually several channels.
This approach is customer-centric, aiming to allow the customer to have control in the relationship. It makes room for the customer to move at their preferred pace in a buying journey with the education they need to make informed decisions on moving further down your funnel.
You should look to make this approach an important piece of your marketing strategy, as it holds a significant amount of lifetime value for your brand years down the road and makes for a holistic method of reaching customers, in-hand with your outbound efforts.
Inbound Marketing Methodology
An inbound strategy looks to boost both the volume and quality of prospects or leads through attracting those that are truly within your sphere of service. Done correctly, inbound marketing helps your brand align its resources and provide value to leads and customers without plainly selling your product or service.
Unlike outbound marketing, this isn’t a fight for attention. Your inbound strategy’s content will fill the gaps and earn that attention, addressing the pain-points, solutionless problems, wants and needs of your target audience. Reeling them in with content that is relevant and helpful to them will build lifelong credibility and trust for your business.
Here’s what the typical inbound methodology looks like:
As you can see, this process is centered around content and context. When your team builds the right content at the right time, and the right place thanks to your well-developed strategy, your efforts are both relevant and helpful to your customers.
Why Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is incredibly effective and will help you grow your business. It costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing. A staggering 57% of companies reported acquiring customers through their blog, and 42% through Twitter.
This process has proven itself to work, because buyers demand personalized relationships with the businesses they buy from. They want the resources they need to educate themselves for deep understanding of the value of your product or service. Not only should you know their name and job, but also what they need. The buying cycle will continue to be dictated by the buyer, and they have high expectations for interactions with your business.
What Tools Do You Need?
Given the multi-channel nature of inbound marketing, managing campaigns gets very tricky. From touchpoints on social media to your website and everything in between, there are tools for different needs that will help you capture the data you need to make informed decisions and track ROI. For starters, you’ll need CRM to begin managing your lead and customer data. You could also look into automation tools for email and social media and landing page platforms that can help boost your strategy.
Think phone calls are dying? Well, they’re not. It turns out that mobile search is projected to generate 73 billion calls to businesses by 2018. Furthermore, inbound calls convert to revenue 10-15x more than web leads.
In all, inbound marketing is the new age of marketing. It’s all a lot to digest, but we’re here to help! We have a ton of resources for you to dive into. Simply search what you’re looking for on our blog or Resource Center!