Why is Inbound Marketing so Important?
Inbound marketing has the potential to completely transform your business (and your bottom line), but many people are unsure exactly what inbound marketing is, and how it can help them.
Traditional marketing is when we try to find our own customers. This includes cold calling, advertising and cold emails.
Think about how many people try to convince you to buy something every day. Whether it’s flyers in your mailbox, promotional text messages or spammy looking email, I’d bet that you tune most of it out.
While these techniques are still valid to a point, technology has made them far more expensive, and consumers are more likely to ignore this type of marketing since we have shorter attention spans and can filter out unknown phone numbers and “junk” email.
Unlike traditional marketing, which is “interruptive” and in the hands of the marketer, inbound marketing puts the power back into the hands of potential customers and is about creating content that they actually want to see. This is customer focused and aims to help customers with their needs, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important that businesses are focusing on creating a well-thought-out inbound marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing is about creating helpful, relevant content, and it’s the type of marketing that people love.
So how does inbound content marketing work?
We don’t want just anyone to our site, we want our ideal customers. And in order to create the best content for these people, we need to know who we’re selling to.
This means doing some serious research. This will take some time, but it’s a crucial first step before you begin creating content.
A good way to do this is to interview your:
- Current customers
- Former customers
This allows you to identify trends, which will indicate who your customers really are. You want to know how old they are, where they shop, how many kids they have, and if they have a mortgage. Where do they work? What are their day-to-day challenges? And most importantly, what do they need?
Think about your customer’s journey. This is the process they go through before they make a process, and understanding this allows us to provide them with the best content possible. Customers go through three stages before they purchase a product or service:
Customers experience symptoms of a problem or opportunity. They’ll probably do some research on the internet to help them figure out what their problem actually is.
Now customers have an idea of what their problem is. They know their problem or opportunity and are committed to solving it.
By this stage, customers have decided on a solution, strategy, or approach. They’ll begin looking at available products and vendors or researching to make a shortlist and final decision.
You need content for each stage of this process since customers could land on your site during any part of their journey.
This is why it’s important to cover our customer or client’s problem and the solutions to their problem instead of jumping straight into a description of our services or products. Remember: If you don’t solve your potential customer’s problems, someone else will.
Next it’s time to create amazing content. This includes blog posts, infographics, videos, presentations, and ebooks.
The basic formula is called ACCD:
- Attract: Blogs, Keywords, Social Publishing
- Convert: Forms, Calls-to-Action
- Close: CRM, Emails, Workflows
- Delight: Surveys, Social monitoring
Now it’s time to distribute this content.That means sharing it on social media, sending the blog post or a ‘teaser’ to your email list, and scheduling further shares in the future (as long as your content is still relevant it can be shared multiple times).
Finally, analysis should be one of the main parts of your inbound strategy. This allows you to know what’s working and what isn’t, and how you can change this. Compare different topics and blog posts so you can find out what resonates with your visitors, what gets the most shares and clicks, and how many people are following your call-to-action.