Inbound Marketing is a new age term that focuses on understanding the problems of the user and creating content that addresses the problems to attract users to your product or business. In short, we call it inbound lead generation.
This is not about creating advertisements or marketing campaigns. This is about creating content. The content types include :
Inbound marketing is about selling without selling. When a potential customer interacts with your content, they understand your experience, capabilities, features and more. Without having to promote your product you can talk about the features of your product while helping the user with addressing a problem.
A simple example is. Say you have a marketing agency and you put out content around Facebook Marketing. You can provide tips, strategies, and suggestions in the content that will help customers out, but at the same time they will be made aware of your knowledge and capabilities and then they will reach out to you and engage with you.
If there is an Inbound marketing, there’s obviously outbound as well.
Outbound marketing is when the companies reach out to potential customers directly through various channels like Email, Direct Sales, Advertising, Radio Ads, Cold Calling. These methods are old-school and still widely prevalent in many Industries and still successful.
But, the times are changing. People are finding ways to block out direct marketing. There all call blockers, there are Do Not Disturb lists, there are spam filters, they are ad blockers, people change the radio station when the ads play and so on.
Outbound is getting the reputation of being an annoyance. But why did this happen, for years and years it was the norm.
It’s because people have the internet. If people need something these days, they can search for it online and they’ll find instant solutions. In the old days, people did not know certain things existed and it was fine for businesses to reach out directly and educate people.
Outbound efforts will not stop, but they will slow down, and eventually, they will become ineffective.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, does not involve reaching out to potential customers. Customers read reviews, watch content and if they are satisfied will reach out to the company. There is no selling involved in Inbound marketing.
But there is a lot of content creation involved. When people are looking out for a service, your company needs to be there in the top listings for you to be a potential contender. When customers do their research, your content is what they should be seeing.
So effort needs to be made to come up with high quality, useful content that is catered to your customers.
What type of companies is Inbound suitable for?
Every type of company. Even offline companies need to use Inbound marketing strategies because people do their research before choosing a service provider. Take for example a handyman business and you are the hypothetical business owner.
People generally search for keywords such as “drain is clogged”, “house painting” for home-related services and at that point if there is content around those keywords, people will visit your site and looking at your services and capabilities and looking at reviews online, they will engage with you.
So all types of companies need to use Inbound marketing.
Example #1 : SEO
An example of Inbound marketing is using organic SEO to rank high. An above is an example of a page where we helped one of our clients rank high by writing a simple description of the phone. This is one form of Inbound Leads. When people click the link and read the content, they are aware of the brand and aware of the brand’s inexpensive pricing and so on. They are highly likely to engage.
Example #2 : Linkedin
Linkedin is another solid channel to kickstart your Inbound marketing. You can share your experiences, any inside industry knowledge you have and write content that benefits the network. When you put out content that engages people, you will be seen as an influencer and this helps in getting inbound requests.
Example #3 : Free Stuff
People love things that are valuable and free. People can go to great lengths to get free stuff. You can build an inbound lead generation empire with that. Companies give away free e-books that are valuable to users, they give away free software.
You can also take it to the next level, like how we do it at here at our digital agency. At Novatise, we offer a free service. Our SEO audit. An audit that is worth $399 is offered for free.
When you offer a free service, you automatically increase your inbound requests at the top of the funnel.
Example #4 : Social Media Contests
Social Media is an inbound marketing machine. There are various ways you can drive incoming traffic. We help one of our clients Hot Tomato to generate solid inbound leads from Facebook campaigns. How do we do it?
We use fun contests. In the example below, we asked Hot Tomato’s fans to choose between two dishes and asked them to state why they chose that dish. Interesting answers would win a $20 voucher.
The buzz that was created was much more beneficial to the company than the $20 voucher.
Starting: You need to start somewhere. It doesn’t matter where. Starting is the first step.
Consistency: After that, you need to aim for consistency. Keep creating content, articles, Facebook posts etc. A lot of people give up after attempting a little bit. Consistency is what will make your inbound marketing efforts skyrocket.
Test and Measure: Once you get consistency, you need to optimize your posts. Find out what brings in more leads, what brings in more traffic. Test and measure your marketing efforts and keep improving.
Explore various channels: After you get good at a channel. Explore other channels, dip your feet and measure. Understand the pros and cons and keep working.
In no time, you will be an inbound champion.