What is Inbound Marketing? Inbound marketing is content that attracts leads and customers by creating valuable content that they are looking for. Quite simply, it helps customers find your company. Inbound marketing is different than normal ads and sponsored post. This content is geared towards showing how you solve a problem, provide a service, or sell a product that a customer needs.
An effective inbound marketing strategy will focus on attracting the right viewers, engaging them through relevant content, and delighting them with you as a solution to their pain.
Inbound marketing is used to create brand awareness, elevate brand preference, and retain current customers. Typically, inbound marketing is a longer strategy, but more cost effective than ad campaigns.
What are some components of Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing focuses on the creation of content that potential customers will find engaging - leaving them curious and ready to learn more about you and your services. Much of inbound marketing content will be:
Interactive - polls and quizzes, for example
Entertaining - brand videos and story based content
Personalized - specific content based on the customers interest, such as white papers and downloadable guides
Does branding matter for Inbound Marketing?
In an answer, YES! Your brand identity, from the voice, fonts, and colors, as well as your brand messaging should be the core of your inbound marketing strategy.
What stages of the buyer’s journey can use Inbound Marketing?
The content you create with your inbound marketing materials will be different for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
The Attract Phase:
The attract phase of inbound marketing is all about introducing potential customers to your brand and showing them that you are the perfect solution to their problem. Content for this phase should focus on providing helpful, informative, and creative content that will draw customers in. Examples of content for this phase may include informative blog posts, engaging videos, clever quizzes, and friendly social media posts. All content should be created with the goal of making potential customers feel confident that you are the best choice for them. For example, you can download our Guide to Brand Videos here.
The Convert Phase:
You’ve attracted viewers to your site, profiles, and content, but they haven’t made a purchase yet. During the convert phase, components of your inbound marketing are designed to help them make a purchase. At this point, they know enough about you that they are willing to trust a little more. Now you can create gated content that potential customers are willing to exchange their information for. This can include giving you their email for an e-book they want, how to guides, or special coupon offers. Calls-to-action at this stage of the journey are very specific, such as, “Register Now” or “Download the Report”. Additionally, to ensure you are providing the best experience for customers, make sure that the content you are offering in exchange for their information is valuable and relevant. By doing this, customers will be more likely to convert and make a purchase. If you are not seeing results at this stage, you need to review the offerings to see if they are the right ones for contacts and the value offered is evident.
The Close Phase
During the Close Phase of inbound marketing, you can start to move your prospects further down the sales funnel by providing content that focuses on answering their remaining questions and offering them the support they need to make an informed purchase decision. Content such as helpful comparisons, customer case studies, product demos, and webinars can all help to build trust and move prospects closer to the sale. It's important to remember that customers typically need multiple touchpoints before they are ready to make a purchase, so it's important to be patient and continue to provide them with useful and relevant content. It can take 13 touchpoint (or more!) before a purchase is completed. If too many of your prospects are not converting, it’s time to go back to the attract phase to make sure you are attracting the right contacts.
The Delight Phase:
The delight phase occurs when the buyer has made the purchase and you are delivering on all the promises you’ve made to this point. This is your opportunity to create brand loyalty. Inbound marketing content during the delight phase includes useful tips and tricks related to the product, how-to guides, and helpful resources. You can also use inbound marketing content during this phase to provide customer support, such as helpful videos, webinars, blog posts, and social media posts. Additionally, you can use surveys to gain feedback and find out more about the customer's experience. By providing the customer with helpful content and engaging with them during the Delight phase, you can create a strong brand loyalty and a positive relationship with your customers.
Inbound Marketing Checklist
Identify Your Target Audience: Define the characteristics of your ideal customers.
Develop Buyer Personas: Create detailed profiles of your target customers.
Set Objectives: Establish your goals and objectives, so you know what to measure.
Create Content: Develop a content strategy that focuses on creating compelling content that is tailored to your target audience.
Create an Editorial Calendar: Map out content topics and plan out when they should be posted and published.
Do Keyword Research: Implement keyword research and optimize your content for search engines.
Build a Landing Page: Create a landing page that includes a signup form and a call-to-action (CTA).
Optimize Your Website: Optimize your website for search engine visibility and create a user experience that is tailored to your target audience.
Implement Tracking: Set up tracking for all of your campaigns, so you can measure the success of each one.
Share Content: Promote content across multiple channels, including email, social media, and paid advertising.
Monitor & Measure: Track your results to determine which strategies are working and which need improvement.
Engage with Your Audience: Respond to comments and engage in conversations with your followers.
Analyze & Refine: Regularly review your performance and adjust your strategy to maximize results.