How can inbound marketing help your business grow?
And why should you invest in inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is the solution where you adapt your business to today's customers and their buying patterns. Make sure your customers find your website and help them through their buying process by transforming your website from a business card into a lead generation machine.
As soon as you share valuable information in to your visitors and potential customers, will be perceived as the expert and people are more likely to do business with you.
Does this sound interesting? Contact us for a free and no obligation advice session.
You can find more information below.
What else can you find on this page:
- What is Inbound Marketing?
- How to explain inbound marketing easily?
- What is the difference between outbound and inbound marketing?
- Inbound methodology
- Importance of a corporate blog
- Can inbound marketing solve the modern marketer's challenges?
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a digital marketing strategy that involves attracting visitors to your website, converting this traffic to leads, leads to customers and customers to ambassadors.
Through content, the customer is guided throughout the purchase journey. By using inbound marketing, potential customers will find your business through channels such as blogs, search engines and social media.
That is the definition itself, but how does this work in practice? And how does this type of marketing methodology differ from the methods you use today?
How to explain inbound marketing easily?
What many people are struggling with is to explain the concept "Inbound marketing" in a simple and understandable way. Even those who work with it struggle to find a short, simple and straightforward explanation.
But here's the simplest explanation we have:
Inbound marketing is a type of digital marketing that attracts visitors to your website through educational articles, search engine optimisation and social media.
Then inbound marketing converts these visitors into leads using forms where they can download guides, e-books, or similar, then it will nurture the leads by providing relevant information using marketing automation (automatic emails).
When a lead is ‘warmed up’, it is handed over to the sales department (sales). Based on what the lead has downloaded, information provided in the forms and which pages of the website they have visited, the sales department will know exactly what challenges the lead has and how to help the lead solve this.
It doesn't stop there. After a lead has become a customer, inbound marketing will continue to excite and add further value, making the customer a happy and loyal promoter for your business.
Inbound Marketing: "A variation of content marketing, where you get the customer to come to you, rather than you chasing the customer."
The rest of this page will give you an easy understanding of inbound marketing, but if you want to go in depth, we recommend downloading our inbound marketing guide. It consists of 30 pages and gives you a good and thorough introduction to inbound marking.
Let's take it all the way back to the start
Inbound marketing therefore means:
- Blogging on a corporate blog (SEO)
- Social Media
- CTA’s (Calls-to-Action)
- Landing pages with forms to collect information
- Downloadable content behind forms (walled/premium content)
- Marketing Automation (Automated Emails)
What is the difference between outbound and inbound marketing?
Outbound marketing is a concept that embraces the more traditional methods of marketing, and involves some of the marketing activities you may already be doing.
This is the way businesses have communicated with potential customers earlier. For example, standing at fairs, sending out emails to purchased lists, posters or TV commercials.
Such methods allow companies to communicate with large masses simultaneously. This has proved to not be an effective way of marketing. It also does not allow you to measure the success and find out what works or not.
We do not say that you should stop exhibiting at trade shows, but you should take a good look at your company and the products. Perhaps one type of marketing is best for one part of the business, and maybe you reach one audience at trade shows and another online?
Outbound marketing does not allow those at the other end of the communication flow to decide what they want to hear (or is useful information for them).
Traditional marketing simply does not treat customers as individuals. This has led many to associate marketing with spam (unnecessary advertising) - something that invades the attention of an otherwise busy day.
To stop this development, another type of marketing is needed: Inbound Marketing.
Inbound Marketing is simply the straight opposite of outbound. Here you start by identifying which people you want to reach, what they do, what they are concerned with, how they behave online and what questions they want to find the answers to.
Then you produce content that answers these questions and meets potential customers where they are in the buying process.
Solve your customers' challenges - before you sell anything
Inbound marketing is a type of digital marketing that helps you reach your customers much earlier in their buying process than you do today.
The truth is that the vast majority of web site content for businesses today is about how amazing the products are and why the business is the best in the industry.
And of course this is all well and good, but this is not what customers are seeking in the first stages of the buying process. They want to know how they can solve their problems and challenges, and they have not got to the stage where they know which solution to choose, nor have they reached the stage where they are considering products and suppliers against each other.
Inbound marketing is therefore about creating content that helps your potential customers from step one in the buying process, and guides them through the next steps till they are ready to purchase.
Inbound marketing is a methodology that focuses on attracting visitors through relevant content that helps potential customers and don’t interrupt them. Then they are converted to leads, customers and ambassadors.
Unlike outbound marketing, you need to fight for your potential customers' attention with inbound marketing.
By creating content specially tailored to your ideal customers' challenges and needs, inbound marketing will attract qualified prospects and build credibility for your business.
The importance of a corporate blog
Today, potential customers complete an average of 60% of the purchase journey before they reach out to you, it is your job to be present where they are when they start their buying process. This is something very few businesses are.
As mentioned earlier, most people are more concerned with writing about their products and business than actually responding to what the personas are wondering about early in their purchase journey.
Therefore, you must have a corporate 'blog'. You need to write about the right topics your customers are thinking of when they are starting the buying process. This is the first stage in their purchase journey when they are trying to find the right solution and considering different solutions against each other.
There are three different steps in the purchase journey that you need to deliver good and valuable content for:
Using market automation, you guide your leads from one stage to the next, through the funnel. To do this, offer downloadable e-books, checklists, cheat-sheets and other valuable info that will help your prospects to become more informed.
Then you can begin to analyse what the person does on your website. That way, you know what the person is interested in and when the person has become a warm enough lead and can be passed on to the sales department.
What happens when the seller are going to contact the lead? The seller can see exactly which pages of the website the person has visited, which social media posts leads have clicked on and which e-books have been downloaded.
In this way, it is easier for the marketing and sales department to suitably process the lead. The sales person never need to call anyone who has not shown interest in the products, and you always know what you need to offer to help the prospect.
So now we can start blogging?
... not quite. Before you embark on inbound marketing you need to go through a preliminary project.
This is to create a strategy tailored to your target audience, or personas, as we call it in the inbound world. In summary, you should go through this process:
And then you're ready!
"Inbound marketing" – Is it just a fancy word?
This question emerges from time to time. Is Inbound Marketing just a silly word for Digital Marketing or Content Marketing?
No, it is not. It contains elements from both of these worlds, and much more. The big difference is that all this is put into system.
HubSpot defines digital marketing as "an umbrella term for all corporate online marketing activities". That is, inbound marketing is a type of digital marketing.
And content marketing is often explained as a type of marketing where content that is of interest to potential customers is created and shared.
It is not necessarily just online, but also print. This means that inbound marketing utilises parts of content marketing, but that it also includes other elements, such as CTAs, to guide the leads in the sales funnel and nurturing the leads through market automation.
Can inbound marketing solve the modern marketer's challenges?
You are not alone in having to defend your market budget. And to do this, you should be able to answer your directors on questions such as:
"How much did we earn on our marketing this year?" and "which marketing efforts give the most in ROI?"
The truth is that very few feel comfortable answering such questions.
What we love most about inbound is that it gives the marketing manager a basis for answering these questions. You want to know exactly what measures that bring profit, and after working with inbound for a while you get data on which target groups are the most profitable.
It will give you answers to whether you earn the most from leads from Facebook or LinkedIn, or if there are certain topics you can write about that brings in more profitable customers than others.
With this knowledge, you can more easily make informed choices about where to place your resources so you can sit back and say to the management:
"We used $$$’s on marketing and I can prove that we earned $$$'s on sales from inbound marketing, which gives us a ROI of $$$'s."
Everything has evolved - including marketing
Consumers and technology have evolved. The numbers speak for themselves. According to Forbes, 81% of consumers have looked for information online before making a purchase.
So it is important to stop treating customers as if they do not know what they want. You should no longer need to go around and shout the most and loudest about your products or services.
With inbound marketing, you don't have to go out and find customers this way, they will find you!
Did you know that 57% of the purchase journey is already completed before a prospect gets in touch with a potential supplier?
By being there when they start you will get their attention early and they are more likely to become a customer!
Briefly summarised: What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is about providing useful information. The methodology consists of four steps: Attract; Convert; Sell; and Delight.
Each of the steps provides potential customers with different information, based on where the customer is in what we call the "purchase Journey". Is the person ready to buy or are they just looking for the fun of it? Is this the type of customer you want to have? Each step in the inbound process answers these questions and helps you establish a relationship with the customer, even after the sale is completed.
This is the whole basis that makes inbound provide documented and good results. Inbound allows you to deploy many of the techniques you may have already implemented such as SEO, content marketing and social media.
Attract more customers, treat them as people, and excite those with wonderful content that is actually relevant and useful to the right people. That's what is inbound.