What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a proven strategy that utilizes many forms of ‘pull marketing’ such as content marketing, blogs, events, SEO, social media and more to create brand awareness, attract new business, nurture leads, convert those leads to customers, and continue to delight those customers to build them into your champions, promoting and growing your business. In contrast to outbound marketing, where marketers attempt to find customers, assets are generally spent on difficult to analyze “blast” marketing strategies such as television ads, billboards, cold calling or other interruptive forms of advertisement. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes your company easily found, and builds tons of leverage within your audience. Inbound marketing offers numerous benefits. When utilized effectively, can:
- Shape a brand preference and influence future purchases.
- Generate social media shares and inbound links.
- Put customers in the driver’s seat.
- Help fuel search engine optimization efforts.
- Increase brand awareness.
- Enable customers to engage with your brand at their point of need, 24/7.
- Generate qualified leads for less money (when compared with traditional marketing).
Unlike traditional marketing initiatives, inbound efforts build upon themselves over time. For example, high quality blog posts offer many immediate and long-term benefits. Unique content brings attention to your company when launched and will continue to be a resource for your clients and readers as long as it stays on your site and on the internet. As the content gains more exposure, it can then become an ongoing source of inbound traffic via a variety of channels like search engine optimization (SEO), through social shares, email marketing, and word of mouth.
The key to any inbound marketing plan is to create a content strategy tailored around many important factors, including your target audience personas, the stage of the buying cycle they’re in, and based on data found in trend research and data analysis efforts. By initiating a unique, in-depth content strategy, you are providing valuable content geared directly towards your target audience. As a result, your website develops better user engagement, connections, and prospective leads. An inbound strategy also involves optimizing the user experience for these new site visitors. An effective inbound system should help lead visitors through a purchasing cycle, offer customer service functionality to answer any questions or objections, and ultimately provide a comfortable experience navigating from page to page on desktop and mobile devices. These aspects of a custom inbound marketing campaign can result in a shorter sales cycle, more qualified leads, and an easier sell for your sales team.
All web traffic is not the same. Our inbound marketing strategies focus on generating the right attention and traffic to your website through relevant and targeted content, search engine optimization, advertisement, or any strategy which is cost effective and would prove to be effective By leveraging blogging ( or any content creation), content distribution, social media promotion, and persona-driven keywords, we help you attract the type of traffic that turns into leads.
Your company’s success relies on understanding who your ideal customer is and what challenges they face. With clearly defined buyer personas and key messages, we can effectively use marketing and sales techniques to move them through the funnel. We’re not just helping you close more customers, we’re helping you create loyal and passionate customers who will continue to buy from you, help you grow, and become your champions.
In order to close on the customers that will grow your business, it’s essential that your marketing and sales teams are aligned. Marketing focuses on building email nurturing workflows that further qualify those prospects so that sales can more effectively move them through the funnel and create an inbound buying experience that delivers happy customers. Using an inbound strategy gives you tons of leverage to close a higher percentage of the customers you want.
By developing a strong and lasting relationship with your customers, they become your most loyal, fans and biggest promoters. Inbound marketing closes the circle, by using engagement strategies designed to position your business as a resource for your customers, you can get them excited about your offerings and keep them coming back for more. Not to mention tell their friends about you!
Why we use the Inbound Strategy
The power of Inbound Marketing has to stem from the amount of leverage built, data delivered, full circle marketing to sales tracking, and delight delivered to your customers. The Inbound Marketing method is proven to deliver far higher Return on Investments than traditional marketing methods – Beyond that Inbound can be used to integrate with your traditional marketing to nurture and increase conversion rates across all facets.
We live in a word of information abundance and attention scarcity, the pace of information creation is accelerating. According to IBM, we now create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.
Buyers today are more empowered. The web provides them with instant information gratification. They can access detailed specs, pricing, and reviews about goods and services 24/7 with a few flicks of their thumbs. Meanwhile, social media encourages them to share and compare, while mobile devices add a wherever and whenever dimension to every aspect of the experience building the micro-moments which could be captured by businesses.
Inbound Marketing is so powerful because you have the power to give the searcher/consumer exactly what answers they are looking for at the precise point that they need it. That builds trust, reputation, and authority in whatever niche you are practicing this form of marketing in.
Because of this, traditional marketing tactics based on “renting” attention that others have built — and interrupting the buyer in the process — are becoming less and less effective.
How we use the Inbound Strategy
Using the Inbound method, Hone can tailor its service to fit your needs. Although we primarily use digital marketing techniques, we always consider the best options when it comes to cost vs benefit, your market, competition, as well as modern effective techniques. We pride ourselves on being early when it comes to utilizing new and relevant techniques to push your business quickly in innovative ways to attack your market.
What we do to Accomplish the Inbound Method
There is no single inbound marketing tactic that works well on its own. Here’s what Bill Faeth shared with us about healthy inbound marketing ecosystems:
It is very difficult to segment inbound marketing into separate categories, with each section holding independent power. While we rely on SEO to draw in visitors from organic search, that SEO doesn’t work if there’s no content. Without social media, blogs don’t reach new, interested people. And SEO, content, and social media are all completely useless without a lead generation process in place.
Most successful inbound marketing campaigns incorporate all or parts of the following elements:
Search engine optimization is an integral part of effective inbound marketing. Using effective keyword analysis, well-structured site design and other SEO “best practices” to launch your company to the top of search results will ensure that your content is being seen by the right audience and bring in the right leads.
By far the most common form of inbound marketing, blogging can play a powerful role in driving traffic and nurturing leads.
With 67% of online adults using social media to share information, you can’t afford to neglect widely popular online communities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Live Events and Webinars
Take inbound marketing to the next level with online webinars and live events.
And there’s much more: Videos, white papers, e-books, e-newsletters, public speaking or any opportunity to share valuable content is an opportunity to practice inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing – Getting Started
When it comes to inbound marketing, the more you invest, the greater your return. Creating awesome content is more about brains and commitment rather than budget. Don’t throw money at it – put your head and heart into it!
Here’s how to get started:
- Identify your target audience and learn all you can about them. You can’t write content to inform your customers until you know what makes your audience tick.
- Determine your unique, compelling story. Why should your audience listen to you?
- Choose your delivery platforms. Will you blog? Tweet? Use Facebook? Pinterest?
- Create and execute your content calendar.
It is important to create a schedule that will consistently turn out fresh and relevant content to continue to engage your audience. Keep in mind that your theme should be focused on customer issues, not on your business, this ensures you begin to provide value to your consumers.
Rather than focusing on ‘enough’ content, marketers should be focused on publishing quality content. Content that educates their audience and builds brand and authority. The right content will be shared, increasing your reach, increasing awareness, increasing trust and increasing leads. The wrong content will lose followers, damage your reputation, and spend time as well as other resources on ineffective marketing.
Don’t forget to set aside time for analysis on a weekly basis minimum. This step will aid you in understanding how effective your inbound marketing efforts have been and how they can be improved.
Getting Started with Marketing Automation
Inbound marketing should not be relied on as the sole means of generating business. To achieve a more balanced approach, combine inbound efforts with outbound activities.
Marketing automation empowers inbound marketers with tools and strategies to convert fans and followers to leads and then customers. Automation accomplishes this by cultivating relationships with leads which are not yet ready to buy (most often via targeted email campaigns). Automation also enhances your inbound efforts by helping you separate legitimate leads from the not-so-legitimate ones. Furthermore, connecting marketing automation to your customer relationship management (CRM) system makes certain none of your leads get lost in the shuffle.
Leveraging marketing automation with your inbound marketing campaign is like throwing fuel on your marketing fire.
Quantifiable Success Metrics
When measuring the success of your inbound marketing efforts, there are a plethora of metrics to choose from. Whether you decide to look at SEO rankings, inbound links or number of articles published, you’re sure to derive some insight into how your campaigns are performing.
However, don’t get caught up in basing your decisions on marketing activities alone. For instance, having 5,000 followers on Twitter might sound impressive, but this number doesn’t offer too much insight in terms of real business results. Instead, you should be looking to financial metrics that show how marketing helps your company generate more profits and faster growth when stacked against your competitors.
One of these valuable metrics is organic traffic, which involves people finding your website by means other than typing in your URL or searching for your brand name. So, say you are a staffing company and a prospect types “local staffing solutions” into a Google search. If your company name pops up high in the results, then you’ve benefited from a successful organic search. Tracking how much of this traffic converts into leads will give you an idea of how you might need to adjust your marketing strategies. Taking it a step further, you should be tracking the trends (not just the hard numbers) so you can see how quickly your online presence is improving. Some marketing automation solutions have this type of useful functionality built right in.
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