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What is Inbound Marketing?

How Inbound Marketing Can Help Your Company:

What is Inbound Marketing?

There are four phases to inbound marketing. They are:

  1. Attract

    1. You want people to come to your website who will become your customers

    2. You can attract them by creating blog posts, have a content strategy for what you create and post, and then have active social media accounts

  2. Convert

    1. After you’ve attracted someone, you want to convert them into a lead

    2. You can do this through forms, meetings, messages, and CRM

  3. Close

    1. Once someone has become a lead, you now want to make them your customer

    2. You can do this with pipeline management, lead nurturing, email, and lead scoring

  4. Delight

    1. After a customer has experienced your product or service, you want to engage and delight them

    2. Smart content and conversations are two ways to delight your customers and keep them happy

These four phases allow strangers to become customers, visitors to your website, and promoters. This also allows for customers and promoters to attract others to you through word of mouth.

What Makes Inbound Different?

While traditional marketing focuses on cold calling, cold emails, ads, and are marketer-centric, inbound marketing utilizes SEO, blogging, attraction, and focuses on the customer. Instead of creating content that’s geared towards the company, inbound marketing creates content that helps the customer and makes them the center of the campaign.

Inbound marketing is effective because it’s much more economically efficient compared to traditional marketing, and it allows companies to create an experience that people want instead of spamming them. By using inbound marketing, you’re getting people to come to you instead of reaching out for them.

Remember, inbound marketing is about the content that you create. By creating blogs that are interesting to the customer, they more likely they are to use your product or service. You can bring strangers into your website with different forms of content such as: videos, podcasts, eBooks, etc.

Why Do You Need Inbound Marketing?

There are numerous benefits to inbound marketing. Some of these are:

  • Shape a company

  • Influence future purchases

  • Generate social media shares

  • Provide leads

  • Increase customer awareness of a brand or company

  • Encourage customers to communicate with you on a more personal level

Compared to traditional marketing, inbound marketing is built over time. For example, your company might create a blog post in a few hours, but then over weeks and months, that same post might get more traffic and more and more people will share it. Eventually, it creates better SEO and brings more people to your website and creates more customers. Remember to be patient with inbound marketing, it’ll pay off in the long run.

Types of Inbound Marketing

  • SEO

    • Search Engine Optimization uses keywords from your posts or website to connect customers to you. You want to make sure when you’re creating content, you’re keeping SEO in mind. You want to use words that will make your website pop up when a potential customer is looking online.

  • Blogs

    • Blogs are very effective in connecting with customers. They provide a conversational tone and allow a company to make the customer feel valued. With blogs, make sure the content you’re writing about helps the customer, and doesn’t strictly talk about how great your company is.

  • Social Media

    • Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms can be very effective when used correctly. Create a social media calendar in order to plan out what you want to post and when. This will help you stay on track and create social media posts that align with your campaign.

  • eBooks

    • These are informative materials that can also help you keep your customers or appeal to potential leads. They should be informative and help the customer out in some way.

Using these different types of inbound marketing will make your campaign much more successful. If you can incorporate multiple types of inbound marketing in your campaign, you’ll have a higher rate of success. For instance, if you can create a blog post with specific words for SEO, and then share that post through social media, you’ll get more attention and have a better campaign.

Start Your Inbound Marketing Campaign

So you’ve decided you want to start an inbound marketing campaign. How do you begin?

First, understand that the more you invest into your campaign, the greater the results will be. Make sure you have the time and the ambition to create a great campaign.

Here’s how to start:

  1. Identify who your target audience is and begin researching them. You want to learn all you can about them in order to create content that pertains to them. You don’t want to go in blind or else you won’t get the full benefits of inbound marketing.

  2. Create a compelling story for your customers. You want to be able to explain why they should choose your product or service above all others on the market.

  3. Decide what platforms you’ll utilize to deliver content. Is this going to be a social media campaign? Is it going to be blog posts? Decide now so you can effectively create content.

  4. Create a content calendar and stick to it. You might have to play around a little bit to figure out how often you should post, what time, and on what platform. There isn’t a magic date and time, you’ll just have to figure it out from your customers.

Keep in mind that with an inbound marketing campaign, all the content should be customer focused, not business focused. Don’t create content that only talks about your company and what you can do for your customer. That won’t be effective in getting their attention or convincing them to use your product or service. Create content that feels personal and makes them feel valued.

Lastly, remember to have a weekly review session. You’ll want to recap your efforts at the end of every week to make sure your campaign is effective. If you need to adjust anything, this debriefing session will be the time to do it.

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