What is Inbound Marketing? Definition and Strategies
Inbound marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to attract new customers, and it revolves around them offering the most value possible. In order to successfully implement an effective inbound marketing strategy, however, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of inbound marketing and how it can best serve your business.
In this article, we will talk about how to run a successful inbound marketing campaign and everything that goes into it. If you want to learn more about content marketing and online whiteboards, you can check those out as well.
Inbound Marketing Definition
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing ideology that focuses on attracting customers through the creation of valuable content and experiences. The value provided to customers is a key tool in creating brand loyalty, driving engagement, and hopefully converting sales.
Inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing, which focuses on external outreach to potential customers in order to create awareness and seek out needs. The essential difference between inbound and outbound marketing is that in one you seek out customers, and in the other you have customers come to you.
Inbound marketing focuses on all kinds of lead generation methods that seek to maximize the visibility of your website/product. The ultimate goal is to use SEO (search engine optimization), blogs, and content marketing to drive traffic to your site in order to create brand loyalty and engage new customers.
How Landing Pages engage Inbound Marketing
Creating an effective landing page is one of the most important parts of a good inbound marketing strategy, and optimizing this experience is crucial to retaining the users that visit your site.
Optimizing a landing page for inbound marketing can take many different forms, and it’s important that these reflect the goals of the marketing strategy as a whole. This means that regardless of how your landing page looks, it must emphasize valuable content.
This content can come in many forms, whether it’s general advice, useful blog posts, or an email list to receive regular updates, the user must be immediately informed of your ability to offer them useful content.
One way landing pages can be an effective tool for inbound marketing is by utilizing a post-click landing page. Using a post-click landing page can be a good way to use your landing page to target conversions and save money compared to outbound marketing outreach.
A post-click landing page is a page that is separate from your website's navigation that attempts to convince users to subscribe, sign up, or perform another related action. By using a post-click landing page you are able to market your product/service directly to the users that approach your site.
Traditionally this might seem like a turn-off for a landing page because it is an instant sale. The fear is this might turn away users who aren’t interested in performing the action you prompt them to perform.
The difference with post-click pages is that when paired with an effective inbound marketing strategy, the people reaching the website will be inherently interested in taking these actions, hence their presence on your website. This means that you are guaranteed to reach more interested users and drive engagement with them from the first click.
Regardless of if using a post-click landing page strategy is useful to your current business, creating a landing page that emphasizes and redirects users to valuable content is a great way to help manifest brand loyalty and create new customers.
Inbound Marketing Strategies
Inbound marketing has a ton of different elements, and it can be overwhelming to understand where to start. Here are some effective strategies to begin implementing your marketing strategy.
Do User Research
By doing surveys, interviews, virtual workshops, and outreach, you can take advantage of your customer’s knowledge base in order to better understand them. Having a solid grip on their problems and experiences means you can cater a solution directly to their needs.
Conducting interviews is a more in-depth method of reaching customers and learning about their struggles. If you are able to connect with them and learn more about the difficulties they experience, you can use this data to create relevant and helpful content to help meet their needs.
While understanding your customer base is never a bad thing to invest in, in terms of inbound marketing, its end goal is to create content and provide meaningful solutions. This means that customer research should always relate to some form of content or problem solving for the user. This could look like many things, including UX testing to improve their experience, or writing articles creating solutions for the most common problems users experience. Whichever way you turn user research into valuable content creation, understanding your customer base is a great place to start when implementing an inbound marketing strategy.
Provide Visual Interactions
People are visual learners, whether they admit it or not, and giving people a visual solution or stepwise plan to increase their efficiency makes it far easier to attract new customers and retain loyal ones.
Embedding visual elements to not only your landing page but to the content you create is a great way to keep users engaged and demonstrate your brand value in a unique way.
Using visual elements in blog posts and user outreach is becoming a well-known best practice and is a great way to bring value to the customers. While it might not be helpful for SEO strategies or page optimization, visual elements like charts and graphics are one of the best ways to create easily digestible content for users that are seeking information.
Because visual aids create such a great understanding for users, they should definitely be integrated into all the content created by your business. This makes them a great tool to use in inbound marketing strategies.
Create Quality Content
It may sound repetitive, but the best way to retain customers and attract new ones is to simply make great content. This is one of the biggest principles in content marketing and is shared by inbound marketing.
Creating quality content starts with understanding the needs of the customer, something we detailed briefly earlier. If you are able to understand their needs and align new content that helps answer any problems they might be having, you will be sure to create brand loyalty and bring people back for more.
Creating content that goes above and beyond fulfilling the needs of the customer is the best way to create loyalty to your brand and retain passing users. Doing this is sure to increase your inbound marketing flow.
Provide Knowledge Upfront
Instead of keeping what you know behind login walls and spread out over many articles, make the knowledge as accessible as possible. This isn’t to say you should freely give out all the important tips and information you know, but it’s important to make sure the customer understands that their success is your priority, and providing useful, rich information upfront is a great way to demonstrate your prioritization of their needs.
This information could come as cornerstone content or be directly available on the landing page, but however it is implemented, it’s important that it goes into the hands of the users.
Utilize guest blogging and expand to other engaged blogs
Being featured on other blogs and websites is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site, and by doing so, reach new and engaging customers. Building a backlink strategy is the lifeblood of creating good SEO, and by doing so you will begin to rank higher and see more organic traffic to your site.
Guest blogging and being active on other engaged blogs is a tremendous way to drive traffic to your site, and once people begin showing up more frequently, they will benefit from your content generation and solidify an inbound marketing flow.
Inbound Marketing Advantages
If you aren’t sold on the benefits of an inbound marketing strategy, here are some of the biggest advantages to using it.
Arguably the best upside to using an inbound marketing methodology is the fact that the audience comes to you. This is beneficial for two reasons.
1) The cat and mouse game of externally finding customers and converting their sales can be really draining and non-beneficial for some businesses, especially those selling online services. Having an inbound flow of potential customers helps alleviate the need for special sales tactics and creates a steady stream of interested users.
2) The customers you reach are guaranteed to be interested and will engage with your material. The principal benefit of inbound marketing is that the customers come to you, which essentially guarantees they will be interested in your services and will want to engage with your product.
This makes finding new customers incredibly easy because you don’t have to wade through people who are uninterested in what you’re selling and can focus strictly on those that, due to the helpful nature of your content, want to actively engage with a potential product.
Create Brand Loyalty
Outbound marketing can sometimes dissuade users from the product or brand that is being advertised, and due to this, can create negative connotations. Inbound marketing, however, centers around the positive impact that your brand/product can create for the user in mind.
By prioritizing the user’s needs and problems, you establish your brand as a helpful, trustworthy source, which creates brand loyalty for those that gain value from your content.
When attracting new users and especially when retaining current customers, brand loyalty reigns supreme, and inbound marketing is a great strategy to establish this loyalty.
The beauty of inbound marketing is that it creates a perfect blend of paid and organic interactions. As your inbound flow increases and gains traction, you will progressively see more traffic and interactions with your content.
By creating more organic engagements you establish multiple user flows which helps diversify the interactions that are seen on your site. By creating a diversity of users, both new and returning, you maximize the ability to allow customers to engage with your brand and the valuable content you provide.
Inbound Marketing is a strategy that helps many businesses cut down costs while also increasing their ability to provide meaningful, valuable content to potential users. If you liked this post make sure to check out Fresco.