The Difference Between Marketing Automation and Inbound Marketing
Marketing Automation vs Inbound Marketing: Inbound marketing is a methodology which uses content to attract prospects to the company’s website and convert these prospects into leads and ultimately customers.
It is a combination of three things: content marketing, search engine optimization, and social media marketing.
Inbound marketing is a process where the marketer creates relevant and helpful content that will be used to attract the right prospects to your website.
These content include social media posts and blogs. You then guide these prospects through the sales funnel and gather their contact information thus converting them into leads.
The contact information you gather enables these leads to gain access to more in-depth content such as eBooks or tip sheets.
Converting these leads into customers will require a customer relationship management (CRM) system.
This system will nurture these leads and provide them with information about how your company’s services and products work to solve a problem.
The final stage of inbound marketing is engaging your customers and delighting them enough that they become ambassadors of your brand.
Advantages of Inbound Marketing
It is not by chance that inbound marketing is the preferred mode of marketing by many businesses with an online presence- there are many proven advantages to using this process. Here are some:
• It is quite cost effective
It is relatively affordable to set up a website and when you wish to add a blog post to a website that is already in existence is actually free.
• Customers who respond to your inbound marketing campaign are actually very close to being qualified leads since they are looking for products similar to the ones you are offering.
• Inbound marketing helps to foster a strong and growing relationship with your customers due to the continuous sharing of information in conjunction with the two-way nature of social media communication.
• Inbound marketing enables companies to produce authoritative content that will help in building credibility in the marketplace and provide prospects with the impression that the company is knowledgeable due to its content-driven nature.
• With inbound marketing, you are able to generate quality traffic and leads to your website.
When you send targeted content to the right audience you are able to attract people who are ready to become leads and even convert into customers.
• Inbound marketing also helps to educate prospects in the digital world that they already live in.
Most of the people today do their research online and thus when you are able to provide them with relevant information in the digital world they are already immersed in can be quite advantageous to them and you as a marketer too.
Disadvantages of Inbound Marketing
• It requires a lot of time investment to produce content that has sufficient quality to be useful in an inbound marketing campaign.
• You will need to have a very strong and diverse skill set in order to come up with an effective inbound marketing campaign.
If you are a small business that is still trying to get its footing in the inbound marketing field then it will give you a bit of a problem especially if you are relying on the skill set of one person.
• It can be a little difficult for you to track your business’s return on investment if you do not implement web analytics to determine the effectiveness of your inbound marketing campaign.
This refers to software that helps you as a marketer to prioritize your marketing tasks in a more efficient and streamlined manner.
Many marketers wrongly believe that if they use marketing automation software then they will become obsolete. This software will only help to improve your effectiveness as a marketer.
This software enables you to nurture relationships with prospects and help them while you are preoccupied with other things.
One way that marketers can utilize marketing automation is in email marketing campaigns. It allows marketers to target specific individuals with personalized messages that they can actually relate to.
It gives marketers the ability to target people with content based on their behavior. When you give people the information they need at just the right time, then you are helping them to choose your brand as a solution and thus result in increased conversion rates and revenue.
An effective marketing automation will not only collect data from various channels available to the marketer but it also uses these channels to send out marketing messages as well.
You need to understand that the marketing automation software you have will not do the marketing job for you but it will help you to scale your successful efforts. If you want to learn more about which marketing automation software is right for your business, you can check out Flodesk's list of sendinblue alternative platforms.
What are The Keys to Successful Marketing Automation?
1. Recognizing that marketing automation will not do your marketing job for you but will only help to scale your successful efforts.
You need to first build a pipeline of the leads that are a good fit for your business by generating relevant and optimized content that deals with your prospect’s challenges and needs.
2. Center your marketing message around the person on the receiving end of your marketing campaign. Ensure that you treat your prospects as real people.
When you utilize all the channels, marketing tools and behavioral data which is enough to paint a possible picture of the person we can be able to nurture them based on their unique challenges and interests.
Differences Between Inbound marketing and Marketing Automation
• Inbound marketing is all about attracting people to your business and filling the top of your marketing funnel with leads by producing a lot of attractive content in the form of videos, blogs podcasts etc.
while marketing automation deals with nurturing these leads and efficiently guiding them through the marketing funnel and converting them into sales. The essence of marketing automation is more outbound.
• Inbound marketing is centered on the prospect while marketing automation is centered on the marketing funnel process.
• Marketing automation is a bit more technical and analytical as compared to inbound marketing.
• Marketing automation comes into play much later in the marketing funnel while inbound marketing is mainly relevant at the beginning of the marketing funnel.
Should Organizations Use Both Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation?
Most companies are utilizing both strategies and it is giving them amazing results. It is important to understand that not all marketing situations will warrant the use of both inbound marketing and marketing automation and you will only need to concentrate on one strategy.
Inbound marketing may not really apply to a business which receives a seemingly endless stream of referral business. On the other front marketing automation may not be necessary if your business has a very short sales cycle.
As a marketer, your main goal should be to generate quality leads for the sales team to convert into customers.
When you utilize a marketing automation platform to streamline the leads that you get from your inbound marketing process you can get helpful insights into what those leads and visitors are doing.
You will be able to know which content is being downloaded the most, which customers are opening emails and what website pages are being visited the most.
I hope that the information provided in this article was not overwhelming and it was actually helpful to you. I hope it provided you with what you were looking for. Thank you for reading.