Inbound marketing is an online marketing strategy that attracts customers to your products or services using relevant, value-added content and interactions. In inbound marketing, customers engage with businesses who address an existing problem, need, or desire.
Instead of drawing on the “push” techniques of outbound marketing (like TV, print and radio advertising, public relations, direct mail, and telemarketing), inbound marketing attracts new customers and engages those who already have a relationship with you by offering them helpful content that entices them to know you better–and to become your loyal customers over time.
Some of the most common inbound marketing techniques include:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)—modifying areas of your website and web presence so that search engines can find and deliver targeted visitors to your website. By using targeted and deliberately selected keywords, you can ensure that your content is seen by potential customers.
- Pay-per-click (PPC)—also based on keywords which match a search query, PPC differs from SEO in that businesses pay to use keywords to ensure their content will land on a results page in the same way as if they were using SEO, enabling customers to make their own choice about which content to choose.
- Social media—using social media content such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others makes it easy for customers to interact with you on a personal level by liking, following, and responding to information and content you share with them.
- Content marketing–creating and sharing useful content (blog posts, videos, articles, podcasts, webinars) with your target audience. Your customers engage with the content on their own because it helps them solve a problem or find out more about a subject they are already interested in.
To make sure that your inbound marketing strategy truly optimises your leads, make sure your marketing campaign is based on the five pillars of inbound marketing:
1. Building strong customer relationships
If you want to have strong customer relationships, you need your customer to like you—and to choose you over your competitors! Make sure you add quantifiable value to that relationship across all levels—amazing content, discounts, promotions, a personal touch, and incentives—to entice them to select what you have to offer.
2. Solving your customer´s problems
Get to know your customer, solve the problems they have, and anticipate those that they might encounter. What are your leads looking for, and how can you help them find a solution? Identify the conversations your leads are having and look for spaces in which you can join these conversations.
3. Talking to influencers
Get your company seen by the digital influencers that will support you. Target key influencers in your field and give them an incentive (promotions, deals, etc.) for choosing you or becoming your advocate on their social media feeds and websites.
4. Using email marketing
Nowadays, emails can be seen easily and instantly on mobile phones, wherever your customers are. Take advantage of the resurgence of email marketing to send attractive, exciting content to your potential leads, giving them a reason to read everything you send and to become loyal customers.
5. Accessing advanced campaign analytics
Analytics is invaluable in knowing your customers. Assess your data needs and implement advanced campaign analytics so you can follow, understand, and act upon your potential customer´s behaviour throughout their buying journey with you and remove any barriers that can bog down lead conversion rates.
An inbound marketing campaign is key to any business´s success—but so is combining this with outbound activities like lead nurturing and lead scoring.
And for these, you need advanced analytics.
The right marketing automation platform can help you gather the data you need to plan, optimise, and analyse your inbound marketing campaigns, replacing repetitive processes with automated solutions—including sending emails, creating workflows, and scheduling social media posts. Marketing automation gives marketers the tools to measure and quantify each relationship they make and to nurture leads throughout their buying journey.
In a nutshell: inbound marketing is all about valuable content—understanding what is valuable to your customers and delivering it when it is valuable to them. Therefore, marketing automation is a critical asset in making sure that you are putting out the right content, for the right people, at the right time.