Inbound Marketing: What Is It and Why You Should Use It

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If you’re reading this you’re probably thinking about implementing inbound marketing methods in your business. In this post I’ll show you what inbound marketing is, what the four stages of inbound process are, and what makes up a good inbound strategy.Inbound marketing is the process of attracting visitors before they are ready to buy by creating helpful content and slowly building trust and credibility, eventually turning them into customers. It’s is one the best ways to attract the right kind of customers, by creating and delivering content that addresses their needs. Inbound is a strategy of using pull marketing techniques such as content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, blogs and so on, to attract new customers. In contrast to push techniques (paid advertising, TV commercials etc.) - also known as outbound marketing - which are designed to interrupt people to get their attention, pull marketing earns the attention of customers slowly, by delivering value on each step in their customer journey (buying process). Inbound marketing is the result of too much aggressive advertising. According to Hubspot, 91% of people say ads are more intrusive today than two years ago. Most people ignore TV and radio commercials and use ad-blockers to stop online ads. Smart marketers have figured out that customers are getting fed up with traditional advertisement – and rightly so. Buyers today are empowered. They have almost unlimited information at their fingertips – online reviews, forums, blogs, Facebook groups – and they use it to judge if a company is trustworthy. This means that traditional marketing techniques (outbound marketing), based on paying to get customers’ attention are losing their effectiveness.inbound vs outbound

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This is where inbound marketing comes in. In modern business and marketing world, you need inbound marketing to thrive.  Well-executed inbound strategy can benefit a business in many ways. It can:
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Influence future purchases
  • Establish authority and trust
  • Help with search engine optimization
  • Enable customers to engage with your brand
  • Generate high quality leads
Now let’s take a look at how inbound marketing works.

The inbound marketing process

According to HubSpot, which coined the term “inbound marketing” back in 2016, the process of converting visitors to customers using inbound methods looks like this:

inbound methodology

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Let’s take a closer look at each of the four stages.

  Attract visitors by creating valuable content. Strengthen your digital presence by creating and distributing valuable content. Focus on blogging and social media.  


Convert website visitors into leads. Ask your customers for personal information (usually name and email address), but give them premium content in return. This includes eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, webinars, infographics.


Once you’ve converted visitors into leads, it’s time to strengthen your relationship with them and convert them into customers. Use a variety of lead nurturing tools like email marketing to do this.


Once someone becomes a customer, don’t forget about them. Instead, publish content that will help them to better use your product and answer any questions they may have.

Elements of a good inbound strategy

There are three key elements of every successful inbound marketing strategy:
  • Content marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social media marketing
Content marketing is the cornerstone of every inbound strategy. Valuable content is what drives traffic to your website and what hooks visitors in. The best way to generate content is to start a blog. A blog allows you to connect to your audience, drive engagement and increase social shares – all important things which will impact how people perceive your brand. Of course, your content you be unique and well-written, and above all: valuable to the visitors. It should educate them and present how you products may help in solving their problems (if you manage to entertain them it’s a plus!). Don’t forget to spice up your texts with images and infographics. Creating videos and uploading them to YouTube is also great.Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of inbound marketing. After you start to create content on regular basis, it’s time to reach your audience. One of the best ways to do that is with SEO techniques. In short, SEO refers to various techniques marketers use to rank highly in search engines for specific keywords.  You must create a list of keywords you want to rank for (related to your business) and start creating content for those keywords. SEO is a complicated process but even with a basic grasp you will get some results: your content will start to rank higher in Google search results and more people will visit your site.Social media marketing is another key component of an effective inbound marketing strategy. You can use social media in several ways. The first one is to simply distribute your content. Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites are a great source of possible leads. Another thing you can do is to ask and answer questions. You can engage your fans by asking them interesting questions in various polls, and you can also leverage your authority to answer questions asked by the fans. These tactics may not bring immediate conversions, but they will certainly increase your brand image.

Conclusion

Inbound marketing is a crucial part of a modern marketing strategy. You want to make sure you’re implementing the latest inbound strategies in your marketing efforts to grow your business. If you need help with your inbound marketing strategy, contact us today and we’ll  be happy to help.

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