Inbound marketing - 4 key reasons why you should start using it asap
Posted by Andres Aguerrevere on
There’s a new era for communications, advertising, marketing and even the way we do business. Technologies are constantly changing and improving and entrepreneurs and companies that want to succeed need to adapt their strategies to not be left behind. Inbound marketing has become the best approach to attract customers by attracting them offering content and interaction that are relevant and useful for them.
Instead of the interruptive strategies of the outbound marketing, the goal is to bring customers by creating content that offers solutions to their needs. The main element that stands apart from the traditional marketing strategies is that it brings ideal customers to you in the early stage of the sales process, this way the conversion process is easier, because those who come to you have already shown an interest in the products or services your company offers.
The tactics used in this approach are wide and it is up to you, and your business goals to decide how and when to use this elements. There are four stages in the inbound marketing process and the strategies you use will be defined by each stage:
- Attract :
When it comes to the traffic you want to attract to your site, it is important to consider that you don’t want just anyone. You need the right ones; this means that you want to bring people who are actually in the need of the solutions you offer. Your “ideal customers” or buyer personas are the people who will most likely become leads and finally happy buyers.
- SEO: By using the right keywords after a thorough analysis to determine which ones are the best for your business, you are guaranteeing that the right audience is seeing your content. The purpose of the Search Engine Optimization is to make sure your website or social media appears on the first result pages whenever someone searches for terms that are related to your business.
- Blogging: This is one of the most common ways to work with inbound marketing. Through blog posts you can offer your audience quality content that offers them solutions and adds value to your brand. It also helps build trust and loyalty, by giving your consumers information that is relevant to them and their needs.
- Social media: Provide your audience the opportunity to interact with you and your brand through social media, this way they feel more in contact with you and what’s going on in your business. The use of social media has become such an important part in everyday life that a brand can actually be built through it only.
- Pages: Consider your website as your storefront, you need to make it the perfect reflection of who you are and what does your company have to offer. By optimizing your site, you are making sure to bring possible leads with the content you are offering.
After you have attracted visitors to your site you need to make sure that these traffic turns into leads, and the way to do so is by gathering their contact information. This is the most important element for online marketers; you need at least their email address. And to get this information from them you need to offer something relevant in return, content, quality content, through tips, eBooks, and whatever information that can be relevant and interesting for your personas.
- Calls-to-Action: they are links that invite visitors to take an action, such as a “download report” or “sign up for webinar”. This way you are making sure they get into real interaction with you. You need to make sure you have enough calls-to-action, and that they are appealing to your audience.
- Lading pages: Whenever a visitor clicks on a call-to-action, you should send them to a landing page, this is where the call-to-action is actually done, here your prospects need to provide their contact information, and this way your sales team can start the real contact with them.
- Forms: this is the easiest way to get your visitor’s information; it is your duty to optimize your forms, making sure that this process is easy for your visitors.
Once your visitors are turned into leads comes to most important step, turning them into real customers. This is the ultimate goal of the whole process, and there are some specific tools you can apply to make sure to convert them at the right time.
- CRM: There are many Customer Relationship Management systems that help you make your sales process easier, by ensuring that you have the right information at the right time about your leads. This way you can easily keep track of all the important details of your prospects to easily get in touch with them.
- Closed-loop reporting: By combining it with the right CRM system, you can analyze how the sales process is being carried and how to better combine the efforts of both; your sales and marketing team.
- Marketing automation: With this process you are making sure each prospect receives a proper follow-up after showing some interest in your company. The channel and strategy to do so will vary according to the way this visitor first reached out to you.
The best way to covert or retain an existing customer is by offering them quality solutions. An important part of the inbound marketing approach is to focus attention on keeping your leads and customers happy, by engaging them with you with some extra value.
- Surveys: Understanding your audience is key to offer them exactly what they are looking for, and the best way to do so is by asking them directly. By using feedback and surveys you can consider their needs better, and offer them the right solution.
- Social monitoring: use social media to keep track of their opinions, questions and comments, interact with them and produce quality, relevant content to get to them.
- Live events and webinar: With these techniques you are going the extra mile for your audience, offering them that extra element that can differentiate you from your competitors. It is important that you know who you are ideal customers are, understand what are their pain points, worries and interests and in this way you are ensuring their loyalty to you.
There are many reasons why inbound marketing strategies work and provide better results for companies. The benefits are great and it is easy to keep track of them, so you can constantly improve your tactics. These techniques allow you to:
- Increase the exposure and awareness for your brand.
- Generate right leads with less monetary investment.
- Allow customers to engage and interact with you when they need it.
- Improve your efforts for search engine optimization.
- Give customers the chance to be in charge of their process.
- Encourage social media shares.
- Foster brand preference and influence purchases.
The main element that differentiates inbound marketing from the traditional strategies is that it allows you to direct your efforts to the right audience, bringing this way the right leads to you. By interacting and getting feedback from your prospects and customers you can apply the necessary improvements to get better results.
However it is not an easy task, the success of your campaigns will depend on how well you plan and apply the strategies. You need to know your audience and understand their demographics, so this way you offer them the exact solutions they need. Once you’ve understood the reasons why you need to use inbound marketing, and the stages it carries, it’s time for you to get to work, by following these steps:
- Pinpoint your target audience and learn as much as you can about them. Your content will depend on the things they are interested in.
- Create a distinctive, persuasive story. Give them reasons to listen to you over your competitors.
- Determine the right channels. Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Instagram will completely depend on your audience. What’s the best way to reach out to your ideal target.
- Plan a content calendar. Make sure you are active on social media, by planning beforehand and schedule to post your content.
It is essential that you understand that the important things isn’t just to focus on the quantity of your content, but the quality in it. By making sure that the content you provide is relevant, interesting and useful you are making sure that that audience you attract find in your business what they need. Along with understanding what information you need to offer, to satisfy your costumer’s needs, you need to learn to quantify and keep track of the results gotten from your efforts.
Make sure you constantly know and understand search trends and see how well your brand is positioned in the results is key to help you improve and apply the tactic that better suit your needs. In addition there are many automation tools that can help you measure the number of visits to your site, social shares and conversion rates.