Traditionally marketing was about finding customers through a variety of methods such as cold calling, email marketing and television advertising. These are known as outbound marketing and involve buying the attention of the public; however these marketing methods are expensive and are often viewed as irritating by the public. They are also expensive and do not necessarily target people who are interested in what your business is offering.
Inbound marketing is fast becoming the favourite way of attracting customers because it is both efficient and affordable and in the long run is much more worthwhile and beneficial for your business.
The aim of Inbound Marketing
The aim of inbound marketing is to attract the attention of users so that they find you, rather than you finding them, this makes is more likely that you will attract people who are interested in what your business is offering.
The best way to grab the attention of potential customers is through interesting content, for example blog posts, podcasts, e-newsletters, social media and other forms of content marketing. By creating and distributing valuable content that people will find useful and want to read you are more likely to reach out to your target audience and gain their trust and therefore their business. Furthermore, if people repeatedly come across your name on social media and blogs etc and then come across your website, they will recognise your name and trust you.
Inbound Marketing is split in to four actions which are classed as Inbound Methodology and they are:
When it comes to traffic to your website we just don’t want any traffic we want the right kind of traffic. We want people coming to your site that are interested in your service/product and will more likely become a lead/customer. The ideal customer is known as ‘buyer personas’ this means what your customers are like inside and out. When working out buyer personas you are considering age, gender, goals, challenges, interests and common objectives.
To attract the right users to the website we use these methods:
- SEO – Keywords & Content
- Social Publishing
The next stage once you have attracted these visitors to the website is to convert them by gathering their contact information with the main objective being an email address. Having contact information is important for an online marketer so we can target these users with important information. For the user to give you their email address you need to give them something in return. That comes in the form of content such as eBooks, whitepapers, hints and tips. This information all depends on the type of personas you are targeting.
The ways to convert your audience are:
- Landing Pages
We have attracted the right visitors and have now converted them in to leads. The next step is making them in to a customer. The idea of this is that you are giving them the right content at the right time with your research in to their persona. For this you need the right tools which are:
- Email Marketing
With Inbound marketing it is all about creating extremely great content to your users, whether they are visitors, leads or existing customers. Inbound companies continue to engage with existing customers to hopefully up sell other products/services and promote the brand.
The ways to do this is via:
- Smart Content
- Social Monitoring
A long-term commitment
Although inbound marketing can be extremely effective, it requires a lot of patience and long-term commitment, you cannot expect to produce one blog post and then be top of the organic search results overnight. You must put in a lot of time and effort and it is an ongoing process which should be part of your overall marketing strategy; this is where ISD can help.