Digital marketing is a $135 billion industry in the United States, but not all forms of digital marketing are the same.
Inbound marketing is a digital marketing strategy that has become popular as businesses see the results other that companies have achieved. This practice, developed by Hubspot, offers a powerful alternative to traditional outbound marketing.
Learning the inbound methodology will give your business the edge it needs to grow, and cost your business less money than a traditional outbound campaign. Continue reading to learn how to use inbound marketing methodology to grow your business and take your company to the next level.
What Is Inbound Marketing and Inbound Methodology?
Understanding inbound methodology and how to use inbound marketing to grow your business will add an important set of skills into your marketing repertoire that will aid your brand in this new digital age.
The skills you'll learn are necessary for lead generation, lead nurturing, and ultimately, and lead conversion. When it comes to growing the previously listed metics, inbound marketing is the most powerful type of marketing. It's powerful because your brand is providing valuable content and solutions for people actively searching for an answer. This exchange of valuable information is essential to building trust, and ultimately winning new customers.
Attract, Engage, Delight
Inbound methodology is designed to attract, engage and delight potential clients by providing value and building trust. While technology continues to develop and change the way we do marketing and sales, inbound is a way to make it more helpful and ultimately, more human.
Inbound is a marketing and sales process that better serves your potential customers. Instead of interruptive ads, you're providing relevant content in various forms that allow you to become their trusted advisor. Quality content generates qualified leads. By focusing on creating the right content, your brand will get the right people to engage with your business over the long-haul. Inbound is meant to grow your business long-term, not generate a bunch of one-off sales.
Inbound allows your business to refuel itself by either creating repeat customers or by getting those customers to invite other people to buy from your business. When you "wow" your customers, they become your own unpaid sales team.
Every customer-facing team should know how to play their part in attracting, engaging and delighting potential customers. Your employees need to feel like they’ve got an important role to play in this process (and they do!), so providing proper training on how to attract, engage, and delight is key.
Buyer Behaviors Have Changed -- Get On Board
As buyer behaviors change, the companies the are determined remain successful use inbound marketing strategies. It’s vital for companies to understand that salespeople can no longer be the gatekeepers of information. If anything, these behavior changes are an opportunity to put their content marketing strategy in front of information seekers.
Most people need to research some level of information about a brand or service before they offer up their contact information or feel comfortable speaking with a salesperson in this new buying world. If they don't think the salesperson is giving them the information they need, they'll go right back to the internet in search of something better.
The openness of content on the internet has made honesty a requirement. If you're anything less than 100% honest with your potential customers, they'll find out pretty quickly after a couple of Google searches.
The more your company focuses on being a helper and a guide, the more likely you are to succeed in a world where buyers have all the power. Inbound methodology is all about acknowledging that we cannot control buyers, and instead must provide value so that they want to follow us and buy from our brands.
Inbound Is An Opportunity
At this point, your head might be spinning a little bit. You may feel like everything you know about marketing has been thrown out the window. Our suggestion is this: don't look at learning inbound marketing like a setback -- consider inbound marketing as an opportunity.
When you launch an inbound campaign properly, your content could remain relevant on the web for **years** to come. While you might need to refresh your content from time to time, the initial groundwork will have already been laid.
Think of inbound marketing as a marathon. You're putting in hard work, with lots of energy and effort going into content creation, networking, and more. This steady pace may feel frustrating, but your consistent pace will pay off further down the road, and you’ll be much more likely to finish than if you were to try to sprint the entire time (i.e. trying to use a strategy like paid ads over time.)
Inbound marketing is flexible enough that you’ll be able to scale your business over time with quality content that speaks directly to your ideal customers and audience, right when they need it.
Customer Personas and the Buyer's Journey
Two important parts of inbound are customer personas (sometimes called a buyer persona) and the buyer's journey. Unless you understand these concepts these, you'll spin your wheels trying to get your marketing strategies up and running.
Create your customer persona by gathering every piece of information about the person you serve most and best. Not only do you want to know demographic information about them (gender, age, etc), you need to learn what they're thinking. The goal is to identify their pain points.
Digging deep into your customer persona will allow you to craft content that speaks directly to their need. You want to get into your potential customer's emotions so you can help them make a decision that will actually help them out.
The buyer's journey is made up of different stages. These stages go from awareness to comparison to purchase. If your content reaches your potential customer at the wrong time, it won't have the impact you want, which is why it's important to plan.
As you create your content, look at any areas where you might have gaps. You need content for each stage of the buyer's journey. All of your content should walk potential customers through to the purchasing phase.
Learning to Nurture Leads
As you grow your inbound marketing strategy, you'll need to nurture your leads. Setting up marketing automation systems to automate follow-up processes and see when leads are ready to move forward in the sales process is essential to your marketing efforts.
Inbound is a smarter, more helpful way to market to your ideal clients. You'll become a trusted advisor that they're more than happy to learn from when they’re ready to buy— but only if you execute your strategy properly.
It’s important to note that some leads may not convert for a long time, so make sure you have a long-term nurturing plan set up so that you don't miss potential conversions.
Growing Your Business with Inbound Marketing
The more you learn about inbound methodology, the easier it is to understand why this strategy works so well.
Working with an inbound marketer can help ease the process of implementing an inbound marketing strategy: building landing pages, navigating social media marketing and search engine optimization, crafting effective calls-to-action (CTAs), and more.
If you want to learn more about inbound methodology and marketing, and what we’d advise for your company's strategy, schedule a 30 minutes call with us today.