Why You Need Inbound Marketing In 2023
Obtain readers from strangers, turn readers into customers, and customers into fans.
That is what inbound marketing promises. A potent marketing theory known as inbound marketing was created in response to the needs of the digital medium.
Businesses that have experienced declining returns from traditional marketing can turn to inbound marketing at a time when 67% of the customer's journey is complete before they ever talk to a sales representative.
Inbound marketing is still largely misunderstood, despite the fact that it has experienced remarkable growth over the past few years.
As a result, I'll explain the fundamentals of inbound marketing in this piece and show you how you can utilize it to expand your company.
The easiest approach to comprehend the necessity of inbound marketing is to compare it to outbound marketing.
The goal of traditional marketing is to obstruct the user's experience. Consider a radio or television commercial. This information is rarely amusing and hardly ever useful. Customers must nevertheless endure it, which is a tedious experience for most.
Such interruptive marketing is rarely successful in digital channels. The majority of consumers completely ignore advertising; display ads, for instance, have a pitiful click-through rate of 0.06%, according to SmartInsights.com. Some people even go out of their way to install ad blocking software to block all advertisements (around 25.8% of internet users do this).
You need a marketing approach that draws these customers in rather than imposing a sales message on them if you want to connect with them.
We require inbound marketing because of this.
Another phenomena that highlights this is the fact that most of your customers are now looking for solutions online.
Simply glance at these figures:
Before making a purchase, 81% of consumers do online research. This can reach 94% for B2B buyers. 54% of customers buy something after viewing it on Instagram. Social media is used by 57% of consumers to request suggestions.
What it signifies is as follows:
Through search and social media, customers are increasingly doing what used to be done by salespeople—educating them and providing them with solutions.
If potential consumers can't discover you on Google or when they ask around on social media, you could very well lose them for good.
So now we come to the crux of the matter: what is inbound marketing?
Knowledge of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing, in its simplest form, refers to a variety of marketing strategies that use valuable information to draw in, qualify, and win over clients.
The fundamental tenet of inbound marketing is that giving rather than taking.
You "earn" your clients' time and trust when you produce useful information that clarifies their concerns. You have the right to sell them your goods if you do it often and well enough.
This is a significant shift from traditional marketing, which involves purchasing advertising space to deliver a marketing message to potential clients.
Inbound marketing is actually a very old concept, despite the fact that it may seem revolutionary. From Michelin restaurant reviews to Campbell's recipe books, businesses have been producing helpful content to encourage purchases for years.
In reality, the greatest method to win a client is to establish yourself as their trusted advisor and aid in their problem-solving, as any successful salesperson will confirm.
This strategy is essentially brought online by inbound marketing, which uses marketing that is customer-oriented, permission-based, and ownership-focused.
Customer-first marketing is inbound marketing.
The first inbound marketing rule is to put the consumer first, above all else. Your clients will determine everything you do, including the information you produce and how you distribute it.
This is another reason why there isn't a set inbound marketing strategy; what works for one company could not work for another.
For instance, your inbound marketing playbook should concentrate on producing visuals (infographics, films, GIFs, etc.) and distributing them over Instagram and YouTube if your target customers frequent Instagram and prefer watching videos to reading text.
On the other side, you'd be better off spending your time writing whitepapers and disseminating them via LinkedIn and email marketing if your clients are mid-sized organizations who want detailed information before making a purchase.
'Pull' marketing also has this feature. With the use of inbound marketing, you can produce content that your customers will appreciate and distribute it to them where they already congregate online rather than forcing a marketing message into their experience.
Permission-based inbound marketing is used.
Consider a grating website or a commercial-heavy television program.
Not exactly a positive user experience, are we?
Now recall the last time you subscribed to an email newsletter from a company. Most likely, you did it because you were interested in learning more and found the information valuable. You readily provided your contact information, so there is a significant possibility that you will read their emails and respond to them.
This is the cornerstone of inbound marketing and is known as "permission-based marketing" by Seth Godin.
Customers won't hear from you through inbound marketing unless they:
Use social media or search to specifically look for it.
By subscribing to your email list or following you on social media, they are giving you their consent to contact them.
It is much more likely that a consumer who has consented to receive your messages will hear what you have to say. Due to this, email marketing frequently sees open rates of up to 30.5%. If even a tenth of those watch your YouTube ad or click on it, you'll be lucky.
Ownership is key to inbound marketing.
You are essentially renting your audience's attention when you advertise your goods on television or the radio. After the first 30 seconds or so, your audience's interest starts to wane. Not to mention that you must compete with other companies that are using the same space or platform for advertising.
In contrast, inbound marketing involves directing visitors to your own properties. Any leads you obtain are completely yours. Anytime and however you choose, you can get in touch with them. You can send an email broadcast for free if you decide to launch a new offer at 2AM instead of paying a publisher for advertising. A call to action might also be included to your website.
You have a chance to own your tale when you own the audience. You can have genuine discussions with your audience rather than cramming your message into a 15-second spot or a 300x250 pixel website ad.
Unlike traditional marketing, inbound marketing helps qualify, nurture, and close prospects as well as move them through a funnel.
Inbound marketing actually goes a step further and enables you to delight current clients and win them over for life.
This allows us to divide inbound marketing into four stages:
1. entice clients
You convert strangers into website visitors during this 'head of the funnel' stage. You need to draw the correct kind of audience as well; it isn't enough to simply draw a crowd.
There are three steps in this.
creating accurate buyer personas.
Adapt your content to these buyer personas.
content distribution via search, social media, and outreach.
Once more, the type of content you produce and how you distribute it entirely depend on your target audience as well as your current resources and experience.
You can utilize several strategies to draw visitors, such as:
SEO: Content that has been optimized for search engines and is supported by an effective link-building and blogger outreach campaign can be a potent source of high-quality traffic.
Although link building is an SEO branch, it deserves special attention due to its potency. In addition to helping your website rank, backlinks can also deliver direct traffic if you employ the proper link-building techniques.
Blogging: A wonderful approach to draw direct, referral, and social media traffic is by producing pertinent content that readers truly want to read. Of course, writing content with keywords in mind has SEO advantages as well. Additionally, quality blog posts generate a ton of social shares.
Social publishing is a good way to increase traffic. Examples include making films for YouTube, posting photos to Instagram, and creating infographics for Pinterest.
2. Make leads from visitors
When a site visitor grants you permission to contact them, this is referred to as a "conversion" in inbound marketing terminology.
This typically occurs when a visitor opts-in to receive content of any kind (such as an online course, a whitepaper, a webinar, etc.) and provides you with their contact details (such as their phone number, email address, etc.) in exchange. He transitions from "visitor" to "lead" in this way.
You can use a variety of tools and strategies here to convert visitors, including:
Offers of content: You must provide value in exchange for a visitor's contact information. This type of high-quality content usually complements the information you utilized to get the visitor to your website (such an eBook or a whitepaper). Alternatively called a lead magnet.
Forms: You'll utilize forms to collect visitors' contact information, either on the same page or a distinct landing page.
Landing pages: Landing pages are created to collect contact information from visitors. Depending on the nature of your relationship with the visitor, you can ask for a certain amount of information. When a visitor trusts you and your content, they are typically willing to provide you with information other than their name and email address. Additionally, they are simple to make with the aid of landing page software.
3. Identifying and converting prospects into clients
In the middle and top of the funnel, marketing has increasingly replaced sales in recent years. This encompasses activities that were formerly the purview of sales, such as lead nurturing and qualification.
Fortunately, you can automate lead nurturing, qualification, and even closing with the aid of inbound marketing. Tools like: make it possible for this.
Email autoresponders: Following a lead's disclosure of his contact details, you can send him a series of pre-written emails to move him along the sales funnel. The more emails a lead reads, the more invested they are in their problem (and your solution), which aids in both lead qualification and nurturing. Additionally, this is now simpler and more affordable than ever thanks to email marketing services like Bluejay Media and Marketing.
Marketing automation: A solopreneur looking to purchase your cheapest product has a completely different consumer profile than the CEO of a 500-person organization who downloads all of your high-end product whitepapers. You may automatically deliver these consumers customized and pertinent offers by using marketing automation. Additionally, there are several software tools for marketing automation available.
CRM: For B2B sales, you'll need current and accurate contact details for every one of your clients. This is simple and painless with a CRM. Additionally, it enables you to determine where in the funnel your leads are blocked. If your CRM and email service provider are integrated, it is really helpful.
4. gratify clients and win them over as fans
A lead can be converted into a customer quite easily. It is much more difficult to convert a customer into a fan who will recommend your goods to others.
Here too, inbound marketing can be beneficial. You may delight clients and win them over by producing helpful content for them, better understanding their concerns through surveys, and tailoring communications based on previous behavior.
A tailored ebook download form with pre-filled information, for instance, could be presented to a consumer who has already made a purchase from you. Alternatively, you might contact clients with surveys and inquiries that are pertinent to them based on their prior web browsing.
You can use the following techniques to delight clients:
Send customized emails to various consumers based on their experiences with you in the past.
Personalized Landing Pages: By customizing landing pages, you can demonstrate to your clients how much you value them and how you have the best deals for them.
Surveys: By routinely gathering customer feedback, you may demonstrate your concern for their business and provide them messages that appeal to them.
The outcome? You may drastically lower customer churn by converting your consumers into fans.
Compared to content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing, inbound marketing
The distinctions between inbound marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing are sometimes unclear to organizations.
It's simple to appreciate this distinction because all of the marketing channels mentioned above—email, social media, and content—are divisions of inbound marketing.
The bottom line is this:
An efficient system for classifying marketing channels that draw people in rather than obstruct them is provided by inbound marketing.
To draw in and convert leads, a company might, for instance:
Produce top-notch content (content marketing) that clarifies a problem for potential clients.
Content distribution on social media is referred to as social media marketing.
Email marketing is the process of capturing leads and sending marketing communications.
If you were to close a lead in this manner, you would be considered to have used inbound marketing to close the deal.
Growth hacking vs. inbound marketing
While there is no doubt about the differences between inbound marketing and content, social media, and email marketing, there is less of a clear line between the two when it comes to growth hacking. This is largely because, on paper, both strategies sound identical.
It's interesting to note that both of these words have grown quite popular in recent years.
Growth hacking vs. inbound marketing
Growth hacking is defined as a set of methods for drawing in new users, whereas inbound marketing is the collection of all techniques used to draw in, convert, and delight consumers.
However, there are four significant areas where growth hacking and inbound marketing diverge:
The philosophy behind inbound marketing is to prioritize the needs of the consumer. The primary goal of growth hacking is user acquisition, sometimes even at the expense of the customer experience.
Approach: Inbound marketing is scalable and process-oriented. On the other side, growth hacking relies on unique methods that are difficult to scale.
Long-term vs. short-term: You need to devote at least a few months to inbound marketing in order to see benefits. If done correctly, growth hacking can produce immediate results, but it is inconsistent in its effectiveness over time.
Operation of the funnel: Inbound marketing controls the entire marketing funnel, from bringing in visitors to nurturing leads. Even certain sales-related tasks can be automated with marketing. On the other side, growth hacking simply focuses on gaining new users. In other words, it mostly functions at the top of the funnel.
You'll eventually be directing leads into inbound channels whether you use growth hacking or content marketing.
Consequently, growth hacking, content/social/email marketing, etc. are merely components of inbound; inbound is the whole.
If forced to pick between growth hacking and inbound marketing, opt for the latter if you want immediate results that might or might not stick. Select the first option as your long-term plan for gaining influence, leads, and traffic.
But in a perfect world, you would employ them in tandem.
The greatest method to comprehend inbound marketing is to think of it as a large system with numerous smaller components.
Each of these components - SEO, social media, analytics, email, etc. - can help you draw visitors and consumers on their own, but when combined, they produce inbound marketing, which is considerably more powerful.
However, it's also crucial to keep in mind that inbound marketing is only one piece of the marketing equation.
You don't have to completely disregard outbound marketing if you adopt the inbound marketing mindset. Any effective comprehensive marketing plan should include it.
What you should remember from this post is recapped here:
By assisting clients in finding solutions to their problems, inbound marketing aims to attract new clients.
Cheaper, more effective, and more suited to the needs of the digital media is inbound marketing.
Customer-focused, audience-owned, and permission-based, inbound marketing puts the customer first.
The four steps of inbound marketing are: attracting traffic (Attract), transforming that traffic into leads (Convert), turning leads into customers (Close), and delighting customers (Delight).
Adopting the inbound marketing ethos does not require you to completely disregard outbound marketing. Every strategy has its place.