All marketing activities have one goal – to promote the company in order to increase sales results. This is achieved, among other things, by building a long-term relationship with the client, which increases brand credibility. To do this, you need to learn what inbound marketing is.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a marketing strategy targeted at recipients who voluntarily agree to use marketing content. First of all, these are events aimed at getting to know your client, determining their needs and providing them with ready-made solutions that will increase their loyalty to your brand. In this way, a relationship is created between your company and the client that positively affects your brand image.
Inbound marketing has nothing to do with the aggressive form of advertising that attacked users from all sides a few years ago. All such actions, such as bulk emailing, bombarding with colorful banners and advertisements, do not suit the recipient and such approaches to work are long gone.
Inbound marketing is all about getting the recipient interested in your brand, seeing it as a necessary solution.
How to start using inbound marketing?
You already know what inbound marketing is. However, this is only the beginning of the journey. Now you must plan your strategy in this spirit. What tools to use? How to prepare for this?
First things first: in inbound strategies, you give the client a sense of control. For him, you refuse to make decisions. Just let him find you. You do not. You show the possibilities. Just this and more.
How to implement inbound marketing strategies?
Inbound is based on three main tasks that a marketer faces – obviously related to the stages of leading a client through the sales funnel. Do you use inbound marketing to:
- attract the attention of the recipient – inform in advance about your presence in the market and show that you are a partner you can trust. At this stage, it’s all about building a brand image,
- involve him in the interaction – it doesn’t have to be buying the product right away. At first, it is enough for him to like your post, write a comment or subscribe to the newsletter. Harvest time will come later
- provide a solution to his problems and thereby please him with the purchase.
Remember: the aforementioned levels of commitment also define the relationship with the client, who goes from a complete stranger to a “friend” (feeling a hint of brand liking), a friend, a customer and, finally, a promoter of your company. And that’s exactly what he’s going to achieve.
What inbound tools can I use on the Internet?
The set of tools suitable for generating incoming traffic is huge – especially in the Internet space. You can use different solutions in each of the above steps.
Incoming techniques at the stage of attracting the attention of the recipient
Getting the customer’s attention – especially in a competitive market – can be the biggest challenge. So, how to get attention without being obtrusive? The answer is simple: prepare valuable content for the recipient. To do this, you need to determine in advance to whom and for what purpose you will apply.
With inbound marketing, there is no need to clearly define the goal of the promotion and carefully create characters. It’s about accurately identifying your potential customers. You must answer questions about their needs, concerns, concerns. How do they use the Internet? Where to find them?
Once you know this, it will be much easier to get their attention. You will not be blind and appear where they are. What specific tools to use?
- Content Marketing
Create a company blog and post valuable content – one that will help you find answers to your customers’ concerns. They cannot be strictly promotional. The more competent and specific answers you give to your audience, the more impression you will make.
Start promoting yourself on social media. For example, a clothing manufacturer may “win” a little by promoting itself on LinkedIn or Twitter, but much more on Facebook or Instagram! Remember that promotion through these channels is about getting attention – so that your messages get the maximum possible response from “live” users.
- Website promotion
Promotion is the first step in drawing attention to your offer. The higher your page appears in search results for related phrases, the more likely it is that an interested party will find your page and apply.
- classic advertising
… preferably in a remarketing model – so that offers reach people who are potentially interested in the proposed solutions. By doing this, you will have a greater impact on real results.
How to attract clients?
The second step is building commitment. You can also use the tools above, but the ones below are the best for connecting and interacting.
- landing page
So, a “landing page” is a special site (landing page) whose purpose is to get a lead, i.e. client contact details. It should be highly interactive and offer the recipient the opportunity to leave an email – for example, it could be a free e-book.
Sent to people who have left their contacts, it is much more efficient than communicating with recipients from an external random database. Emails will remind recipients of your existence and encourage them to click, read an interesting article, and take advantage of the current deals you have to offer.
The ones that appear directly on your website and, for example, on your Facebook fan page. Their task is to encourage the client to start a conversation – in a simple and accessible way. They can automatically answer frequently asked questions or … redirect to the seller.
- Marketing Automation Tools
This includes smart decisions that communicate with the client when they have already taken some action. For example: a client went to the site looking for vacation offers, but changed his mind at the last moment. The system can send the person a question about why this happened, or send a message with similar suggestions.
Offline inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is usually based on online communication, but some activities can also take place offline.
This includes all magazine articles, participation in industry conferences, and organizing meetings and seminars to meet the needs of your clients. These are all considered inbound marketing communications.
Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing: What’s the Difference?
In addition to inbound marketing, there is something else like outbound marketing, also called push marketing. While the former is mainly based on search engine optimization, social media and content marketing activities, the latter is carried out through telemarketing, sponsored links, bulk email campaigns and image advertising.
The main goal of Outbound Marketing is to attract customers through promotion and advertising. Actions have a short-term effect and, unlike Inbound, they do not take into account a long-term relationship with a client, but only a one-time commitment.
The contact with the recipient is initiated by the company, and the advertising is targeted at people who are not necessarily interested in your brand.
The cost of such external marketing communication is usually much higher than in the case of inbound activities, but the effects appear much faster, so marketing strategies are effective. For this reason, it is recommended to combine these two campaigns with the Inbound benefit.
Building Brand Value with Inbound Marketing
The process of building customer loyalty to a brand is quite lengthy. First, you need to grab the user’s attention.
You can do this through a traditional ad campaign or through inbound marketing, such as creating compelling, well-positioned blog posts and engaging in social media sharing.
Once you’ve managed to get the attention of a potential client, you need to do something to turn the average observer into an active person.
Various contact forms can be used for this, landing pages that will encourage the user to take advantage of the offer, as well as well-designed CTA elements that will bring him closer to the conversion.
How to turn a customer into a brand follower?
The next step is to bring the customer closer to your company and ensure their loyalty. Knowing what a particular user needs, all you need to do is suggest a suitable solution. You can do this by any means at your disposal to personalize your message as much as possible.
Thus, you will turn an ordinary buyer into a brand follower. However, remember that inbound marketing cannot be a one-time thing, but should be an ongoing process.
Users will constantly be comparing your offer with your competitors, so it’s important to support them at every step of the buying process. As a result, a satisfied customer will be happy to share a good opinion about your company on social media, which will lead to further completed transactions.
Inbound marketing and sales funnel
However, attracting potential customers is not everything. After all, marketing is basically about increasing sales, i.e. turning a received contact into a real conversion. As we already mentioned, this is a long process that will require a lot of effort from you, but it will definitely pay off. The concept of a sales funnel is inextricably linked with this.
The sales funnel diagram is quite simple and is designed to show what lead generation looks like. At the top, at the widest point, are the people whose attention you have captured with your marketing efforts. In a word – everyone who noticed your presence.
Only those who managed to arouse interest go to the next stage. It is important to remember this stage and make sure that as many people as possible reach it. By ignoring this part of the funnel and moving on to the next elements, you can lose a lot of leads.
Further, the user has a desire – having learned your offer, a desire appears in his head to complete the transaction. If everything is in order, the next step is to act – to make a purchase, place an order or arrange a service. Although this stage ends up profitable for you, it is not the last part of the sales funnel.
At the very bottom is also devotion. If the client is happy with the whole process, and you manage to stimulate his interest, he will gladly return again or share a positive opinion with others. Inbound marketing is just about maintaining that loyalty.
Benefits of inbound marketing
By being less aggressive and targeting the message to people who are genuinely interested in a particular topic, inbound marketing increases awareness and improves brand image. A personalized message encourages customers to participate in various marketing campaigns and thus be more interested in completing a transaction.
By attracting the interest of users, and creating brand followers from them, you act to your advantage by spreading a positive image of the company. Loyal customers want to share their opinion and recommend your products and services to others while becoming brand ambassadors.