Inbound marketing is all about the power of the customer. It isn’t about who can send out as many ads as possible and flood the channels in the hopes of gaining more contacts. Inbound marketing is about who you are acquiring as contacts, making sure that you are providing relevant resources to build a lasting relationship with your target customers.
So what’s the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
According to Hubspot: “Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t want, inbound marketing forms connections they’re looking for and solves problems they already have.”
In other words, inbound marketing has proven far more effective at generating relevant leads and retaining new customers. Why? Inbound marketing is a customer-centric strategy aimed to deliver value. It’s about being aware of your customers throughout the buyer journey and providing them with relevant content to add value along the way.
While there’s a lot of moving parts to master with inbound marketing, here are five essential pieces to get you on the right track.
Think of the flywheel as the motor of your entire operation from leads to closing sales. The three main stages are attract, engage, and delight. As prospects transition to each stage, the communications between departments should be seamless, causing the flywheel to gain traction without much friction.
As customers move through the attract, engage, and delight stages, this builds momentum for your company as you invest more into retaining customers while also attracting new customers. If done right, you build lasting relationships with your customers, who are far more willing to help in the attract stage by promoting your company through their own channels.
For more information on each stage of the flywheel, check out this resource.
At every stage of the buyer’s journey, content is a must. By creating relevant content, you add value to the buyer's journey experience and increase the chances of building a lasting relationship with them through your product or service.
Here are a couple of examples for each stage of the flywheel:
Think pieces such as blogs, social media outreach, interactive content, downloadable content- like infographics, checklists, and guides- that pique your target audience’s attention. Keep the content focused on educating them about their problem and potential avenues to explore to fix it. Make it as easy as you can for prospects to access information about your company. If you make it feel like work, they’ll leave you before the relationship has even started.
At the engage stage, the goal is to make your content the go-to resource for your target audience. Think more in-depth content- knowledge bases, pillar pages, podcasts, webinars, videos, downloadable tools, and templates- that provides them with information on how to potentially fix their problem. This is where you show them why your solution differentiates you from other companies.
By this point, a relationship between the customer and company has been established, but it needs to be cultivated to become a long-term relationship. Always be ready to ask your customers for feedback, send follow-up emails, and provide them with a knowledge base that can answer their questions when someone isn't readily available.
💡Pro Tip: optimize your content using SEO techniques. If you’re not sure what to track with SEO, check out “4 SEO Benchmarks to Track in 2021.”
As you think about your content strategy, a buyer persona is essential to the process. Buyer personas are who you want to target with your content. If you’re in the marketing and events world, deciding your buyer persona is simply “someone who loves marketing and events” then you haven’t thought it through.
Buyer personas are a combination of research with a little guesswork too. As you figure out your buyer personas, keep in mind that your buyer personas are not set in stone. They will change from time to time, especially at the beginning if you’re still figuring out who they are. To learn more about the process and resources for creating buyer personas, check out Hubspot’s MakeMyPersona tool.
As you pivot towards inbound marketing strategy, remember to have measurable goals at the outset of your campaigns. While there is a common misconception that it’s more difficult to measure ROI for inbound campaigns, investing in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) can make all the difference. For example, with a CRM service such as Hubspot, you can track all of your website traffic, set goals for leads, opportunities, customers, and more.
💡Pro Tip: When formulating your goals, define them as SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) that aim to promote growth and ensure your entire team is on the same page.
Bringing It All Together
If you’re looking to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with your customers while promoting growth, creating an inbound marketing strategy is the key. While there’s a lot of work ahead to create and execute an inbound marketing strategy, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact us here at Nifty Method to see how we can help you take your marketing strategy to the next level with inbound marketing.