What Is Inbound Marketing? And is it right for me? Each day, we are bombarded by information. But people are more empowered than ever when they visit websites, since they can compare goods and services through research and social media, and on mobile devices. So how do you reach an audience and turn them into customers?

What Is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing’s main aim is to give people the answers they’re seeking at the right time. It helps to establish your authority and trust in whatever your field is. Because of attention scarcity, and the need to avoid the feeling that you’re “interrupting” someone, traditional marketing tactics are less effective. The idea is to attract customers and get them to come to you at the right time in their decision-making process so they will choose your services in the future.

What you’re probably used to is outbound marketing. Traditional outbound marketing is deceptive because it’s about getting attention to make the sales you need, rather than focusing on what clients need. It’s what we’re used to seeing on tv and in magazines, email blasts, spam, and banner ads. With outbound marketing, the loudest person appealing to the lowest common denominator wins. This type of marketing is about interrupting someone’s attention, and taking a chance that they will listen.

Because inbound marketing aligns your content with your customer’s needs, you attract them with more transparency. This type of marketing asks permission to communicate with your audience and answer their questions, even anticipating the question before it’s been asked. What’s best about inbound marketing is that it’s all about you and what you do best, rather than an attention-grabbing gimmicks.

Is Inbound Marketing For You?

When used effectively, you can:

  • Influence preferences and future purchases
  • Get social media shares and inbound links
  • Make your SEO efforts more effective
  • Get your name out there
  • Improve everyday engagement with your clients
  • Generate quality leads on a smaller budget

What Are The Basics of Inbound Marketing?

Creating quality content is the key to inbound marketing. In the short term, your content becomes a resource for your users, and later it will be a source of traffic through SEO and social sharing. Your content strategy is geared towards your specific visitors, at whatever stage of the buying cycle they’re in. They key is to overcome their objections and build their trust in you, and only then do they become potential customers. You must convince your audience to listen to your unique story, and put that story where they’ll see it.

Good inbound marketing takes several interlocking tactics, mainly SEO, quality content, lead generation, social media outreach, and marketing automation.

SEO

SEO gets your content to the top of the search results with effective keywords and a well-designed site. You can see our articles on SEO here.

Content

Quality content can drive traffic and create leads, while also putting you in a position to provide value to your clients and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. This isn’t just about blog posts, though. Webinars, videos, podcasts, infographics, and email newsletters are all examples of content.

It’s not necessarily about how much money you invest, but more about knowing your target audience well so your content serves them. Fresh content should appear on a regular basis so you can maintain a relationship with your audience, and new content should deal with your customers’ issues, rather than directly about your business.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is creating prospective customers after they’ve been attracted by your content. You can initiate a relationship with people once they have given you a way to contact them, and then you nurture that relationship.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation balances to your inbound marketing – it is basically the outbound activity, and the most recognizable form is emails that are periodically sent to subscribers. This is lead nurturing that allows you to convert fans into customers. It keeps people listening to you, even though they aren’t ready to buy yet, so they may be ready to buy in the future. You can separate good leads from bad ones, as well as measure the effectiveness of your inbound marketing.

Most people use social media to share information, so you need to capitalize on using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other platforms.

Download our free Inbound Marketing Checklist

What Happens After You Implement Inbound Marketing?

At the end of the day, you need to evaluate whether or not the content was effective and if it can be improved in the future. Since everything is digital, everything is trackable. You can look at different metrics: SEO rankings, inbound links, number of articles published, or your website’s organic traffic. (Organic traffic involves how people find your website if they don’t use your URL or brand name.) You can even see how much time people have spent on your site and how they’ve reached your website, and which blog posts they’ve shared and liked.

When you see how this organic traffic converts into leads, you’ll have an idea of what needs to change in your marketing. Because you can measure everything, you can see which channels are working and which ones needs adjusting.

Inbound marketing is an amazing tool.

Inbound marketing requires discipline and planning to create content, nurture leads, and get those leads through the sales funnel. It’s a much more involved approach, since all parts of the inbound marketing strategy must be working well and responsively in order to get better-than-average results. At best, your website is well-designed, and each channel of communication with your customers is bringing potential leads to your website and converting those leads into sales.

Managing all of it — communication channels, details, and content generation — takes a lot of time and expertise. You will need help to tackle these tasks, and we can offer that help.

 

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