First things first.
What actually is inbound marketing?
Traditional marketing is broken and a new era of marketing has begun - the inbound marketing era.
Inbound marketing is the natural way of marketing; if you add value to customers first, they will trust you and buy from you in return. It’s about getting found by buyers, rather than finding them.
With the help of relevant and helpful contents, Inbound marketing pulls the right audiences towards your business like a magnet, nurture them until becoming a paying customer, and delight them over time.
Difference between inbound and outbound marketing
In traditional marketing—a.k.a outbound marketing—marketers fight for customers’ attention far and wide and throw content on them without considering its outcome. This gross marketing effort is very expensive and generates poor ROI.
Examples of outbound marketing include print and TV advertising, trade show, email blast to purchased list, cold calling, and telemarketing, etc. Thanks to the advancement of technology, this interruption-based marketing is losing its efficacy every day.
On the other hand, inbound marketing, the new normal, is gaining momentum as more and more people are using the internet. Marketing has started to evolve in a two-way avenue where customers are flooded with information before they make a decision.
With many forms of content, inbound marketing provides value to the buyers to earn their trust as opposed to outbound marketing which tries to buy or beg prospect’s attention.
Time for transformation - Time for inbound marketing
Unprecedented changes have taken place in the marketing world; consumer behaviors have changed drastically. Today’s buyers are more empowered with plethora of information and do the product or service research online before going to your sales rep.
The result that traditional marketing bring is not worth your time and investment. Interestingly, Inbound marketing solves all the problems that outbound marketing faces and that’s why you need inbound marketing for your survival.
But what can inbound marketing do specifically for businesses?
Putting customers in the driving seat, Inbound marketing offers a good number of benefits that include:
- increasing brand recognition and engaging audiences 24/7
- Influencing buying decisions naturally
- optimizing search engine ranking
- generating leads even when you sleep
Core components of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing ecosystem has three main ingredients namely Contents, Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media.
There are several types of contents used in inbound marketing to attract and convert prospects to customers. Examples include blogs, ebooks, case studies, whitepapers, free trials, webinars, checklists, and how-to videos, etc.
Use of search engine for searching for relevant information is ever increasing. In addition to making your content user-friendly, you need to optimize them for search engines as well, because Search Engine Optimization helps customers find you in organic search results.
You have noticed that social media is taking over the world by storm. So, content sharing in social media helps you build your brand and drive qualified traffic to your site.
Start Inbound Marketing
Now is the high time to stop spending your marketing dollars in the dark; instead embrace inbound marketing to bring maximum ROI with less budget.
Inbound marketing requires you to put your head and heart into it. So, we recommend getting educated on it from industry leaders like HubSpot.
Then you need to build your team or hire contractors (freelancers) to do your inbound marketing. Don’t worry, freelance inbound content marketers cum HubSpotters can work as an extension of your marketing team.
Marketing Automation to your rescue
Inbound marketing involves different pieces to fit into the puzzle. Only good marketing automation tool has the ability to grow your business, nurture leads, and track the entire funnel in the same place.
All in one marketing automation platforms (we use HubSpot) can save your time and make your life easier. This will also help you build a business twice the size of your team.
Measure your marketing success
Inbound marketing is not “set it and forget it” type of marketing approach. You need to continuously monitor results and fine-tune the path to achieve your SMART goals. With the help of a robust automation software, you will have the option to find out areas of improvement and/or adjustment.
Empowerment, the power of inbound marketing
Yes, anyone with great content, strong social media marketing, and robust SEO can build a business of any capacity within 2-3 years. Look around, you will find plenty of examples who embraced inbound marketing to their advantages.
With inbound marketing, the scale of business can be limitless and this is the joy of it, especially for the small businesses. It’s very empowering for them.
What do you think of inbound marketing will look like in five years? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.