What is Inbound Marketing?
If you are looking for ways to build long-term relationships with your customers, then you should be interested in the concept of Inbound Marketing: what it is, what its strategies are, etc.
Businesses and marketers must take advantage of every possible way to promote products and services. One of the best and most effective is the implementation of Inbound Marketing.
Let's see what exactly this is.
Inbound Marketing: What is it
Inbound Marketing is a marketing strategy in which you create and then leverage useful - original content with the purpose of providing solutions to your audience and building trusting relationships.
For many years, the more traditional strategy of Outbound Marketing dominated.
This effectively compels the target audience to watch the advertising message (television advertisement, call, etc.).
It is based on interruption marketing, in the sense that it disturbs the prospective customer and tries to convince him without him having consented to his exposure to the advertising message.
And this is the main factor in the Inbound vs Outbound Marketing comparison.
Inbound's main difference is that it aims to attract, not distract, potential customers, which you win exclusively with your engaging content.
Be careful though. Don't confuse this with content marketing.
The main difference between Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing is that the former is about creating a site and content that will motivate the user to take some action.
On the contrary, the latter is specifically about the ways of creating and sharing the content through various promotion channels.
If you wish to learn more about the benefits of content marketing, see our related article.
Inbound Marketing Methodology - Stages
Inbound Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all process where potential customers are automatically converted into consumers of your products.
There are a few steps involved in making the conversion.
The stages of Inbound Marketing are the following:
In order to attract the right people, that is, those who are most likely to become your customers, it is necessary to have previously created buyer personas (imaginary depictions of your ideal customers).
The audience at this stage doesn't even know you, so it's up to you to convince them to visit every corner where your business is hosted (eg website, social media, etc.).
2. Convert (leads)
Once you've attracted people and increased traffic to your site or social media, you now need to convert them into potential customers.
In order for them to become potential customers (leads), it is necessary to secure their contact information (email, mobile, etc.).
They will enter these themselves in a contact form that should be on your site.
The generation of leads will only succeed if you have really useful and helpful content on your site.
It's also a good idea to offer them something in return (e.g. an e-book) to entice them to share their valuable information with you.
3. Close (Conversion of leads to customers)
The third stage involves converting leads into real customers.
An extremely important stage, as this is where the buying behaviour of visitors needs to be influenced in order to translate into more sales.
The most important thing here is to distinguish at which stage of the consumer's journey (buyer's journey) each lead is in, so that you can adjust the content accordingly, in order to maximise the possibility of a sale.
The final stage is that of satisfying and then retaining your customers.
Many businesses underestimate this stage, as the stage of sale has already been reached.
However, it is extremely critical to keep your customer happy by continuing to produce useful content so that they will come back to you in the future and recommend you to friends and family!
Inbound Marketing strategies
After seeing what Inbound Marketing is and its stages, it's time to see what strategies you can use at each stage.
1. Attracting Strategies
The first type of strategies are those for attracting visitors.
In order to get people to know about you, it's a good idea to start producing and posting useful content on your company blog, social media, etc.
Another great attraction strategy is to optimise your site for search engines (SEO) so that users who type in specific keywords find you.
2. Engaging Strategies
Interacting with your audience is very important to building a relationship of trust.
It is necessary that some communication strategies, such as handling incoming calls or messages on social media from the service department, are exemplary and above all provide solutions to the problems of your (potential or actual) customers.
3. Delighting Strategies
Last type of strategies are those used to satisfy your customers.
Using chatbots (autoresponder software) and conducting surveys is extremely helpful in supporting and getting feedback from your customers about the services you offer.
Also, social media listening (monitoring what is being said about you on social media) is a particularly useful strategy. This way, you'll be able to respond when they mention you, offering to your audience continuously and without expecting anything in return.
By implementing such strategies, you too can take advantage of Inbound Marketing not only in Greece but also outside its borders.
Tools for implementing Inbound Marketing
Getting Inbound Marketing right requires leveraging the ideal tools to attract, engage and delight customers.
In your inbound marketing plan, therefore, you must utilize the right tools for each strategy.
To attract customers, you can use:
- Articles for the blog (blogging)
- Social media
- Paid advertisements, such as google ads, etc.
Your interaction with your audience will be enhanced by:
The goal of customer satisfaction and retention can be achieved by:
- Conversational marketing
- Email marketing
- Smart content, i.e. providing the appropriate content to the person, depending on the needs or the stage of the digital marketing funnel they are in.
We hope we have helped you understand what Inbound Marketing is, its stages, individual strategies and tools.
This is a very valuable strategy from which you can reap many benefits. We would say that Inbound Marketing is necessary both at the B2B and B2C level.
So if you haven't integrated it into your overall strategy yet, or aren't implementing it heavily, it's probably time to do so.
If you are interested in learning more about Wizard's digital marketing strategies, please contact us!