Straight out the gate, 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 always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have. Let's explore the building blocks that inbound marketing is made of, shall we?
The inbound methodology is the method of growing your organisation by building meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers, prospects, and customers. It’s about valuing and empowering these people to reach their goals at any stage in their journey with you.
Why? Because when your customers succeed, you succeed.
The inbound methodology can be applied in three ways:
- Attract: drawing in the right people with valuable content and conversations that establish you as a trusted advisor with whom they want to engage.
- Engage: presenting insights and solutions that align with their pain points and goals so they are more likely to buy from you.
- Delight: providing help and support to empower your customers to find success with their purchases.
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The Inbound Flywheel Explained
The flywheel is a business model adopted by HubSpot to illustrate the momentum your organisation can gain by prioritising and delivering exceptional customer experience.
You can spin and build momentum in your flywheel by investing in strategies that acquire and retain customers — forces for your flywheel.
On the other hand, anything that slows your flywheel is friction. Often the biggest sources of friction for your customers come in the hand-offs between teams, so alignment and communication between teams are key to keeping your flywheel spinning.
Inbound Vs Outbound
At the most basic level, the difference between inbound and outbound marketing is in who initiates the sales relationship. Inbound sales processes get started by the prospect, while outbound sales are started by sales representatives contacting the prospect first.Inbound
- The prospect comes to the company by looking for information to solve their problem/need/pain point.
- The prospect searches, reads blogs, attends a webinar, schedules a free consultation, etc.
- The prospect submits his/her email for a free eBook, an infographic, a tool, etc.
- An inbound salesperson might email or call them.
- Inbound prospects are typically more aware and more engaged to start.
- The salesperson reaches out to the prospect to offer them the service/product.
- The salesperson can use cold calling, cold emailing, or even cold texting the prospect.
- Outbound leads are normally less aware and less engaged.
Why Choose Inbound Marketing
While the fruits of inbound marketing might be less “in your face” than other advertising techniques, they are much more valuable to your business in the long run.
Here are some key benefits of inbound marketing:
Apart from being highly ineffective in this digital age, mass marketing is costly and risky.
It’s like putting all your eggs in one basket. Or shooting an (expensive) arrow in the dark and hoping it’ll hit the target.
With a leaner, more focused advertising spend on inbound marketing, your business can save money and experience higher ROI over time.
When you empower customers to do their own research and find you organically, you come across as more trustworthy than a billboard screaming “Buy this now!”
Inbound marketing techniques like creating helpful content and leveraging social proof help reduce the number of risks consumers associate with your brand.
Quality Traffic & Leads
Inbound marketing isn’t just about creating brand awareness. It’s about drawing it the right kind of leads and traffic. With a more targeted and informed approach, you’re able to attract leads who are more likely to be interested in your solutions.
Stepping Stones To Evolve
Engaging with customers on social media and listening to their conversations, questions, and feedback helps you better understand how to improve your products and services.
Implementing An Inbound Marketing Strategy
Now that you know what is inbound marketing and how it works, let’s dive into the best strategies for inbound marketing for startups.
10 quick steps to implement an inbound marketing strategy:
- Use Facebook to Create a Target Persona
- Survey Your Current Customers and Leads
- Conduct In-Depth Interviews to Inform Your Inbound Marketing Efforts
- Create and Share Compelling Content
- Writing Enticing Headline
- Make Your Content More Visual
- Write In-Depth Data-Driven Articles
- Use Storytelling in Your Content
- Build Effective Email Campaigns
- Maximise Your Results from SEO with Keyword Optimisation
Inbound Marketing For Your Business
Because of technology, consumers are increasingly able to tune out marketing messages. Examples of the technology that enables consumers to avoid unwanted marketing messages include DVRs, caller ID, satellite radio, iPods, email spam filters, Internet ad popup blockers, RSS readers and “do not call” lists.
Now, a buyer can thoroughly research your company or product online and avoid your sales person until they are ready to buy. An example is a car buyer who thoroughly researches her purchase (costs, options, car reviews) and might know more about the product than the salesman. The same applies to business-to-business sales.
As a result, marketers are finding traditional, outbound marketing to be increasingly less effective. A few points to consider:
- 86 percent of people skip television ads.
- 44 percent of direct mail is never opened.
- 200 million Americans have registered their phone numbers on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
- 91 percent of email users have unsubscribed from a company email that they previously opted into.
- 84 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising.
Will outbound marketing go away? Probably not. But the power it has enjoyed for the last 75 years will continue to decline and be overshadowed by inbound marketing.