Inbound marketing is one of the major forms of getting people to your site and product. But many are not exactly sure of what it is and how best to use it.
Inbound marketing is one of the major forms of getting people to your site and product. It deploys many of the proven digital tactics we recommend.
In this post we cover what content marketing is, and how we can use it to generate leads. We will cover the difference between the two most common lead generation services - inbound and outbound marketing. Finally, we will review the main inbound marketing services.
Today we wanted to share with you the meaning of Inbound Marketing. To read a case study about this topic, please see our client Dorian's own story about in-bound marketing. Hopefully you can turn it into results for yourself!
The concept behind inbound marketing is relatively simple. Quality content drives qualified leads. In theory, prospects at the top of the marketing funnel (TOF) begin by searching for information regarding solutions to the problem he or she is facing
Inbound marketing is a technique that begins to engage with prospects by providing that information via blog posts, email marketing, and other digital marketing tactics. The main intent is to build awareness and trust.
While there are differences between inbound and outbound tactics, the main difference is on how they are used. Inbound relies heavily on content generation and content marketing. The goal is to provide the right content to the right prospect at the right time.
Therefore, inbound marketing leans more heavily on social media marketing, search engine optimization, and email marketing. The content is free, but often gated. Gated content is content that requires an email or registration to access it.
An inbound marketing agency or an in house sales team, then uses the prospect’s contact information to begin the process of converting the prospect into a qualified lead.
In contrast, outbound marketing is what we would most likely define as marketing, such as, paid advertising, promotions, samples, etc. The company pushes information out to a target buyer persona in the attempt to influence or inform their purchase decision.
An outbound campaign using landing pages and set lead conversion steps to qualify if the prospect that clicked on the ad is a potential customer or not. Marketing automation is most often used here as the tasks are genuinely routine and only modestly personalized.
Both inbound and outbound marketing can be effective in generating leads. There is a significant amount of debate regarding whether inbound or outbound marketing is more effective.
Inbound marketing is designed to help customers learn and gain valuable information and insight. When customers see that value that a service provides, it builds trust, credibility, and relevant awareness.
This works best when the purchase decision is deliberate. The prospect is researching his or options and weighing them carefully.
This is called a high purchase involvement. High purchase involvement indicates the buyer of these products or services perceives a higher degree of personal risk if a poor choice is made.
These decision makers welcome educational content that can help them make a more informed choice. They are not as likely to view these marketing efforts as intrusive, but rather helpful.
In contrast, outbound marketing works best when purchase involvement is low. Purchasers of low involvement products see little risk in a poor choice. Therefore, they expend these energy on making the decision.
Outbound marketing, by definition, is intrusive. It interrupts the viewer. Customers are willing to tolerate the interruption, so long as it provides some value - funny, shareable, etc.
Outbound marketing can be very effective for known brands where trust exists. In these cases, the goal is to keep the product or service top-of-mind. Thus, when the customer is ready to buy that brand is one he or she thinks of first.
According to a survey of businesses, who use inbound marketing, they claimed it increased their leads by 72% and their conversion by 55% in the past six months. Both are key aspects of inbound marketing: identifying leads & converting them.
There are 5 major tactics that are used most often for inbound marketing: social media, content promotion, visual content (a.k.a. infographics), case studies, blog content, and SEO. Combining them can add to growing your business remarkably.
90% of businesses leverage social media for inbound marketing. Social media is easy to use and has the potential of reaching a highly targeted audience.
While 9 out 10 businesses use it, not all agree regarding its effectiveness. Only about 4 out 10 businesses say that social media produces the best results. In fact, 2 in 10 say it's the worst.
We believe that this disconnect is because many fail to use social media effectively. Social media only works when it's well tended.
While inexpensive to do, it can be expensive to maintain. It requires a significant time commitment for an extended period of time, which is why many companies purchase this as a service.
Content promotion is when you pay to have content served to a target audience. It's where you take your best posts and promote them so more people see them than would have seen them organically.
It's less time consuming. You create the content once and pay to promote it. Content promotion works best when the content adds value and a sizable, reachable audience.
If you are new, have a smaller following, or smaller target audience, content promotion can be more challenging.
Many companies, like ourselves, provide this as a service. The services range from content creation through promotion to just promotion.
Infographics are a great way to promote content. If done right, they are simple, straight-forward, and easy to understand. They don't require a heavy investment in time or a bunch of clicks to get to where you need to be. Having something visual can be a core aspect of any small business marketing plan, both to show
Many businesses are gifted or knowledgeable of graphic design best principles. Therefore, they often seek the services of an outside firm to helm.
Blogs are a more time consuming form of inbound marketing, but possibly more fruitful. Blog posts provide a medium to communicate more complex information. They can be very useful in credibility building. They can showcase knowledge.
There's only so much time a person can spend. Blogs are also the food for SEO. We all can remember the days of keyword loaded, useless blogs used as link bait. While SEO has become much more sophisticated, blogs are still one of the best tools to ensure good rankings.
Again, inbound marketing agencies, like us, offer blog writing and SEO as services.
There are three things that we hope that you take away with you.
At ProStrategix, we know you have concerns. We're designed to help give you the marketing support you need so you can focus on doing what you love. If you would like to learn about how we might be able to help you, please contact us
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Brian Cairns, CEO of Prostrategix Consulting. Over 25 years of business experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, and small business owner. For more information, please visit my LinkenIn profile
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