I’m guessing here, but you may have heard of inbound marketing and why all the excitement over this technique. It goes back to that same old adage you have heard me use many times before. “People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” Inbound marketing takes advantage of this.
So, what exactly is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing, simply put, helps your client find you and helps build the trust and authority that helps them decide to use you rather than your competitors. Inbound marketing uses a variety of techniques and incentives to accomplish this. Your blog, for instance. (How many times have I told you that you need a blog?) Your blog not only improves your SEO but also helps educate your customer and sets you apart as an expert in your field. Educating your customers and developing a relationship with them is inbound marketing at its finest. You aren’t shouting at your customer to use your product or service. You are luring them in, gently, to learn more about your product or service, and why they need you more than your competitor. It’s all about content, content, content.
How does inbound marketing benefit me?
While outbound marketing gives every customer the same message, inbound marketing is better personalized to your potential customer. If you’re selling a product or service, inbound marketing helps you be there in the moment, when your potential customer is already looking for your product or service. Being there when your customer is already looking for you helps bring you more qualified leads, in turn making it more effective than outbound marketing. Inbound marketing helps your bottom line.
According to Guy Kawasaki, one of the original founders of Apple: “If you have more money than brains, you should focus on Outbound Marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on Inbound Marketing.” – Guy Kawasaki
· Inbound marketing is cheaper than outbound marketing
Outbound marketing requires advertising. TV and radio advertising, print advertising and billboards and even PPC advertising are expensive propositions, even when compared to hiring people to do your inbound marketing. Inbound marketing tends to be more personalized. Personalizing your campaigns to your target audience improves effectiveness. Marketing that enhances your SEO and is more personalized improves your organic results, which is more effective than any ads you choose to use. Studies show people are at least 30% more likely to buy from companies they found through organic results than through sponsored ads. People are also more likely to click on organic results. In part, this is because they can see a better description of whether or not you have the information they are seeking.
· Inbound marketing brings you a better ROI
Even if you have to hire an SEO copywriter to write your blogs, each blog is a one-time charge, unlike other advertising that you have to pay each time the ad is run or clicked on. That alone brings your expenses down. Plus, since you are not spraying your advertising to people that aren’t interested in your product or service, you are getting warm leads. People who are already looking for you are much more likely to buy from you. ROI is therefore improved.
· Inbound marketing sets you apart as the expert
By establishing yourself as an expert in your field, you build trust with your potential customers. Your knowledge becomes more credible. It begins building that relationship that is so important in sales. Your salespeople don’t have to work as hard to close that deal, as the customer is already educated, not only in your product or service but also in your specific company. Most consumers today search online for relevant information before ever seeking the company from which they will buy.
· Inbound marketing is the single most effective advertising for businesses that have difficulties reaching their target audience by other methods, such as highly competitive markets or B2B advertising
Companies that compete with larger companies and B2B companies find that these techniques are more effective than other forms of marketing. Your blog and additional information help improve your SEO by focusing on the long-tailed keywords that might not be utilized by your bigger competitors. Therefore, it is easier to reach your target audience through the education you offer regarding your product or service. You can more easily compete as a David to their Goliath. B2B advertising is notoriously difficult to reach through other means. Inbound marketing helps resolve this issue. Buyers for business tend to do even more research (about 25% more) than retail consumers before buying a product.
· Inbound marketing resolves the issue of not being entirely sure of your target audience
While you should still do your market research to understand your target audience, since you are focusing more on drawing your potential client in through education, your target audience will come looking for you. However, you can’t skimp on the market research as it will help define how to speak to this audience after they find you. For instance, you would talk to a 50-year-old financial advisor differently than if you are marketing to a 15-year-old girl.
What types of strategies should I use for inbound marketing?
As mentioned before, a blog is a necessity. However, other inducements can help seal the deal. Further educational opportunities, such as E-books, whitepapers, and brochures are common inducements. Coupons and specials to try your product or service at a discount remain a popular inducement. How-to videos are great for helping your client understand your product or service better. Professionally made videos are not necesary. Videos made with your smartphone demonstrating your product or service help your potential client not only understand your offerings, but also help them to get to know you and develop a relationship and, again, help set you apart as the expert.
As inbound marketing is more effective than traditional outbound strategies, it would be silly not to utilize this technique. The decreased costs and improved ROI alone should convince you. Bringing you in warm leads is an even bigger bonus. This customer has already done their homework. You have built their trust and shown them you are an expert. You have already established a relationship with this client.
Of course, great SEO and SEO copywriting is even more crucial when using this strategy to bring you the best results.
At Christy’s Marketing Solutions, we are inbound marketing certified. We know how to help bring that customer in and can help set you apart from your competition. Call us today.