You might have heard of the term "Inbound Marketing", but aren't entirely sure what it means, well this blog post will tell you...
On the whole, Inbound marketing is a type of business methodology that attracts customers by tailoring valuable content and experiences to them.
With inbound marketing, you are putting the customer at the centre of everything that you do, you are attracting customers like a magnet. Rather than pushing out your message and disrupting potential leads, you’re using your industry knowledge as a way to pull these potential customers in by attracting your best prospects who are out there looking for solutions to their problems.
Inbound differs to traditional means of outbound marketing that tends to interrupt your audience with content they don’t want while inbound ensures that you are making a connection that the audience/customer is looking for and solving problems they may have.
Inbound marketing is all about attracting, engaging and delighting people to grow a business that provides value and builds trust. Consumers will trust, and usually buy, from those businesses and brands that are the first to add value in their buyers’ journey – this is exactly what inbound is all about. Using a human and holistic approach to selling to ensure that the buyer is at the heart of everything.
Why Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing enables you to build up a trusted and personal relationship between you and your customer by providing knowledge and answering customers questions or pain points, while also offering a human, holistic and personal approach to marketing.
Use your own knowledge and expertise of your sector, or area, to really consolidate your brand/business as a leading expert. Blogs are an excellent way of educating your audience, they’re easy to set up, and free, so it’s a cost-effective way to engage with potential customers.
With inbound, it’s all about attracting your audience, rather than pushing and hard selling your product or service.
Customer Pain Points:
Pain points are specific problems your prospective customers have and hopefully ones that your product or service can solve. If you're unsure what your customers pain points are then we strongly suggest taking a step back and rethinking your buyer personas.
The best pain points aren't small niggling issues that would be 'nice to solve', but big glaring issues that NEED fixing. Our job as marketers is to reach out and offer a solution to solve these problems and so they should play a core part in all of our campaigns.
They generally fall into one of four categories -
- Financial - Your prospects are either spending too much money on current solutions or struggling to make enough to cover their costs
- Productivity - Your prospects are wasting too much time and want to make more efficient use of their time
- Process - Your Prospects want to improve their current internal processes and boost overall efficiency
- Support - Your prospects aren't receiving the support they need to complete a task
If you're not offering to solve a problem for your customers then why should they buy from you? Instead of continuing to produce content around the features of your particular product or service, consider addressing their most painful problem and helping them to overcome it. If you can deliver a solution to their problems better than anyone else then you'll have won a customer for life!
How to attract:
Your website should act like a hub for your industry, not just shouting about what you do as a business or what your products offer, but by utilising content, such as blogs, to answer any potential customer questions. That way, you are nurturing them through their buying process and by the time they get to the all-important decision stage, they are left with no questions and both yourselves and the customer will know that they are ready to make that purchase.
A good place to start is ensuring that your SEO is up to scratch and get yourself ranking for organic searches, e.g. someone Googling a term such as "Volkswagen car parts", if your business were supplying Volkswagen car parts, you'd want to rank in Google so they would find your site.
Search engines actually make up for two thirds of all website traffic, so step up your SEO game!
To reach your intended and target audience, begin by creating and publishing valuable and insightful content, for example; blog posts, social media posts and content offers that all provide value to your customer. Within this you could post a complete guide to your product/service that informs and educates your audience.
Social posts could include top tips, handy hints and even informative infographics. Tweets and social posts accompanied by images will get better engagement than ones without, while posts with videos will get even more! Have a look and see what works best for you.
But how do you know what social channel is best for you? Read our blog on Social Media Marketing Strategy to find out more.
All in all, if you successful attract, engage and delight, you'll be well on your way to being a successful Inbound Marketer!