Inbound marketing has evolved over the years to be the most efficient guide to drive traffic to your website and increase your advance to account conversion rates organically. This methodology relies on providing value to your prospects with extensible and reproducible techniques.
Instead of the disturbing nature of the outgoing tactics, we are all tired of seeing inbound marketing strategies position your company to be easily found by prospects who are already looking for your solutions and are thus more likely to buy.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing method designed to attract visitors and prospective customers, rather than pushing a brand, product, or service into prospects with the hope of generating prospects or customers.
In terms of digital marketing, it means using a mix of marketing channels – usually content marketing, SEO, and social media – creatively to get people’s attention. The goal of a successful inbound marketing campaign is to increase the reach and quality of traffic, engagement and conversions through “acquired” and “owned” media.
HubSpot coined the word “inbound marketing” in 2006. HubSpot defines incoming marketing as the process of attracting, converting, closing, and thrilling customers. By using different types of content at different stages of the purchase cycle, the “arrival methodology” is “the best way to turn foreigners into customers and promoters of your business.”
We have a simple yet highly effective inbound marketing strategy, which contains the following stages
- Attract: Establishing your business as a domain leader or expert by sharing valuable content to attract prospects and generate awareness.
- Convert: Converting the prospects into high-quality leads through active engagement.
- Close: Presenting your product/service as a fitting solution to their pain points and closing the deal.
- Delight: Offering constant help and support to aid the customers in extracting the maximum from their purchase.
Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing
The key to understanding the differences between inward and outward marketing is in the name. Inbound marketing seeks to attract potential customers, whereas outbound marketing is to push externally a business offer. Inbound marketing aims to attract attention, while outbound marketing generally implies buying it.
Impact of Inbound Marketing
Are you wondering if inbound marketing is worth its weight in gold?
Let’s quickly go over the advantages of running an inbound marketing campaign:
- Given that a significant chunk of buyers researches sellers before reaching a decision, inbound marketing will help with brand visibility and customer awareness.
- Inbound marketing is sustainable as its campaigns do not expire and continue to deliver results in the long run.
- It attracts high-quality leads as it attracts, engages, and nurtures prospects that are already looking for solutions and to make a purchase.
- It elevates the brand position and helps in building trust, which lays the foundation for better customer retention.
- Inbound marketing best practices tie together the sales and marketing teams, which, when working in harmony, will boost your customer base.
- When compared to outbound marketing, inbound marketing can achieve comparable results at 61% cheaper costs.
Benefits of Inbound marketing
Achieve the right audience in the right place to generate good traffic
By focusing your inbound marketing strategy on reaching the right audiences in the right places, you can attract your target clients to achieve your digital marketing goals. It’s rather than spending money attracting trafficking in people who are unlikely to ever convert.
Inbound marketing is about giving prospective customers the information they want – even if they don’t know it – creatively and engaging. This is not about pushing undesirable sales on every occasion. Using inbound marketing as a means of presenting your brand as a useful and reliable resource, the hope is that they will come to you when the time of purchase comes up.
Protection from excessive use of the channel
Seeking quality traffic from various sources – organic research, social media referrals, referrals from other websites speak of your extraordinary work – you are reducing the use of one channel and therefore the associated risk.
Inbound Marketing Best Practices
Here are a few of the inbound marketing best practices that will help you get your business noticed:
1. Creating Buyers Persona
As a marketing expert, you have two options: Create an inbound marketing strategy that targets the spectrum of your target audience. Or, you have the option of targeting specific client sets that can be considered your ideal clients. If you chose to go with the latter one, congratulations. You targeted potential customers based on their buyer persona’.
Buyer or persona marketing is the writing of a story, which revolves around your perfect client. This story answers questions like ‘Who are you dealing with?, “Why are your customers making a purchase decision?”, etc. The answers to these and many other questions will help you build a detailed picture of your client. Ideally, the more information you have about your customers, the greater your understanding of them.
2. Create Incredible Content
Each phase of an incoming marketing methodology relates to the needs of your customers and how you can effectively meet those needs. As a result, the content you produce plays an important role because it must be optimized for every step:
- In the “attract” stage, you identify your customers’ weaknesses and generate content that offers them a solution.
- Then you convert them into prospects by providing them with valuable content in exchange for their coordinates.
- In the close stage, you create custom messages to meet the needs of your prospects and, finally, to convert them into customers.
Content creation and marketing form the backbone of inbound marketing.
But the quality of your content will make a world of difference while determining how well your campaign will take off. So make quality a priority above everything else!
Next, you need to generate content according to your target audience. Many types of content can aid your inbound marketing efforts. Classic examples of inbound marketing include blogs, infographics, whitepapers, ebooks, case studies, webinars, podcasts, and video series. Focus more on creating long-form blogs that are loaded with data, infographics, and other content formats.
Finally, in addition to the tone and format of your content, the platform where you publish your content also plays a crucial role. For instance, if you are sending out physical flyers to millennials, your efforts might probably land up in their trash bins.
3. Maximize Results With SEO
Now that we have covered the importance of content, it is equally important to grant your content visibility. To achieve the desired results, you need to have a thorough understanding of search engine optimization (SEO)
Using a properly implemented SEO strategy will ensure that the customers you have targeted elsewhere will find exactly what they are looking for once they are on your site. Inbound marketing in SEO means targeting keyword clients who are already searching and optimizing the pages on your site with these terms. As a result, inbound marketing and SEO are inseparable.
Inbound SEO offers a 14.6% close rate when compared to 1.7% of outbound sourced leads.
SEO is the magic word if you want to attract organic traffic from Google’s search engine result page (SERP).
On-page SEO is one of the first places to get started. Start by locating and researching the specific keywords for your target audience and stuffing them naturally in your article. Of course, this shouldn’t compromise your content quality. Make your content highly readable, engaging, and loaded with value.
Another way to optimize your website is through guest posting or creating shareable content for backlinks from other websites. Optimizing your website for mobile-friendliness and higher responsiveness will also give you impressive results.
4. Utilize The Power of Social Media
The benefits of social media for inbound marketing far exceed the significant volume and scope. Social media is a marketing tool that helps you give your audience exactly what they want: interaction, commitment, and a level of confidence. From creating your brand to improving search engine optimization, the many benefits of social media for inbound marketing can help you reach the right people, when the time is right, with the right message.
- Social media shows you care
If you can deliver relevant, informative, and even entertaining content, your target audience will want to connect with you. And when you interact with your audience, whether it’s responding to feedback or criticism (in a positive, problem-solving manner), you create an even bigger connection. Your prospects consult you on social media when they wonder who they want to do business with, and the more active you are, the more likely potential customers are to trust your brand. They seek not only credibility and authority, but also someone they can relate to and understand their business needs.
- Social media build your brand
There isn’t a better marketing tool than social media to put your brand ahead of the leads you want to reach. When you use social media as a core element of your marketing strategy, you create the basic elements of brand awareness. You can share your ideas to inform your audience, strengthening authority. You can reach your audience where they spend the most time online, which enables you to get a reputation of being tech-savvy and up to date. You can, and should, entertain your public to create a feeling of trust and friendliness.
Social media is a quick, easy and inexpensive way for your prospects to learn not just about your business, but also about you and what you represent. The pictures you display, the topics you address, and your overall tone will quickly help your target audience decide if they think you will meet their needs. Address these needs with your social media content, and your brand will become stronger as you expand your reach.
- It fuels content creation
One of the greatest benefits of using social media as part of your inbound marketing is “insider” information and the feedback you receive from the same clients you are trying to attract. When you’re active on social networks, you get access to more content ideas than you could ever use. Forums, online review sites, and other platforms your frequent prospects offer a nearly endless supply of ideas to create the kind of content your audience wants.
- It promotes content to help establish your authority
When you fully embrace social media, these digital platforms can contribute to a content and interaction cycle that establishes your authority. By gathering ideas and comments from social media usage, you can create valuable content for your audience and promote this same content through social media to sustain the cycle.
- Social media boosts SEO organically
Though the use of social media is not one of the factors that influence rankings with search engines, there exists an undeniable link between an active presence on social networks and the impact of SEO. The more you use social media to interact and promote your content, the more visibility you create for your organization. Increased exposure and valuable content, combined with your other digital marketing efforts, help broaden your reach beyond your intended audience.
Social Media has emerged as a hidden treasure trove to boost your inbound marketing strategy. Here are a few inbound marketing best practices for getting the best out of your social media-based inbound strategy:
- Target: Social media offers a wide range of demographic factors that allow you to attract your ideal client and increase organic traffic. Make use of these tools to gain visibility within your targeted circles. Establish a clear messaging strategy that answers the who, what, why, and when about everything that you wish to promote.
- Engage: Engaging content will have a better chance of diverting traffic to your website. Create thought-provoking or attractive content with a compelling CTA to convert lookers into bookers.
- Show Your Care: Whether you’re interacting with a miffed client or a curious prospect, the nature of your engagement will help in establishing your brand voice. Stay polite and professional, and incorporate humor tough.
5. Candid Content Audit
Before developing your strategy for attracting potential customers and generating traffic to your website, it is wise to evaluate your KPIs and methods that you already have in movement, to see what works for you and what could work against you. This is generally an inward content audit to measure the effectiveness of your content marketing efforts.
A content audit starts with a comprehensive inventory to account for all the different assets your company executes to grow organic search traffic more efficiently. From there, you and your team can examine KPIs obtained and saved from your existing SEO link building, content strategy, paid search, and other incoming strategies.
This initial data collection strategy allows you to evaluate the effectiveness and quality of your incoming content strategy to determine if you need to rethink your approach to creating content.
The following is a list of key data points to pull together to verify your SEO technical performance.
- Page Title
- Target Keyword
- Meta Description
- Inbound Links
- Images Present
- Image ALT Tags
- Date Last Updated
- Page Visits (measure for at least three months, if possible)
- Page Entries and Exits
- Page Bounce Rate
- Average Time on Page
- Broken Links
Below is a list of key data points to collect to check your content marketing performance.
- Word Count
- Type of Content (article, blog post, informational page, landing page, infographic, etc.)
- Content Condition (out-of-date, green, etc)
- General Topic
- Assigned Tags or Categories
- Content Owner (as in, who is responsible for editing it)
- Number of Comments
- Number of Social Shares
- Accessibility on Desktop and Mobile Devices
- Call to Action
- Associated Sales Funnel Stage
- Link Building Strategy
- Conversion Data
6. Website Design Effectiveness
Before starting to attract visitors, your website must be attractive and easy to navigate. If your website is not a useful partner to attract, engage and delight prospects, it’s time to revamp it.
When developing an integrated marketing plan for your brand, appropriate web design is critical. The standard for website design is no longer just function or visibility; it’s everything in the details that lead to the way a user will interact with your brand. From page design to color, these essential elements work together to build a digital tool that, when used strategically, may significantly improve on-line marketing campaigns.
A well-designed Web site will allow the user to engage, explore and interact with the brand. Creating meaningful first impressions — from brand to consumer — influences a brand’s net result and overall goals.
7. Mobile-Friendly Pages
You also have to mobilize your website and blog. More than ever, research on the Internet is carried out on mobile devices. Most Internet queries are made on mobile devices, not desktop devices, such as personal computers and laptops. Therefore, to attract the majority, your sites must be accessible and user-friendly on smartphones and other handheld devices.
A user-friendly mobile site reduces the friction of the user’s shopping experience and enhances consumer satisfaction with their shopping experience and, by extension, with your business.
8 . Pillar Pages And Blog Content
Creating personal content via pillar pages that speak to the pain points of your ideal customer is vital to convert blog readers into skilled prospects. Many aspects of content creation include the production of videos, articles, and blog posts, which are infinitely more efficient forms of advertising for many years to come, in contracts with paid search advertisements, video advertisements, or online advertisements.
Quality content helps in one way or another, such as hands-on advice or relevant information that adds value to the reader. The more your content inspires, intrigues, or helps readers in one way or another, ultimately determines the degree to which your content succeeds in converting website visitors into qualified marketers.
9. Niche Guest Blogging Posting
Not all backlinks are equally important. Certain types of backlinks may affect your ranking. The backlink value of blog comments and profile backlinks has long since vanished.
Through guest signage on other channels or important publications related to your business offering, you can increase organic traffic and reach a new audience, Some may not have heard about your business otherwise.
As we review inbound marketing strategies, many marketers are neglecting this high-impact way of attracting more people to a website and generating more leads and sales. Guest postings are essential as a marketing strategy in the sense that they can impact almost every other aspect of your marketing plan. Guest posting can provide backlinks to your location, create brand authority, and build relationships with niche influencers.
10. Landing Pages
Your inbound marketing strategy must include multiple entrances. Landing pages serve as an alternate entry point to your main landing page. Creating additional landing pages gives you the ability to lead your prospect to a landing page specifically designed to convince them to move on to the next stage.
Whether you want to gather information about prospects, encourage people to sign up for your newsletter, download a whitepaper, or even buy your product, landing pages can be personalized around this lens and free of any additional distraction.
11. CTAs Button
It’s important to give your potential customers a chance to share their information so your marketing professionals can start a conversation. Today’s marketing experts understand a really important rule: give before you ask.
Nowadays, clients don’t trust everything they see online. They have also had enough of pop-ups and other disruptive “in-your-face” ads. That is why the rule of giving before asking has been established.
This means creating a Call to Action (CTA) that delivers value to the customer in exchange for information such as their email address or phone number. It may also allow you to collect information about their demographics to help you better understand who your content is for.
12. Nurturing Leads Into Customers
So you created engaging content, gained traffic on your website, and started the conversation with a qualified lead – that’s great! But how to seal the agreement and turn this qualified track into a paying client?
Nurturing a lead and guiding him towards decision-making is a delicate process. Today’s customers are not reacting very well to an aggressive engagement. You must be prepared with the right tools and the best marketing tactics coming in to give prospects the gentle boost they need to purchase without being pushy.
13. Test And Repeat Everything
Marketers today have better access to the measures than ever before. We can now measure the effectiveness of almost everything in our marketing plans at a granular level. This is only useful if we consider these measures intending to adjust our strategy.
Businesses need to track the progress of their inbound marketing efforts and adapt their inbound marketing strategy accordingly. Naturally, to measure the progress, you would need to identify the right set of metrics. Here are a few metrics that we highly recommend:
- Conversion Rates: Measure the number of prospects who have taken the desired action on your landing page, website, or social media handle.
- Website/Blog Traffic: Measure the number of visitors who are visiting your blog or website and connecting with your business.
- Engagement Metrics: While your social media reach is important, the level of engagement is even more crucial to understand the performance of your inbound marketing effort.
Tools like Google Analytics, Search Console, and BuzzSumo can help you track and measure your progress.
Before 2021, the paradigm shift from traditional outgoing methods occurs faster than most marketers anticipate because they are disturbing and ineffective. Inbound marketing strategies are scalable and offer the highest brand value for the years ahead.
As you immerse yourself in creating an arrival strategy, feedback from your sales and marketing teams is essential. Make sure you have a scalable approach to provide efficient marketing communications for lead generation, customer acquisition, efforts to engage customers, and achieve your return on investment marketing goals.
The above inbound marketing best practices can propel your business from anonymity to brand status within your industry. Do remember that you need to continue refining your inbound marketing practices to oust your competitors.
So, what are you waiting for? Get discovered!
Download Our B2B Marketing Guide!
Download this free ebook to learn how to grow your business online.