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What is Inbound Marketing and Why do You Need It?

What is Inbound Marketing and Why do You Need It?


Zach Lemmer
December 13, 2018

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True marketing is about creativity, finding ways to not only reach your audience so that you can tell them about your product and service but to nurture relationships and create an unforgettable experience that will inspire them to tell their friends and keep them coming back for more.

There are two approaches to marketing: inbound and outbound. Traditional marketers tended to use outbound marketing: broadcasting their message to a mass audience, regardless of who, in order to seek potential customers. Unfortunately, this method is expensive and highly inefficient. Most of the people who see outbound marketing advertisements ignore them completely since the message is not pertinent to them.

But isn't the point of marketing to let as many people as possible know about your product or service? Yes and no. EFFECTIVE marketing is about letting as many RELEVANT people as possible know about your product or service so that they are more likely to buy from you. Not everyone needs what you have to offer, and advertising your products to them wastes both of your time. However, advertising to the right people, people who actually want and need your product is a win-win situation for both. But how do you do that?

Enter inbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is all about attracting and engaging the right people to your product and business in a way that provides value and encourages connection and trust. The HubSpot methodology of inbound marketing consists of three stages:

Attract

The goal of this stage is to bring in the right people to your business—people who are interested in your product or service who are likely to buy.

You don't want EVERYONE coming to your site—only those to whom your message is relevant. You want to attract the RIGHT customers, using relevant, valuable content that they are looking for. Some methods for doing this include using blog posts, video content, and targeted ads.

Engage

With Engagement, your purpose is to build strong, long-lasting relationships by communicating with your prospective customers through their favorite channels like email or social media, podcasts, or other apps.

Conversion tools like forms and calls to action will help you collect relevant information from prospects so that you can more effectively reach out to them, inform them of your offerings, and give them the opportunity to buy.

Delight

You've found the right audience, and built a relationship with them your ideal customer but your job isn't done. It's time to delight your clients, so that you not only get to sell them a product but will keep them coming back for more.

Creating memorable content and offering superb customer service will not only help transform one-time customers into repeated ones but will inspire them to share their newfound discovery—you—with their friends and family, which is advertising gold for all businesses.  

In reality, these three phases of inbound marketing are not entirely distinct. Attracting, Engaging, and Delighting your customers and prospective customers are strategies that blend into each other, and support each other, like the legs of a three-legged stool. When all three legs are strong and sturdy, you will have an incredible marketing strategy that will far outperform traditional marketing techniques every time.

How to Create Your Own Inbound Marketing Strategy

There are a lot of building blocks that go into creating an effective inbound marketing strategy. It all starts with following the inbound marketing methodology.

To Attract the right customers it's essential you:

  • Create target buyer personas: Who is it you want to market to? What are they like? What are their desires and fears and questions? Where do they live? In what way can you serve their needs?
  • Produce amazing content. Whether it's through blog posts or videos, you will need to create high-quality, helpful information about your area of expertise that will draw the right people in—people who want to learn and benefit from your knowledge and abilities. You'll need to apply the right strategies for whichever medium you choose, from writing attractive headlines to choosing eye-catching video thumbnails.

To Engage with customers, you will need to:

  • Go where your people are: If your prospective clients are on Facebook, you'll want to learn how Facebook ads, pixels, and insights work.
  • Ask prospective customers what they want: Learning how to survey customers and leads is an art form. You'll need to know what platform to use and figure out the best way increase response rates, and how to translate that feedback into action.

To Delight clients, you must:

  • Give them more than they expect: Offering free content is a great way to capture leads. If you give away highly useful content for free, clients will learn to trust you and want to do business with you.
  • Build effective email campaigns: Communicating regularly with customers and leads in a fresh, helpful, and fun way will keep prospects aware of your presence and cue them on where to turn when they need the solution you are offering.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to creating a successful inbound marketing campaign.  Great inbound marketing takes time to learn, refine, and implement. If you want to speed up that process and create a powerful inbound marketing campaign from scratch without years of trial-and-error, you'll want to seek help from a marketing agency that has years of experience in building and implementing marketing strategies.

Here at HIVE Digital Strategy, we have worked with many businesses over the years to create effective, data-driven inbound marketing strategies. We ARE an inbound marketing agency, and we're very good at what we do.

Using diverse inbound marketing tactics ranging from web design, social media to SEO, we turn strangers into visitors, visitors into leads, leads into customers, and customers into loyal word-of-mouth promoters for businesses in all industries.

We can help you create user-centric websites and implement above-board white-hat SEO strategies to help you quickly reach out to and bring in prospective clients who are the most relevant and therefore most likely to buy from you. If you would like us to put our experience to work for you, contact us today!

Chat with one of our Inbound Specialists

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