Today we are irrevocably moving away from mass marketing and moving towards more personalized communication with consumers. Communication with customers occurs through different channels on different devices, at different times and in different formats. The effectiveness of print media, telemarketing, and email campaigns is on the decline, but the inbound marketing strategy continues its triumphal march through the marketing departments of companies around the world from the smallest to the largest.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a way of promoting through useful or simply interesting content. Content can be blog articles, illustrations, videos, answers to questions on forums, podcasts, and presentations. Over time, thanks to the content, the content creator has a loyal audience, which in the future is converted into customers or leads them. In any case, like any other type of marketing, the ultimate goal of this type of promotion is sales. If you created such content that attracts people to get to know your products and services, you use inbound marketing. In other words, you will not be looking for a customer to bring to him the benefits of your product, and he will come to you, interested in the content that you offer.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Inbound Marketing
The benefits of inbound marketing include the following statements.
- Savings means a lower cost of use in relation to traditional methods of advertising. Inbound marketing involves communication with the client, which will satisfy his information needs. Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks can lead to you the same number of customers as television, but promotion in them will cost several times cheaper.
- Long-term results. If you invest in the creation of high-quality content, it will work to attract visitors long enough, regardless of the current costs of advertising.
- Raising awareness. Using branded constants in the design of content, you increase the recognition of your corporate identity.
- No pressure on the potential client. You will provide users with interesting videos, news, articles, reviews and they will turn to you voluntarily being loyal to your goods and services. Free provision of useful and interesting content will form the desire of visitors to provide you a reciprocal service, perhaps, by making a purchase. In this case, the buyer will not feel that he is imposing this decision because he will accept it himself.
However, it is worth mentioning the shortcomings of this method of promotion.
- It takes time for content marketing to work. The effect does not come immediately and costs a lot of work.
- Another difficulty is to steadily give out content. Do not assume that this should be an inspiration because creating content is a routine job that you just need to get used to. Get used to creating content regularly, often and stable for several years, and consider that this is already half the success.
Types of Inbound Marketing
The types of inbound marketing are different depending on the type of content with which it works.
- Articles. Most often, inbound marketing involves the placement of useful articles on the resource that collect low-frequency traffic for specific user requests. If users really are interested in articles, then they begin to actively share links with their friends. The preparation and placement of quality material can not only bring quality traffic to the site but also increase the conversion of visitors to real clients at the expense of those whose doubts a good article can dispel.
- Reference materials. Internet users like resources where they can find the information they are interested in a generalized and orderly form. Preparation of a guide to the topics in which the site is being promoted will help attract the target audience and encourage it to post links to useful material.
- List of useful resources. Of course, there is no need to share the sites of your competitors. However, if you collect in one place a list of sites that will be useful for the activities of target visitors, they will also begin to share this information.
- Question answer. Qualitatively prepared FAQ helps not only to reduce the time of consultations of managers with buyers and dispel any doubt about the purchase of the goods. If visitors find there a question, the answer to which they have been looking for a long time, they will gladly share their discovery by placing links.
- Infographics, graphic analytics. Visual materials always arouse the interest of users and the desire to share information with friends. If the infographic is made on an actual and burning topic, then it has a great chance to disperse on the network and ensure the popularity of the promoted resource.
- Instructions. It's hard to find high-quality instructions on the network to perform certain actions, but very often users are looking for just such material when they want to understand their problem. The ability to solve problems of the target audience with high-quality text, photographs or video clips significantly increases loyalty to the product that needs to be promoted. Also, useful instructions instantly disperse through the network, promoting the site through natural links.
The Inbound Marketing Campaign
As a rule, an inbound marketing strategy always includes three basic steps:
- Attract visitors to the target resource.
- Turn visitors into users.
- Analyze the work done and the result.
If to extend this algorithm somewhat, it is possible to obtain a sequence of five steps:
- Attract traffic to the promoted page.
- Turn the visitor into a lead.
- Convert the resulting lead into a real buyer.
- Turn a one-time buyer into a regular customer who will often return to your site, make expensive purchases and bring you the maximum profit.
- Do not forget to regularly analyze your work and adjust it to achieve your goals.