Do you intend to provide adequate products and/or services? Organically draw new consumers towards them? Deliver solutions and opportunities that have a positive impact on customers and ultimately, on your business, and grow revenues and profit margins? All that without resorting to “annoy” potential consumers? Then this is what inbound marketing stands for.
It is a technique utilized for drawing new customers to your company, what it is and what it provides, via several methods, such as content marketing, search engine optimization or SEO, creating brand awareness and so on.
All these elements combined will intrinsically draw the attention of prospective customers towards your business, instead of pushing or peddling a brand, product or service outright, and risk losing the interest of said customers.
There are plenty of benefits for adopting this marketing strategy as you seek to grow your business; here are four reasons why.
It is the antidote to outbound marketing:
Outbound marketing is a strategy that may work with certain individuals, but has showcased its limits through the years and some people think that it’s simply outdated.
According to a study published by software company FinancesOnline, 74 % of organizations rely on an inbound approach to marketing, whereas only 18% of marketers believe that outbound practices generate interest from customers, or leads.
But first we need to ask ourselves what is outbound marketing? It is the promotion of a product or service through continued advertising via several mediums: Telemarketing, Email Spam, Direct Mail, TV and radio commercials etc. The process consists of FINDING new customers instead of DRAWING them.
So imagine a salesperson cold-calling you and saying that he wants to take up five minutes of your time to explain to you a certain product or service and what they do as a company, and eventually end up taking up half an hour or more, assuming you have the time and patience to put up with it.
Imagine watching your favorite primetime show on TV and it’s constantly interrupted every five minutes or so by commercials. We’ve all been there: this process is becoming ineffective, and can be downright annoying.
Therefore, this is Interruption Marketing; we are interrupting a potential customer’s time in order to get attention. Inbound Marketing is the polar opposite of that strategy, it does not interrupt you, the customer. You find it yourself.
Inbound marketing puts a great emphasis on Content Creation:
While Content Creation is not the be-all and end-all as an inbound marketing strategy, it’s an extremely important component. Inbound Marketing consists of delivering the right content to the right customer, at the right time.
Creating quality content and promoting, can be done via different methods: blogs, videos, social media pages, and of course, websites. And when it comes to proving their efficiency, the numbers are staggering.
For instance, 77% of Internet users regularly read blog posts; according to HubSpot, companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month generate 4.5x times more leads than those that publish 4 posts or less.
Moreover, companies that care about content creation can interact and engage with consumers that tell a compelling story which not only leads to increased brand awareness, but also create and eventually solidifies your brand identity.
Inbound marketing is key behind a successful Social Media campaign:
Social media advertising is nowadays a quintessential metric for a potentially successful inbound marketing strategy.
The numbers speak for themselves yet again: According to HubSpot, 54% of social browsers use social media to research products; A study published by consulting firm PwC affirms 37% of consumers believe that social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for their purchases.
However, advertising on social media pages can be a double-edged sword: We have all experienced the forced promotion of goods and/or services on videos on Facebook.
Sometimes when we scroll down our newsfeed and we want to watch a certain video, all of a sudden an ad pops up on our screen forcing us to watch it or wait approximately 5 seconds to skip it, thereby interrupting the flow of our activity: this is a typical form of outbound marketing, which leads to negative results.
In order to adequately interact with your customers and turn their likes into buys, a social media page must also become a customer service page, by troubleshooting issues and responding to either positive or negative feedback is of paramount importance.
The measure cited above not only earns new customers, but also cements trust with existing ones as well.
Inbound Marketing emphasizes the value of your business:
Last but not least, through the creation of meaningful content and interacting with customers through social media platforms, you are advertising the value of your business, which is much more important than the products and/or services themselves.
Discounts on the latter two come and go and can be good for the short term, but building upon your business’ value will allow you to generate brand loyalty that will last in the long run, which increases revenues and profit margins, as previously stated.
In conclusion, all the reasons cited above are not important in and of themselves, they are interconnected and when they are adequately combined together, they form a great inbound marketing strategy that will resonate with consumers, increase leads, and allow your business to grow and prosper.