If you have delved a little into the world of digital marketing, you will have heard the concept of inbound marketing as well as its opposite, outbound marketing . They are two concepts or digital marketing strategies that pursue the same goal, to reach your potential customer and convert them into real customers. What changes is the way it is achieved.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a non-intrusive strategy that seeks to attract the customer through content marketing, SEO, creating value for the potential customer and, in general, offering an almost tailor-made user experience.
As you know, it is impossible to make a different process for each person who visits your website, app or business, but we can try to customize it to the level where the user who is going to make the purchase process thinks that you have designed it specifically for him or her.
In short, inbound marketing aims to create a connection with the user and solve their individual problem in the best way, creating a link between them and your business.
How to apply the inbound methodology?
There are 3 main methods to apply this strategy for growth. As you will see, all 3 focus on delivering high-value content, building a relationship with your prospect or customer and providing them with a solution to the problem they are experiencing.
- Attract and capture the attention of your potential customers with valuable content and conversations that position you as an expert in your field.
- Interact with that potential customer to offer him a solution adapted to his situation and needs in order to get him to contract your products and services.
- Delight your customers so they can take advantage of their purchase and make better use of it.
It is a model proposed by Hubspot that has generated global acceptance thanks to its simplicity and usefulness. Today it is used by freelancers as well as marketing agencies such as Arcomm.
The idea is to put the customer at the center and create such a positive experience that the same customer becomes a prescriber, recommending our products and services to others, feeding this wheel.
In this framework, anything that boosts the performance of the wheel, such as a lead nurturing campaign, is called an “element of strength”. At the same time, any element that slows it down, such as a difficult buying process or contacting the lead too late, is called friction.
So, in order to work with the inbound marketing methodology, we have to think in this wheel and work on campaigns that enhance the 3 aspects. It is not enough just to attract new customers; we have to design a process that takes them by the hand from start to finish.
Once we have the 3 steps in hand, we will get leads, they will become customers and they will also act as our prescribers.
Inbound marketing strategies
1. Work on your potential customer and your objectives.
The first step to a successful inbound marketing strategy is to be clear about your objectives and who needs to meet them. You will need to define the audience that best fits your ideal customer and make sure you can follow their consumer journey.
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- How do they behave online and what content do they interact with?
- What are they interested in?
Obviously you’ll need to learn from your audience and see what behaviors they have and which of these end in a conversion so you can create more content that triggers those reactions. But, the first step is to attract the first users.
2. Create content that touches every step of the consumer’s life.
It is important that you do not abandon your customer once they have contacted you. One of the pillars of inbound marketing is to make sure you grow the relationship with your customer throughout their journey. This also means taking care of it after the collaboration is over.
So, your content has to have the objective of attracting your ideal client, solve his problem, anticipate the problems he may have in the future and give him relevant information once you are already or have finished working with him.
For this you need a content strategy that has:
- A market, consumer and competitor study
- Content oriented to attract leads, convert them and serve as an asset for them to recommend you and talk about you.
- Pieces that accompany both your leads and your customers after their interaction with you.
Your actions depend on the stage your target audience is in.
It is about capturing the attention of your audience when they are looking for a solution to one of their needs and you can offer that solution.
Here you can use comparisons, articles about your offer, listings, blocked content and much more. In terms of marketing strategies we are talking about SEO, online advertising of the “prospecting” type, publications in social networks and linkbuilding.
The user already knows you, but he is also getting to know your competition. This is where you have to differentiate yourself and let your potential customer know that you are the best option. You have to give them confidence and demonstrate your authority on the subject and your results.
Therefore you have to position yourself as an expert. This is done through newsletters, blogs, prospecting advertising, retargeting techniques, social media, user experience (UX) and automations.
The user already knows what to do and has seen the number of solutions offered by you and your competitors. It is his time to choose and he will do so based on what you have already shown him and what you are going to show him now.
These include newsletters, offers, price packs, retargeting and remarketing advertising, email automations, landing pages, user experience and, perhaps most importantly, individualized attention.
3. Attract the desired audience, not just anyone
The great challenge of every startup or company that is beginning its activity. We have already talked about how you have to define the audience and design a whole world of communication, actions and information around their consumer journey. But, we are missing another very important thing, which is to attract this customer and get him/her to enter your website to trigger the whole process.
You will see that this process is slow and requires a lot of perseverance and many A/B tests. It won’t come out the first time or the second, but with time you will fine-tune your recruitment strategies until you find your target audience.
In this process, the most important role is played by 3 tools:
The right keyword selection and SEO positioning will provide you with organic traffic that has the potential to convert into leads. You will have to play with generic themes and combine them with niche articles about what your potential customer is looking for. In this way, you will be indexed and positioned as a reference in the eyes of search engines.
It is important to keep in mind that organic traffic will not be your 100% customer. You will most likely receive visits from the curious, from your competitors, from people who simply want to be informed and a rather small percentage of people you are really interested in.
To that you have to add an audit and work on the technical SEO of your page, in addition to link building on third party sites.
In addition, you will need to measure the results of your campaigns and see the audiences you are attracting to pivot your SEO strategy if necessary.
Search engine advertising will be your other ally and will allow you to directly reach the people who want your service. But this will only happen if:
- Choosing the right keywords
- You create attractive and quality copy
- You impact the user at the best time
- You impact the user before he/she makes a decision.
- You are different from the competition
- You give him the exact solution for what he needs
Making ads with generic text no longer works as it did years ago. Now the ad has to be personalized and you have to take advantage of all the benefits of dynamic ads to hit the nail on the head and make your SEM strategy make sense and be profitable.
The last actor in this play. This is your public profile, where that potential client will see you. He will not go to hire you, but he will go to see what you are like, your personality and what you transmit to him. That is why you have to have profiles in networks that are aesthetic, transparent, close and that, in short, attract your potential customer.
It is important that you have a community manager who knows who is seeing each publication and makes them with your end customer in mind. If, for example, you sell products directly to the consumer, formal language will be of little use. And if, in addition, your client is not from the younger generation, you can forget about using memes, emoticons and other elements that are more typical of the younger generation.
4. Analyze all your data
Analysis is one of the most important points of your strategy. If you try things without measuring their results, you will be throwing your time and money away. It is possible for a campaign to work well and go viral, but it is not the norm. The best thing to do is to create campaigns that you think will work, analyze the results over time and optimize those same campaigns to improve their performance.
In this way you will fine-tune your efforts and gradually improve your profitability.
But, what we were getting at, you’ll have to analyze:
- Your real audience (not the one you want to have)
- Your most relevant KPIs
- The consumer journey
- The performance of each channel (SEO, SEM, Email, etc.)
- Your conversion rates
- Your ROI
5. Work on your personal brand
You attract what you are. Never has a sentence made so much sense. We’ve mentioned it before, but everything you do has to breathe your essence. Marketing is about connecting with your target customer and building a relationship of trust between the two of you. This means that you have to be in tune with every person who encounters you. If you are serious, you will only attract serious clients, but if you are friendly and transparent, you will attract new and innovative projects.
It’s always about finding the balance and finding the middle ground, unless you want to specialize.
The important thing when building your business’ personal brand is to be consistent and coherent at all times. Everything you publish or do has to breathe your essence. And that essence must continue to be transmitted even after a transaction is closed. This is the only way to retain the customer and keep them coming back to buy or hire you in the future.
How to get started with inbound marketing?
Starting to create an inbound ecosystem in your company is complicated. Even more so if you don’t know where to prioritize your investments or which channel will work best for you.
Our recommendation is that you run a few tests, trying to be conservative, but pursuing very specific learnings that will allow you to formulate everything you need to implement inbound marketing. Don’t forget that you have:
- Network Advertising
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Customer service
- UX / UI
- Data Analysis
- Marketing Automation
And, if you want to make it easier, you can always hire an agency like Arcomm, where we have experience in creating all-inclusive processes within the framework of a complete marketing strategy tailored to your business. Shall we talk?