Isn’t acquiring a new customer a lot easier and more enjoyable if they are already interested in your product or service? No one honestly enjoys sending out annoying cold calls, especially when those methods of hard selling are no longer as effective as they once were for today’s consumers.
Instead, businesses are focusing more on inbound marketing than outbound. When managed effectively, inbound marketing can generate high-quality leads and bring customers right to your door.
What is inbound marketing and why care?
Inbound marketing is the process of creating valuable content and distributing it strategically across multiple channels to attract relevant audiences and generate leads.
Before you are even thinking about pitching to a customer or client, it is important to have a base of useful content. The idea is that when you provide content that is relevant and useful to your target audiences─without blatantly asking them to buy─they will come to you when they are ready to buy.
Inbound marketing comes in many forms. It may be a how-to video or a keyword optimized blog. The key is that it is helping the user in some way. On the other hand, with outbound marketing you are paying for advertising that asks the user for something.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
There are several advantages of inbound tactics. In general, they are cost-effective and have been found to have a higher ROI than outbound. Other reasons to consider it are:
● Companies that primarily focus their efforts to inbound marketing save $14 for each newly acquired customer.
● Inbound leads cost on average 61% less than those generated by outbound.
● B2B marketers that blog regularly get 67% more leads than those that do not.
● An estimated 70-80% of people ignore paid ads and go right to organic search results.
● According to research from the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of consumers would rather learn about a product or service through content than traditional ads.
As a business, it is much more effective to generate a lead through inbound marketing than buying an email list or cold calling a list of contacts.
When leads are generated through inbound efforts, the ROI is often higher, because they have already shown interest in your product or service. It may be that they visited your website, purchased a product from you in the past or signed up for your email list or a free trial.
1. Produce relevant, high quality content.
The cornerstone of effective inbound marketing is great content. Every blog you write, social post you share, or video that you produce plants a seed. Over time, it can develop into a blooming relationship, but don’t force it.
The more content that you produce, the more opportunities that you have to engage with your audience. However, quantity doesn’t matter if the quality is poor. In fact, it will damage your brand and give potential customers a bad impression that will be nearly impossible to overcome in the future.
When done properly, inbound will help you weed out the dead ends and find those that are most likely to engage with your brand.
2. Create a seamless distribution strategy.
Even the most well-crafted and engaging content will be useless if no one can consume it. Create a documented distribution strategy. To do this, develop buyer personas that help you better understand who your customers are, where they are coming from and what methods are best for connecting with them.
It may also be helpful to map out your customer journeys and identify touch points, the times at which they might interact with your brand. Every touchpoint is an opportunity to connect with current and potential customers.
Distribution strategies also need to include multiple channels that communicate seamlessly. In an Accenture study, nearly half (49%) of consumers said that what they want most from brands is a seamless experience. For example, it is becoming more common for someone to shop online and pick up in-store. Consumers are even using their phone to browse coupons at home and scan products in-store to redeem rewards.
3. Measure and iterate.
Measurements are critical. You have to be able to know which tactics are working and which are a waste of your time and resources. Take advantage of Google Analytics as well as the reporting features in Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.
Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) for every piece of content that you produce. For example, you might gauge the success of a blog post based on the number of views and shares. You could add a landing page or call-to-action at the end and track the number of clicks. The KPIs that you choose may differ, but they will help you quantify the effectiveness and ROI of each tactic.
It is also important to regularly analyze your metrics and iterate or abandon the tactics that aren’t working.
4. Personalization is key.
Inbound marketing is all about being as relevant and helpful as possible to potential customers. To do that, you need to create content that is personalized. Studies have shown that personalized content can increase sales and improve customer experiences. In fact, 75% of consumers say they get frustrated when a brand does not provide content that is tailored to their specific interests and needs.
There are many ways that you can make your business and marketing more personalized. You can use a CRM tool to track and monitor conversations with customers. Provide recommendations based on their previous purchases and interests. Even using their first name in emails can make them feel more connected to your brand and valued.
5. Have well-designed landing pages with clear calls-to-action.
If you finally get them to click on a link or request more information, then you need a landing page that gets conversions. Again, you need to make sure that you are tracking the number of clicks and conversion rate for your landing pages and iterate as needed. The top performing landing pages draw the viewer’s eye with color, avoid clutter, and have a clear, compelling call-to-action (CTA).
High-converting CTAs often present a sense of urgency and demand attention. For more tips on creating effective CTAs, check out our blog post here.
Making a sale is a lot easier when customers are coming to you or already have an interest in buying. Instead of cold calling or approaching some random person on the street, you know going in that this person is interested.
However, before getting to the purchasing phase, people need to know your products and services and how they can help them improve their life or address some issue that affects them.
Instead of trying to get people to buy something, provide them with valuable insights and let them get to know your brand. Inbound marketing is about creating that content and generating those leads before you ever try to sell.
To learn more about the benefits of inbound marketing and which tactics you can use to grow your business, contact 10twelve and chat today.