When was the last time you have opened a direct mail? Have you ever clicked out of a website because of an “irrelevant or intrusive ad?” Are you one of those people who skip through TV commercials?
If you answered “Yes” to the last two questions, there’s no need to worry. You are part of the majority who finds these techniques interruptive. According to HubSpot’s marketing stats, 84% of 25-34 year olds opted out of websites with ads they find somewhat pushy, while 86% of people are not interested with TV commercials. On the other hand, 44% of direct mail is reportedly never opened. That’s a waste of time, postage, and paper.
Cold-calling, print advertising, TV commercials, and junk mails are examples of traditional marketing which is described as marketer-centric. In this method, companies focus on finding customers. Not only are they less effective, they are also costly.
Enter Inbound Marketing, the customer-centric method for marketing. It focuses on getting found by customers instead of the other way around, making it less interruptive. Inbound means drawing people inyour product or service. You are creating something they will find helpful and interesting that’s why it naturally attracts them.
We are living in the digital age or the so-called information age and inbound marketing is the proven technique that adapts to this change. The internet has transformed the way people communicate and companies do their business. It has become the new highway of information that’s why businesses aim to do their marketing online by creating relevant content that educates, inspires, and entertain them.
What Comprises Inbound Marketing?
The first thing to know about inbound marketing is the Inbound Methodology. As you can observe in the graph below, the aim of this methodology is more than closing your leads into customers; it’s all about delighting them throughout the buyer’s journey to turn them into promoters of your business.
Inbound marketing is all about having the right fit – creating the right content in the right place (channel) at the right time (lifecycle stages). When you create and distribute content for the right target, it is easier to attract qualified prospects. Personalisation is an important theme because you tailor your content to what they want and need based on their persona that you have researched and where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Inbound Marketing Techniques
We discussed earlier the traditional marketing techniques that we find interruptive, so what are the right distribution technique to have the right fit?
- Website Pages
Your website is the ultimate hub for your online marketing and the home of your content publishing. It is important to optimise your website so that it can be searched easier and be in the top organic results.
- Business Blog
57% of marketers acquired customers from blogging. Moreover, those that blog more than 20 times per month get 5x more traffic than those who blog less than 4x per month. Not only does having a company blog helps you attract visitors to your website, it also shows your expertise in the industry. Through blogging, your company gives its voice to the business.
- Social Media
With 2 billion people active on social networks, social media proves to be essential in inbound marketing. Aside from connecting to people, social networking sites are used for monitoring and distributing your content because they help in getting found online and improve search results.
- Landing Pages
Landing pages are webpages used to gather information through forms that prospective clients have to fill out. These help you convert visitors to leads. Consider landing pages as your digital sales reps that work 24/7.
Call-to-action (CTA) is basically a button (e.g., download now, start a free trial) containing a link that generates qualified leads. Like landing pages, CTAs convert visitors to leads.
- Marketing Emails
Direct mails are expensive and ineffective; emails are cost-effective. When a visitor clicks on your CTA but still isn’t ready to become a customer, a series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.
With the success rate of inbound marketing, there is no doubt that it is the right tool to make your marketing easier and more effective.
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