Discovering the benefits of inbound marketing will change the way you look at your marketing budget and doing business in general. It’s your chance to establish credibility and equal the playing field with some of the larger companies in your industry.
In the following article, we’ll be discussing the core benefits of inbound marketing and how it differs from outbound marketing. First, however, let’s discuss exactly what inbound marketing is.
Inbound marketing borrows from James Earl Jones’ “If you build it, they will come” line from the baseball classic Field of Dreams. Build an online platform with the answers and solutions that people are looking for, and they will find you rather than you being forced to spend thousands of dollars to go on the offensive.
Here are the three most popular ways you’ll do that.
Blogging isn’t necessarily a new type of inbound marketing, but it’s gained momentum in the last few years. In fact, according to Hubspot, marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to see a return on their investments than those who don’t. With that said, creating a blog is only half the battle. It’s important that you’re consistently updating your blog with engaging and timely content. If you don’t, it’ll be difficult to gain a following and see any results.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and content creation go hand-in-hand. The focus, of course, should be on the content.
Look at what your future customers are searching online. See what they’re talking about on social media and niche websites. Read reviews of books that cover your topic or industry, and, yes, read the comments your customers are leaving through their valuable user-generated content.
From there, start creating content. Make sure the content answers questions, addresses common complaints, shows simple solutions, and guides the prospect deeper into your area of expertise.
Last but not least, tweak your content to include the long-tail keywords that people are using to ask these questions, make these comments, and run these searches online. That’s where SEO really comes into play.
Not only should you produce content, but you should also track and analyze what you’re publishing. There are more ways than ever before to gather data across all platforms, from blogs to social media.
Having this data provides you with insight into how your content is performing. You can see how many people are viewing your content, how long they stay on your website, whether they open your emails, etc. With this information, you can make better decisions moving forward and drive your business.
Email marketing is an extremely powerful inbound marketing tool. It allows you to capture email addresses and build several lists, fragmented by where the prospect is in the buying cycle. You can then use this information to apply re-marketing tactics that will keep you front-of-mind as the prospect visits other websites and platforms.
The truth is, your audience doesn’t just want information – they also want to be entertained. Podcasts are a great inbound marketing tool to provide listeners with educational content in a more engaging format. Do you have something interesting to talk about? Consider creating a podcast episode. You can also repurpose content you already have into a podcast by expanding on topics you already touched on.
There are many places where you should stake your claim online. Social media platforms, review sites like Yelp, and Google My Business, are just a few of your options. Establishing a presence in as many places as you can will make it easy to find you. Furthermore, it will make it easier for customers to share their positive experiences.
A case study is a great way to highlight one of your products by telling a success story. Case studies work like reviews, they are something a potential customer might read to determine whether they want to work with you.
A good case study starts by introducing an existing client and the pain points they were experiencing. Then, detail how your product or service helped them overcome those pain points. Make sure you’re specific and consider adding quotes from the client to further drive the point.
Videos have quickly become a popular type of content to create. Not only can you create promo demos and tutorials, but videos are an excellent tool for social media. Video content helps put a personality to your brand, and can engage your audience on a more personal level. Another benefit of using videos is their shareability. According to research, 92% of mobile consumers share videos with others. This can help increase your brand awareness, and in turn, grow your business.
This advantage may not be immediately apparent. However, you’ll likely feel it if you’ve invested well and creatively in your inbound marketing campaign.
Many businesses decide how they will spend their marketing dollars around budget season. They throw money at forms of outbound advertising, such as billboards and newspaper ads.
Thing is, consumers still love to check out their options online even if they’re triggered by an ad they see in the real world. Effective inbound marketing tactics allow you to capture that surge of traffic because they see your name at the top of the search results.
Another of the advantages of inbound marketing is that you’re more likely to attract consumers who want a quality solution, service, or product. They have a specific need, and they’re willing to pay more for it if you can give them what they are looking for. As a result, you won’t be stuck needing to sell more because all of your customers are fixating on price.
Brick-and-mortar locations might be able to get people in the door from 10 AM to 8 PM. However, very few have the resources to stay open around the clock. Bringing your A-game to inbound marketing will ensure you stay open 24/7 through your website, even if you also keep regular store hours.
Once you understand how inbound marketing works, expect to spend way less. That’s because things like SEO, quality content creation, email marketing, and online business profiles are low- to no-cost. If you do them right, you’ll drive greater organic search results, and you can then build a paid campaign around the content that attracts your audience in the first place.
It’s called a digital marketing strategy because you’re presumably learning from the data you collect. And inbound marketing puts you in contact with a lot more data than the standard newspaper advertisement. It tells you where your traffic is coming from, the specific content that drew them in, where they are in the buying cycle, and much more.
Things like regular blog posts, podcasts, video channels, and email marketing give you a chance to rethink how you use your outbound marketing dollars. Customers learn what you do through your free online content. This enables you to launch paid advertising campaigns on social media and through other publications rather than just throwing up an ad based on circulation.
Perhaps the biggest key to marketing businesses online is to get leads off whatever platform they found you on and to the one that you own. Seeing your ads on Facebook is great, but Facebook owns that data not you.
Until you get the lead to click through and sign up, you’re at the mercy of Facebook. Building an inbound marketing campaign is about getting into the position where you own your data.
The final benefit of inbound marketing that we’d like to cover is how it establishes you as an authority. Being at the top of search results, creating content that gets tons of shares and comments, and deep-diving into your industry or topic of choice sets you apart. Soon, you’re creating a system of referrals.
By now, you know what inbound marketing is, and how it differs from outbound marketing. More importantly, you understand the benefits of inbound marketing are about owning your data, being the just-in-time solution for consumers, and establishing credibility and authority in your field.
If you’re ready to take control of your inbound marketing game, lean on an agency experienced in simplifying all of that for you. Contact David Taylor Digital today to see what a difference professional support can make.