These days it seems there are new marketing terms and lingo popping up everywhere. From UGC to Influencer Marketing and everything in between—I’m here to help cut through all the noise and focus on one specific marketing methodology that is changing our industry as a whole. Inbound Marketing.
If you’re reading this blog, it’s safe to assume that you have either heard of the term inbound marketing and want to learn more about what it actually is or you simply like to keep up with things going on in the marketing world so you can apply any relevant information to help grow your business. Whichever category you fall under, you’re in good hands. Ready to learn? Let’s go!
What Is Inbound Marketing?
A term that was coined by the industry powerhouse, Hubspot, Inbound Marketing is, in essence, a combination of pull marketing tactics that are designed to work in unison to create awareness of your brand and attract customers. This is done by creating multimedia content that you know your target audience is looking for, will help answer any questions they have and/or solve any problems they have, and ultimately, will position you as a trustworthy and reliable source of information in your audience’s eyes. Now, you may be wondering how is this different than marketing? Well, the short answer is that traditional marketing is based on an “outbound” approach where marketers/business owners use tactics to find customers by pushing out content that is designed to focus on the company vs. the customer.
To make it easier to understand, here is a graphic from Morey Creative Studios:
Why Should Businesses Choose Inbound Marketing Over Outbound Marketing?
Another important fact about inbound marketing to consider is that it is part of an overall inbound business approach. This means that while Marketing’s job is to attract prospects to the company website, the Sales team is then responsible for further developing the relationship with the prospects to convert them into customers and from there, the Customer Success/Account Management team is responsible for maintaining and expanding on the great relationship between the company and customers to achieve long lasting relationships. When these three departments focus on working together as a team and taking the inbound approach, businesses are able to grow much faster than if each of those teams worked in silos and didn’t have a “customer first” approach.
To best showcase how Marketing, Sales and Customer Success/Account Management teams work together differently using an inbound business model, consider the graphics below:
TRADITIONAL BUSINESS MODEL
INBOUND BUSINESS MODEL
The great thing about breaking down inbound in these three categories is that it applies to each department albeit the details of each category will differ depending on the department. Since my focus today is on the Marketing team, I will further breakdown the subcategories of Attract, Engage and Delight below.
How Can You Implement Inbound Marketing?
By now I’ve hopefully convinced you that you should implement inbound marketing to help you grow your business as opposed to relying on the traditional marketing methodology. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when considering the three flywheel categories I mentioned above.
The purpose of the marketing tools you should use for this stage is to attract potential customers to your website. Something important to note here is that I mentioned “potential customers” – that means that you shouldn’t just aim to attract every person out there. instead, your marketing efforts need to be tailored to people who are most likely to become customers.
The following are some tools you can use in this stage to attract good leads to visit your site:
- Paid ads
- Social media
The purpose of the marketing tools you should use for this stage is to create opportunities to engage with your potential customers. Whether that is through a personalized conversation via an online chat or by staying top of mind by sharing useful information through email on a regular basis, the goal is to find what works best for your target audience and focus your efforts into that channel of communication. Additionally, use tactics such as Call To Action to capture relevant information from your prospects as this will help you further develop an effective marketing strategy for this stage, and overall.
The following are some tools you can use in this stage to engage with prospects and customers:
- Marketing automation
- Lead flows and lead management
The purpose of the marketing tools you should use for this stage is to demonstrate to your prospects and customers that you really care about them and are listening to them in an effort to help solve their problem. To do so, it is important to have clear, frequent communication and collaboration with the Sales and Customer Success/Account Management teams so that you have a comprehensive understanding of who your prospects and customers are. This is imperative as the Delight stage is all about going above and beyond and key things such as communicating the right thing to the right person at the time they deem appropriate will help you make a great impression with your target audience. What is more, by this stage you should have more information about your prospects and customers and therefore, it would be an ideal time to figure out how to interact with them i.e. if your leads prefer to read daily emails from you then ensure you focus on getting an insightful new tip in their inbox every single day vs spending your efforts on creating content your leads won’t consume.
The following are some tools you can use in this stage to really stand out among your competitors and other noise and delight your prospects and customers:
- Smart content
- Attribution reporting
- Marketing automation
And that’s all there is to know about Inbound Marketing!
Just kidding – this is a complex methodology with several moving parts and as such, it takes time to navigate and fully understand and ultimately, implement. Rest assured, however, as we will be providing more insight into this powerful way of marketing so you can implement it (or have us do it) to help you grow your business quickly and effectively!
Stay tuned for my next post on how to start an inbound marketing campaign, coming soon!