Do you want to build strong business relationships with your target audience?
Do you want to catch new potential customers that would make use of your product or service?
And do you want to see your customers find your service exploring content on the web?
If all your answers to these three simple questions are “yes”, then you need to get familiar with inbound marketing in more detail.
In this guide, you will find out everything you need to know about inbound marketing.
The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing
The core principle of outbound marketing is to push your product into the masses via cold emails, calls, direct mails, etc. While inbound marketing works in the opposite direction – by creating useful and informative content that people want to read whenever they need it.
How does inbound marketing work?
If you are familiar with a marketing funnel, you know that it consists of a few basic stages – awareness, interest, consideration, conversion, and retention. Inbound marketing embraces all the stages except both the conversion and retention stages.
It works like a flywheel. The process repeats again and again. It helps not just sell your product but power up your branding as well. And here is a stage-by-stage breakdown:
- Awareness (attract) – spread the word about your product and attract the right audience
- Interest (engage) – tell people about their problems and show the ways how to solve them using your product
- Consideration (final nudge) – people are already aware of their problems, they know about your product, and you give the final argument why they should trust your brand.
To put it simply, you create content, people read it, like it, buy your product, and become your brand ambassadors.
Now, let’s see how to build your inbound marketing correctly.
How to Move Your Inbound Marketing in the Right Direction
You have just got some theoretical information about inbound marketing. But how to implement your knowledge in practice?
If you analyze various business niches, you will notice that B2B companies use inbound marketing mostly. This is the only all-in-one marketing strategy that helps create environments to push business online.
For instance, Visme is a company that offers design tools to make your content more visually appealing. It is one of the leading design companies in the market.
Visme’s blog drives 420K visits per month (from organic search).
The blog receives all these visits due to one fact – it suggests high-quality and engaging content. And content creation is a fundamental part of inbound marketing.
So, how to reach the same impressive results with your inbound marketing strategy as Visme?
Keep on reading and you’ll find out!
Three Stages on Inbound Marketing
You know that the inbound marketing process is like some stages of the marketing funnel. Therefore, let’s review what strategies and tactics you can use at every stage of your inbound marketing journey.
The first and foremost goal of any business is to get more people to know about the product or service. In case of inbound marketing, this goal can be accomplished via creating content. And when it comes to content marketing, there are a few directions to move on. Let’s review them:
Search engine optimization
You might wonder why your online business should follow SEO best practices?
Because SEO helps you create targeted content. Content that attracts quality business-related leads. But here is the thing – if your recently published post drives a load of traffic (spike of hope) and then it fades away (flatline of nope) – you should optimize your content more effectively.
What does it mean?
It means you should figure out what your target audience explores on Google and what might call people’s interests long-term. Eventually, optimized content will help you drive passive organic and consistent traffic.
To get such results, you will have to optimize your content with keywords that have traffic potential. For instance, you are an owner of a site that offers sports supplements. You know that one of your main keywords is “sports nutrition”. What to do next?
You can use one of the SEO tools that analyze keywords. For example, Keywords Explorer from Ahrefs. Review the “phrase match” report:
Pick keywords with the highest level of Search Volume but with the lowest rate of Keyword Difficulty.
Right after the keywords are chosen, you can start creating the content itself. However, content must satisfy Google. Thus, you should optimize the pages.
Keep in mind that your content must align with the search intent of your target audience. In other words, it should cover all the things that your potential customers would like to read about. Besides, your content must be unique, engaging, and up-to-date.
The last but not least thing to do is to place your target keyword in the title tag.
Now, take care of off-page SEO. Simply said, you need to build backlinks massively.
It is a well-known fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Therefore, it makes total sense to create video content and drive extra visits to your site.
The process of creating optimized video content is similar to the one you use for your blog posts. It starts with exploring keywords with traffic potential and then mastering videos.
Keep in mind that your video marketing material should catch people’s attention during the first 30 seconds. Plus, don’t forget to create eye-catchy thumbnails for your videos – the more they are eye-appealing, the more chances that the person would like to watch them.
Other than that, promote your video content heavily. Investing in professional web video production is usually a good idea if you’re planning on creating branded videos that will engage customers.
Podcasting is extremely popular nowadays. Especially, during a COVID-19 era, when the world is wrapped up with quarantine.
How to find niche-related podcasts?
Go to Google and type the following query “[niche] + podcasts”:
When the list of chosen podcasts is ready, find our email addresses of podcast hosts and send your pitch. Explain to the host why you will be a good guest at the podcast.
Even though people start to visit your site, it doesn’t mean that they will buy from you. Hence, your goal is to create conditions that would push people to become your paid customers.
How to do this?
You should start to talk about the problems they have and how you can help solve them. Of course, the only solution that you are going to suggest is your service.
But how can you know that people will read your content for sure?
You can never predict this. Likely, you can remind your target audience about content by sending a newsletter. The other question is how to force people to sign up for your newsletter?
Offer them something in return. For instance, a free eBook, PDF version of the post, whatever.
One more way to lean people toward becoming your paid customers is by offering free tools and courses. Here at Visme, there is a free online course that allows you to become a certified presentation guru.
To conclude, all these actions will help you not just acquire new customers but retain them eventually.
Consideration (final nudge)
The final chord of the inbound marketing strategy – turn your potential customers into paid ones.
You can do this by showing your attitude towards your dear customers. Just let them know what they will get when they decide to stop on your service. Here are a few examples of what you can offer:
- An outstanding live chat
Make sure your customer success department does its job for a hundred percent. And your customers will get answers to their questions 24/7.
- Educative material
Educate your customers. Create detailed tutorials that will teach your audience how to work with your product or service.
- Create a community
If you have a group on Facebook, you should turn it into a huge community. The community where people will be able to discuss not just topics related to your product but the niche in general.
By following these pieces of advice you will retain your customers for sure.
Inbound marketing is flexible. It matches any online business taking into account its specificity. That’s why it is replete with different strategies and tactics to choose from.
You have just got familiar with inbound marketing basics. What strategies and how you can apply to your business.
Inbound marketing is a key element of any online business. Use it wisely and grow your business steadily.