Definition of Inbound Marketing
The concept of inbound marketing can, in layman’s terms, be defined as a ‘virtual vacuum’ that draws in traffic and keeps it there. While the inverse of inbound marketing (outbound marketing) focuses on interrupting a consumer to draw attention toward a brand or product (TV advertisements, billboards, pop-ups, etc.), inbound marketing aims to draw customers into a website by offering compelling and specific avenues of content that help create a unique, endearing, and personal consumer experience.
Think of it this way: if you’re in the market for buying some new cookware, what would compel you to either stick with a product or seek out a new brand? You can buy cookware anywhere, but what would establish a trustworthy, long-lasting consumer-company relationship? Maybe you like this company because they provide you with weekly cooking recipe emails or a variety of video tutorials on their YouTube channel? Maybe you subscribe to their blog for exclusive culinary tips, or follow them on Instagram for updates on discounts or deals. Not everyone may approach their cookware purchasing decisions with this much contemplation, but for those that do (or subconsciously do), that brand has done the legwork to put themselves ahead of the competition.
Data of Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing
It’s easy to dismiss how valuable a sufficient inbound marketing strategy is if you can’t see the results right away. However, leading marketing data companies have consistently alluded to the advantages inbound marketing tactics can provide for companies. In the U.S., over 75 percent of marketers utilize inbound marketing concepts as their primary marketing strategy, and in Europe, businesses that significantly invest in inbound marketing approaches are two times more likely to rate their marketing strategy as effective. This means that if you’re not incorporating inbound marketing strategies into your advertising, not only are your competitors taking advantage of everything inbound marketing has to offer, but they’re probably more satisfied with their marketing plan than your company is of its own.
Inbound marketing has also been proven to be an extremely cost-efficient method of advertising as well. On average, inbound marketing leads cost 61 percent less than outbound strategies, which can save your company around $14 for every recently acquired customer. All in all, effective inbound marketing campaigns are found to be ten times more effective initiating and retaining consumer engagement than outbound marketing tactics.
Example Inbound Marketing Strategies
In essence, incorporating inbound marketing into your marketing plan requires zeroing in on what compels your consumer demographics to engage with your brand, as well as figuring out how to personalize their customer experience. The first way to focus on tapping into how your consumers can be drawn toward your company is through effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Proper SEO strategies generally revolve around efficient keyword targeting tactics, which allows you to determine and evaluate industry trends pertaining to what consumers type into search engines when inquiring about the product or industry your company caters to. The dynamics of SEO can be complicated for beginners, which is why seeking out reputable resources to assist you in strategies is highly recommended.
When SEO has helped you identify what consumers are looking for in relation to your brand, it’s time to incorporate those highly searched target keywords into your content. This can be done through blog writing, social media, infographics, videos, or any related content that not only pertains to consumers’ needs, but can also be shared. Blogging is an easy means to drive in new traffic to your website as well as boost their overall engagement. The same can be said for compelling social media posts, infographics and videos, but there’s one common mistake companies make that often leads to underwhelming results: not posting enough. While marketers who consistently blog are more than 13 times more likely to receive a positive ROI (Return On Investment), those who publish original content at least 16 times per month generally generate 3.5X more website traffic than those who post less.
Master Your Website Lead Generation
The bottom line is that if you’re not utilizing inbound marketing strategies, odds are you’re being left in the dust by your competitors. Remember, the secret behind all the aforementioned strategies is making sure the content you produce is perceived by your consumers as personal, useful, and trustworthy. Inbound marketing will not only establish and maintain a bond between you and your customer, but will help you obtain new audiences to develop that same alliance with.