Are you looking for ways to boost your sales without the need to push your goods, or services onto prospects in the hope of generating leads? Are you unsure why you cannot convert an opportunity into a customer, even when you’re spending more and more amount of time, money, and effort on the traditional way of marketing? If the answer is “YES,” then you must change your traditional marketing methodologies and switch to Inbound marketing for desirable results.
If you’re new to the topic and looking for what inbound marketing? Or, have heard about inbound marketing and wondered ‘will this actually help me generate more leads, and how?’ Then brace yourself to learn and implement what this comprehensive guide offers you.
Walkthrough this article to find out what is inbound marketing, it’s methodologies and how to use it to grow and promote your business.
However, before we go any further about what Inbound Marketing is and how it can boost your sales to grow your business. You first need to understand that, the shift in technology has changed the way business works today. Every business is going on the world stage with the internet. It is like a leap from the store to prospects directly. This has changed almost everything from the business principles and buyer’s behavior to, marketing methodologies and customer service.
Your business cannot survive in this ruthless age of digital marketing if you cannot understand your business fundamentals and buyer’s behavior. Buyers today have incredible access to information and can get to quick, conscious, and rational conclusions. The way consumers use free tools to avoid marketing calls and emails have made alot of business disappear. The efficiency of the internet has empowered them, which has made a considerable shift in how businesses work and provide services.
These days consumers can easily access any information regarding products and price. They browse articles, monitor referrals, survey ranks and reviews, analyze prices, and anticipate solutions when they want and where they want. The market has more and more service providers than ever before.
So, you’ll need to have a primary knowledge of the way people make decisions while selecting a product or service out of all the choices accessible in the market.
And here’s where Inbound marketing kicks in.
Inbound marketing helps businesses to adapt to the fast-changing needs of individuals with the entire customer experience tailored to them.
So what is Inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that draws visitors and potential customers by creating valuable content, information, to provide them with actionable solutions. It is about addressing their problems through different digital platforms and delighting with convenient solutions.
In the age of digital marketing, inbound marketing is the most effective way to promote your business and convert individuals into a prospect. Inbound marketing is a strategy that attracts qualified candidates via valuable content, blogs, and how-to approaches and delivering solutions to their problems and needs.
It generally means attracting the attention of prospects by creating and sharing content before they are even ready to buy from you. It is the best and most cost-efficient way to amuse individuals or businesses with solutions and your expertise to produce a positive impact for you both. Furthermore, it can be said that inbound marketing is a kind of marketing that consumers does not hate at all.
Differences between outbound and inbound marketing, to better understand which marketing consumers don’t hate and what works the best?
Outbound marketing typically means traditional marketing where you run TV and radio ads, buy email list; cold call or do email marketing, advertising on billboards or magazine and newspaper.
While on the other hand, inbound marketing means helping potential customers with their problems and providing relevant information by creating and sharing contents to attract those who are already looking for answers.
Outbound marketing is to sell your product by interrupting their daily lives, while inbound marketing is built upon the principle of guiding your potential customers by buying their attention with relevant information.
And initially, talking about which marketing lasts longer and add value, inbound marketing definitely beats outbound marketing as the contents that you create and share for inbound marketing remains forever in search engines and will generate traffic and leads in upcoming days too.
On the contrary, outbound marketing only lasts as long as you pay for email lists and running ads.
To make this further clear, let’s see a few examples of outbound marketing and Inbound marketing.
Social Media Marketing
Now that you are more clear about what inbound marketing is, learn these three proven methodologies of inbound marketing to grow your business.
There are three significant steps to this inbound methodology.
As the essence for inbound marketing revolves around attracting individuals by providing actionable solutions and expertise to help them sort their problems, you need to understand what kind of issues do your buyers run into.
For example, if you’re a software designing company, your most relevant customers are the businesses who are looking to build up a website for themselves, or someone running into problems with their sites.
So you’d probably be creating contents regarding why’s and how’s of building sites and approachable solutions to website issues.
You want to attract individuals and businesses who are more likely looking for creating a website and website-related problems that can become a lead.
You must be able to understand what kind of people are looking for your content so that you can attract more of the right customers and not just everybody.
And after you understand the kind of people looking for services that you can provide, use content strategy tools and rank for the topics that matters the most to your prospect.
Create contents, blog posts, or video tutorials and publish it using social media tools. Create ads and relevant content to build awareness about your services with your targeted audiences. Be aware of what’s working and what’s not, and improve on those points.
Some of the tools to attract your audiences are making Ads, videos, blog posts, and sharing them across social media and digital platforms.
After you’ve successfully attracted individuals or businesses towards your content, the goal is to engage them through chatbots, messaging apps, or live chats. The articles or video contents may not always provide all the information that your leads are seeking for. Because you can know what and where your prospects are looking at your web page, you can use these chatbots and messaging apps to help them with what they are struggling.
By providing contextual and appropriate responses and support through these services, you can help, assist, and recommend them in real-time.
This will always add value to your customers and helps to build trust.
And even if you cannot help them right away, you can always use their informations to produce premium content and notify them through any channels they are active at.
Use quotes to present your infographics, webinars, and deals, to support them. Engaging your customers, and guiding them; even if they are not buying anything from you can help you create brand loyalty and get you referrals.
Delight is the stage of inbound marketing that provides your customers with exceptional expertise and customer service. Understand that; it is the part which also allows you to convert your customers to become promoters for your business.
Allocate informations and create a database what motivated your customers to choose you and your services over others and tailor your contents to offer your expertise and solve their future needs or issues they might run into.
This will help you to create premium content to their problems and solutions that your prospects can share within their social network.
Your happy customers can influence their network to use your services, providing you with more prospects.
Survey for their feedback or have a series of phone calls to respond to each inbound inquiry.
Use email and marketing automation with the people you do business alining with your sales and service team providing with additional information, insights through conversations and interactions.
For each of the part of your team, from marketing to sales and services, practice these inbound methodologies to attract, engage, and delight in achieving sustainable growth.
Prospects don’t want to be sold out but rather be educated and informed to help them make smart decisions and grow. Learn these fundamentals and principles of inbound methodologies to effectively implement them and turn your prospects into a happy customer.
Here are the fundamentals of inbound marketing
1. Company Purpose
Inbound marketing is adding value to help your customer. And to help them, you need to understand what is your company established for.
Without your company’s purpose, you can not be able to guide, inform, and help anyone.
Make a clear mindset of why your company was founded and what will it serve. Draw a clearly identified mission or vision of how you will help your customers or businesses.
Identifying your purpose and why your company was founded will help your sales and marketing team to remain related to your core values and better understand their roles to help the company grow.
2. Business Goals
After you determine what and why your company was founded for, think about the goals you want to achieve.
You need to outline your company goals and have a defined framework for your marketing, sales, and service team. Their checklist and journey should all align inside the company’s framework to achieve the same goal.
Make sure that all the people within your company from executives to individual contributors are spending their time and effort and working towards the same goal.
3. Buyers persona
Everything will fall apart if you don’t know who you’re trying to attract, engage, and delight. And that’s where buyers persona kicks in.
You can say that it is the modern way of learning about your target audience.
Buyers persona are semi-fictional characters that you create from your ideal customers based on market research and gathering data about your existing customers about their motivations, behaviors, and goals.
A buyer persona helps you to determine where to focus and better understand the issues to implement more relevant content by learning the buyer’s mindset and motivation leading till decision stage.
4. Buyers journey
From the awareness of your content and services until the decision stage of your buyer’s persona, you should be able to create a buyer’s journey.
Gathering all the information and interactions they had with your company through these stages will help you to draw a precise conclusion and guide them further.
From where they saw your content until they decide to go with you, create a conceptual map about where they are positioned.
It will be useful in many ways for all your teams. You can use the buyer’s journey to tailor and create content at every stage and help them offer the needed solutions, and better understand the perspective of buyers to guide them through each stage.
When implemented correctly, these inbound methodologies can help you grow your business with the correct fundamentals.
To set these fundamentals, there are a few inbound principles that need to be practiced. Walk briefly through the science and principle to understand how these inbound methodologies work.
1. Standardized Consistency
To simply put; standard consistency, it is the surety of having the same information, values, and understandings towards the company’s product, information, services, and audiences throughout your team.
This is one of the major parts where you can build trust. You and your team must be able to provide the same sort of information or answers regarding their queries. In other words, the entire team should be able to identify the ideal customer in the whole market.
For example, If you have a dental website running and someone calls at the desk and tries to gather the same information with different people from your company, all of them must be able to answer with the same information. This helps your customers build trust in your brand.
2. Personalize for result
Once you’re done with standardizing your brands’ voice, your next step should be personalizing for impact.
With the database and information, as you acquire about your prospects, tailor, and use those pieces of information to message or talk directly with your prospects.
Gather and store the information you have of your prospect. This helps you have access to the old or previous conversations, queries and can prevent repetitive discourses or canned informations that are irrelevant at that time.
3. Optimize for clarity
Using all the information and previous interactions with your brand, contextualize for relevant information.
Be aware of the problems or answers that are no longer needed and optimize your data and information with clarity.
It is the best way to understand clearly what kind of sales and marketing strategy you can use across each section of the conversation.
4. Empathize for perspective
The inbound methodology is about providing your customers with valid and relevant information that can guide them through an issue.
So, you need to understand the perspective of your customer and make them feel that you are providing them with relevant information and needed guidance.
Inbound is a process of drawing, involving, and pleasing people to develop a market that contributes value and creates trust. It nurtures your leads to turn into a happy customer.
The procedures used for marketing across the times have altered drastically. Building relationships and satisfying your customers is one of the premier components for your business to grow.
With those fundamentals and principles in mind, build a road map of your own business and implement them. These proven inbound methodologies will help you identify and attract potential customers, engage them with valuable content and guide them make decisions that will delight them and grow your business.
The inbound approach to do business is customer-centered as the market is evolving. The inbound marketing guide you through identifying your purpose, buyer persona, journey and buying behaviors to effectively enrich your company with better and relevant contents and services.
Lastly, if you are an outbound business using traditional marketing; that shouts and advertise your product and services. It won’t help you grow in this world of inbound business. understand that the market has changed and you need to change your marketing strategies too.
Outbound marketing won’t help attract any attention but instead make the audience feel irritated. A market survey by the inbound company found that 94% of consumers disrupts communication with a company because of irrelevant information and messages.
On the flip side, companies that are practicing inbound are successfully attracting individuals and businesses and converting them into customers and growing their business.
Inbound marketing helps you draw customers towards you via interactions and content that are relevant and helpful.
Like all the aspects of marketing, sales, and customer service have changed radically. You must consider changing your techniques, strategies, and methodologies too.
To hope that getting out in the market and shouting out your products or using cold calling and email marketing will bring clients to your business is a false hope.
To sum up, switch to inbound marketing and use these inbound methodologies and create valuable content that is specific, actionable and can be used to solve a problem or at the least give your readers the information about what they are looking for.
Go Win Rai is the owner and founder of Crazy Media Design. He loves the infinite possibility in digital space and how it can make small fish look like a shark. He has spent years in learning and honing his digital marketing knowledge. His goal is now to make small businesses grow from zero to a superhero brand.