What is Inbound Marketing?

Posted by Megan Fox

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Oct 28, 2014 9:41:00 AM

What is Inbound Marketing?  You have probably heard the phrase.  If you are a business owner, you may be wondering can Inbound work for me?  I hope to help answer that question now.

Inbound Marketing in its simplest explanation is:  The easiest way to connect with most likely potential customers and convert them into real customers. 

Inbound Marketing is customer centric.  Meaning, the content created for clients is distributed when they are ready to listen. CONTENT is the BACKBONE of Inbound Marketing.  

Conversely, Outbound Marketing is the traditional style of marketing and is focused around interruptive ads, and is distributed to people when companies are ready for their voice to be heard.  Most times, this approach does not work as well as it did say 10 years ago.  Customers do not want to be sold to and want to come to a company at their own convenience when they are ready.

Inbound-Marketing-1

Inbound Marketing uses many different forms of material that is distributed to clients, such as videos, blogs, eBooks, e-newsletters, white papers, case studies, testimonials, email, SEO and social media.  One of the most important forms being blogs.

This information we create and distribute is working for your company 24 hours a day / 365 days a year.  We are easily found online by customers and through our interesting and reliable content, we build trust with those potential customers.

Inbound Marketing is always centered around building trust with a potential customer.  We want to make sure they are receiving the information they need in a timely manner.  We want to be answering their greatest concerns and offering them remarkable content that captures them, turning them from potential customers to loyal followers.

With Inbound Marketing, we must not abuse the power we have to distribute information.  We want to make sure we are sending out our content at the right times when the potential customer needs it most.  Because of this, we must make sure we know what stage of the buyer's journey our customer is in.

Buyer's Journey

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision

Starting with the awareness stage, potential customers need as much information as they can get.  They need informative and educational content.  As a marketer, it is essential that you create content that answers what your product, service or company does and how you can help the potential customer.  The potential customer has expressed symptoms of a problem or opportunity.  Material distributed to these potential customers should be educational videos, brief customer testimonial stories, analyst reports, research reports, eGuides and eBooks and whitepapers.

Moving to the consideration stage, potential customers have given a name to their problem or opportunity.  Here they will want comparison white papers, expert guides and live interactions.

Lastly, we come to the decision stage.  Here, potential customers have defined their solution strategy method or approach.  They will need vendor and product comparisons, case studies, product literature and trial downloads.

Make sure you are sending your potential customers the right content!  You don't want to bombard them with content they are not ready for.

By nurturing your potential customers and creating remarkable content for every step of their journey, you are sure to foster happy and satisfied customers and create promoters of your service, product or company.

Conclusion

Inbound Marketing has the potential to deliver great results to any business or industry.  If you want to generate more clients, Inbound Marketing is the way to go.  We can only talk to so many people so many hours a day.  But, because the content we create has the ability to be read any time and any place online, it is working for us 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

When setting goals and objectives, you have to be realistic in your expectations of marketing tactics and efforts.  It is important to remember that Inbound and Content Marketing are just the same as any other type of marketing.

Any marketing effort is not a sprint - It’s a marathon.  Being impatient won’t get you anywhere but tired and burned out.  However, the strategic, thoughtful, constant, passionate and relentless focus on the creation and distribution of good content will serve you much more effectively.  See a case study here!

GET YOUR FREE INBOUND MARKETING EVALUATION!

Thanks for reading,

Megan

 

Megan Fox

Written by Megan Fox

Megan received degrees in journalism and communications media at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, Pa. Megan is responsible for creating content for all our clients, whether that be in the form of blogs, news releases, web or social media. She uses various social media platforms and HubSpot to increase client's brand awareness for their existing and potential customers. Megan also conducts interviews with clients to help tell their success stories that are published various ways.

Topics: Inbound Marketing, Strategy, Outbound Marketing