What Is Inbound Marketing and Why Is It Effective?

Inbound marketing directly answers the questions your target audience is actively asking. It also helps to solve their problems at the pain point. It is necessary that inbound marketing is a major part of your business roadmap. To make sure your inbound marketing works, you need to pair it with other marketing tactics. Some strategies guide you toward building successful and effective inbound marketing for your brand. These strategies include knowing your audience, finding out their pain point, and creating content that answers their question. It also includes making sure your content is SEO-focused. Read along as we delve deeply into inbound marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is the strategic creation of value for customers who are actively searching for such values through content. It is the strategic creation of quality content that gives valuable answers to customers who are searching. Inviting online users to where they will find what they are looking for. This builds a long-lasting relationship between the brand and the customers.

Inbound marketing has its undertone of content for problem-solving. The objective of inbound marketing is to offer value to customers by answering their pressing needs through content. Therefore, it is safe to say that part of the success measure of your inbound marketing is how relevant customers find your answers to their questions.

Inbound marketing is an excellent way to build brand awareness and imprint your brand in the minds of your customers. Your customers are burning with questions, they need answers. They have problems, they need solutions. With time, they will begin to ask those questions, and you want to be their go-to place for answers. From being able to answer these questions, you begin to build a relationship with them. This relationship will eventually turn into leads.

Inbound marketing connects you with your audience even before they are ready to become leads. It draws potential customers to your brand and builds their consciousness around it before purchasing. Thus, you do not have to wait for the exact time a customer is ready to buy before reaching out to the customer.

How Inbound Marketing Came About

The term ’Inbound Marketing’ was first used by HubSpot’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan, in 2005. It became popular around 2016. Inbound marketing progressively gained popularity till it was fully regarded as the best way to promote to an audience in 2012.

Before introducing Inbound Marketing, marketing was a one-way street between customers and marketers. With inbound marketing came two-way communication between businesses and their customers.

Inbound marketing was built on the idea of creating valuable content that people actively engaged with and sought.

The Uniqueness of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is unique because it makes your brand the source of information for an asking customer. This special type of marketing makes itself readily available with valuable content that actively answers the questions your potential customers are currently asking. It becomes less intrusive as your brand is not taking marketing information to customers. Instead, customers are coming on their own to find answers to their questions. Luckily, your website has the answers they need. So customers can come in to pick up information from your brand and, in so doing, drop their data. You on the other hand can make use of these data. You use these details to answer more questions the customer might be having and consequently use this information to convert the customer into a lead, thus bringing money into the system.

Inbound marketing is a subtle way to advertise your brand without advertising your brand!

With inbound marketing, you encourage and increase customers’ engagement. You build a cordial relationship with your customers as you share their interests. They can, in turn, give you their information to better help you get in touch with them. You can begin to direct them toward becoming leads that convert sales for you. This requires using the data collected from these visiting customers to send tailored and personalized messages to them. This way, you are getting them at their pain point, and they find it easy to make the purchasing decision right there. Also, you have built some trust and bond with them, and they see you as reliable enough to purchase from your brand. They won’t go to other brands they do not have a connection with. This is a unique power you have with inbound marketing.

However, it is imperative to emphasize that for inbound marketing to be successful, it has to be engineered with other marketing tactics. In other terms, alone, inbound marketing can achieve so much. But it becomes strong enough to bring significant ROI when combined with other marketing tactics. Outbound marketing is an example of other marketing tactics that can pair with inbound marketing.

After creating quality and valuable content with great share value, these contents can be distributed across different media and promoted using outbound marketing tactics. This helps to reach a wider audience and drive them to your website. For example, in a case where you have done a detailed and highly informative tutorial video on a particular product you just stocked. Customers will find this video when actively searching for tutorials on a specific product. You can then take this a nudge further by deploying outbound marketing tactics. This promotes your tutorial video beyond your platform and social media pages to reach a wider audience. Your brand thus becomes visible to people who have actively not searched for the video but are interested in the tutorial. This can bring them to your platform, and from there, they can be converted into leads that convert.

Strategies for Inbound Marketing

For your inbound marketing to be effective in lead generation, there are some strategies you can deploy. These strategies, when appropriately deployed, can get you closer to a better conversion rate.

We will be reviewing a few of these strategies.

Create a Target Persona

How do you create content for a target audience you have not determined? Before you begin your inbound marketing journey, you must determine who you want to target. You need to know who you are talking to, and you can do this with different tools available on the internet. Check the insight information from your social media accounts. This will show you the demographic data of your audience. From there, you can gain insight into their behavioral patterns, the kind of content they react to, and what catches their attention. This will help you know the tonality and language to use when creating content. It will also enable you see the kind of questions they’ll likely ask and how they expect them to be answered.

Find Out Their Needs

After you have found out who your ideal customer is through your research, you begin the second step of finding out what their pain point is. Make use of appropriate customer journey maps. It would be best if you found out the question they are asking. It is important to know their struggles, what they need help with, and how vital getting answers to these questions are to them. From this, you will be able to create content that will successfully answer their question and satisfy them.

After finding out their current pain point, you should also find out how they like this pain point to be addressed by your brand. This will inform the format your inbound marketing will take; infographic, video content, and/or newsletter. It will also enable you to answer them in the language and medium they are interested in.

Create Value

You have pinpointed your ideal customer and target audience. You have found out their basic information. You have found out their pain point and what they are struggling with currently. You have also learned the form and shape your inbound marketing should take. Now is the appropriate time to offer value by creating unique, quality content that answers their questions and solves their current problem. This is a crucial phase because it is your attempt at making sure your target audience trusts you. Please make sure you create content that speaks their language, answers their question, and is in the form they interact with. Content that is invaluable to their decision-making process.

Attract at first sight

Many beautiful and informative pieces die due to a lack of attention-grabbing headlines. Your intention is to answer questions your customers are currently asking. However, it would be wasted energy and time if, after coming up with quality content, your target audience does not engage with it. To avoid this, you must attract them at first sight with your headline. Your headline should call them in to engage with the content you have prepared for them.

You can write as many headlines as possible and test them with a few of your target audiences. This will help you determine which has the most potential to drive engagement.

Show more visuals

They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words. If this is true, people will prefer to see an image that conveys one thousand words than read a text of one thousand words. If I could, this article would be a picture.

Make sure you include compelling visuals in your content. Visuals that will pass the message your target audience finds attractive. This is important to sustain their interest. Remember that other things are competing with the attention of your target audience, so you want to do everything to make them stay to the point where you can convert them.

Tell a story

Storytelling sells. Yes, it markets and sells well. Even though you give data and information, who says you can not spin it into a story that will catch and retain your readers’ attention. 

If you can successfully pass your message through storytelling, you will conveniently achieve brand retention in the minds of your audience. You will also build an emotional connection with them. Remember, it is easier to recall a story than raw data.

Focus on SEO

You have spent quality time coming up with content that directly answers the questions your target audience is asking. You have spun it into an exciting story that leaves your brand imprinted into their minds. You have even found a show-stopper headline to go with the article or content you have created. All these efforts will produce results only if you have focused on SEO. Your content must be Search Engine Optimized. You must have pictured the keywords that your target audience is using. This is what gives reward to all your effort. Without having your article optimized, when searched, your well-written and informative content will be invisible to your target audience.

Conclusion

Understanding inbound marketing and its strategies will prove invaluable to your lead-generation endeavors.

Work illustrations by Storyset

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