"To be aware of a single shortcoming in oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in someone else. "
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Marketing has changed over the years drastically. It is getting extremely important to find the most effective ways to get leads by spending your marketing budget wisely.
There are two types of marketing – Outbound and Inbound Marketing. Outbound Marketing is when marketer reaches out to people to see if they’re interested in a product. These include Cold Calling, Exhibitions, Door-to-door visits, Telemarketing, Seminars, etc. Outbound marketing could be called a way of traditional marketing.
Inbound Marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers or leads via company-created content. It uses different tools of marketing like social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, etc. to grow your organization by building meaningful relationships by empowering your target audience with relevant content. Inbound Marketing based on the concept of helping people, and has a more customer-based or a human approach. This is a long-term approach, which needs time invested for weeks or even months to convert your client to make a purchase.
In fact, this blog in itself is a part of an Inbound Marketing Strategy.
Inbound Marketing works in four stages-
1) When a consumer is not aware of your services
2) When a consumer is considering what to buy
3) When the customer takes a decision to buy.
4) Keep the customer happy.
Putting out the right content which is helpful and relevant at the right stage is a crucial part of inbound marketing.
It is essential for businesses to incorporate Inbound Marketing in their strategy. In business, one already knows how difficult it is to go out in the market and convince consumers to buy a product or a service that might not be interested in it. Inbound Marketing focuses on creating content that people care about and willingly engage in a brand’s message.
Inbound marketing could be one of the best types of marketing a business can do. It is eternal. If you are running a Facebook ad or a Google Display AD, the results are temporary. But creating content like podcasts, blogs- a consumer can refer to it anytime in the present of the future.
Secondly, the brands in the market are like on a battlefield these days. If your competitor is putting out great content by creating interactive contests, webinars, etc. it is more likely that your potential customer will prefer them and you can lose your clients.
One of the most important aspects of Inbound Marketing is targeting a very, very specific audience. While devising your Inbound Marketing Strategy, put yourself in your consumer’s shoes and ask yourself questions like- How would I want to be marketed to? How would I want to be sold to? How would I want to get services from the company? Figure out what kind of customer you want to target, create their buyer’s persona, and list down their pain points. Create content that is directly pinpointed towards the persona you created. This will give you the most effective outputs.
Consumer Relationships are yet another important aspect of Inbound Marketing. Costumers not only purchase your product but also determine future sales through the word of mouth approach. To improve consumer relations businesses should make the customer the king. Listen to what he needs and provide the solutions accordingly. This will only happen after you understand your customer needs well. You should interact with them, and react when needed. Try to make a community of loyal consumers and reach out to them effectively by educating and entertain them. Be as personalized as possible and add tons of value to the consumer by giving offers etc.
Use all these tactics to generate leads for sales. Leads can be generated through Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click, Websites, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, or Remarketing. Don’t use one or two of these tools. Make use of all of them effectively to get the best Return on Investment.
After you have created a successful inbound marketing strategy, one must use tools to analyze the metrics and plan accordingly. In an Inbound Marketing Strategy, the marketers might be using a variety of tools online. It could be very difficult to track and maintain records of all the mediums. Hence, you should prioritize what your immediate goal is. You can track actions taken on the website like online sales, downloading an e-book, subscribing to a newsletter, etc. You can track the Visitor Conversion Rate- i.e. Goal Completions/ total site visits, other metrics like blog keywords ranking, social media activity, email statistics can be measured.
An analysis report should be made to see what is working for you and if you are targeting the right audience.
One must remember consumer behavior will keep on changing and evolving over time, and your inbound strategy will also keep evolving. But the core of Inbound Marketing- pulling people in by being helpful will always remain constant.
Keep creating experiences that feel personalized, relevant, and helpful. These techniques will be helpful in taking your business to another level.