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Nowadays Inbound Marketing is everywhere and used by digital marketing specialists from around the world. But what does it mean? How does it work? And why it matters?
Definition of inbound marketing: a strategy that marketing specialists use to attract potential customers and capture new business through the use of content such as blogs, white papers, email, social networks and SEO.
Instead of chasing customers with traditional “outbound” marketing tactics, inbound marketing attracts customers to approach the brand themselves.
- Inbound marketing generates 54% more leads than paid marketing.
- Companies investing more in inbound vs. outbound marketing save an average $20k per year.
- 89% of small businesses locus predominantly on inbound marketing.
To generate new business, a company must:
- Create brand awareness
- Drive conversions
- Close sales
- Retain existing customers
Traditionally, marketing specialists have sought consumer attention through the ‘ interruption ‘. The idea is that once a brand has been forcefully placed in front of a potential customer, they will immediately be interested in buying. This strategy is what is commonly referred to as outbound marketing.
Some examples of outbound marketing include billboards, telemarketing, radio ads and direct mail.
But is this disruptive way of marketing really the most effective way to create loyal customers? According to HubSpot’s report, twice as many marketers (45%) cited inbound marketing as its main source for generating revenues versus outbound (22%). And that’s not all; HubSpot also reported that 46% of marketing specialists said inbound marketing generated higher ROI.
Trends in Consumer Behavior
These figures indicate a growing trend in consumer behavior. Traditional tactics simply do not generate the income they once had. Instead, consumers are more attracted to brands that offer relevant and interesting content.
Consider this: 90% of consumers find personalized content useful and 78% believe that organizations providing personalized content are interested in building good relationships with them. Conversely, 84% of 25-to-34-year-olds leave website due to intrusive or irrelevant advertising.
This shows that modern consumers are more likely to respond positively to the inbound approach. If a brand can build a relationship through relevant content, it is most likely that the consumer is willing to become a customer.
One (Short) History of Inbound Marketing
“Inbound marketing” was coined in 2006 by the co-founder of HubSpot, Brian Halligan. But the concept of inbound marketing has existed before this celebrated moment, especially through Seth Godin. Godin wrote about permission marketing in his 1999 book entitled, Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers.
Godin defines permission marketing as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” This is the complete opposite of the “interruption” style of outbound marketing.
Instead, Godin respects the consumer’s choice and time. Until someone gives permission to market, a company must focus on building trust and good relationship through valuable content. A buyer must start his journey, not the seller.
By the time HubSpot arrived in 2006, the roots of inbound marketing had already taken hold. Below is a timeline of the change in marketing strategy in recent years.
We are in the new era of personalized relationship marketing. And with tools such as social networks, SEO and marketing automation, marketers are prepared to execute this inbound relationship like never before.
- An effective database is obtained, which becomes a real asset of the organization, with an incalculable cost.
- Achieve closer relationships, more effective communications, based on what interests the parties.
- Personalized activity, to produce the AIDA effect (attention, interest, desire and action).
The Inbound Marketing Methodology
Phases of Inbound Marketing
In this first stage the objective is to attract traffic to your product page to convert strangers into potential buyers. It is not about attracting more traffic, but getting quality traffic. For this, in this stage it is necessary to take into account 3 main techniques.
Use this technique to attract traffic with content in which users find relevant information. In this sense, it is necessary to spend time listening to your buyer person to know what they are interested in and what their needs are and to be able to offer them relevant content on your blog or your social networks.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO
Optimize content through keywords, so that your website start visible in the search engines and that they consider interesting for a specific topic.
Social Media Marketing
Use social networks to interact with users, interact with them, know them better, create a community of followers and give greater reach and visibility to our content.
Once we have highly qualified traffic to our site, the next step is to get these visitors to become leads. To do this, landing pages, CTAs or Call To Action, forms or e-books are very suitable tools to generate leads.
Once these leads are captured, the next step is to know which lead offer sales opportunities and which are not.
To do this, we have to resort to two different processes: lead nurturing and lead scoring.
In this third stage, it is necessary to ensure that hot leads, that we consider a sales opportunity, finally become customers. For this, it is necessary to resort to techniques such as email marketing to make them reach content that is useful.
An Inbound Marketing strategy does not stop once we have managed to convert leads into customers. It is necessary to continue offering quality content to those who are already clients of our brand. It is necessary to remind them that they were not wrong to buy our products.
In this fourth phase, it is time to convert clients into subscribers of our brand, establishing a bond of long-term trust with them, which is, making them loyal.
According to statistics, Inbound Marketing generates three times more sales opportunities than traditional Outbound Marketing methods, has lower costs and leads have a higher closing rate.
What else do you need to bet on Inbound Marketing in your brand’s marketing strategy?