“If you’ve more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. But, if you’ve more brains than money, you need to focus on inbound marketing.” – Guy Kawasaki

Internet marketing is full of buzz words. Inbound marketing has became on of the hottest buzzwords over the last few years. Many business owners are probably wondering how to implement an inbound marketing strategy. To fully answer the question of what is inbound marketing, we need to talk about what is not inbound marketing. Let’s use an example. It’s Sunday night. You’re watching your favorite TV show. And just when the show is finally about to reveal its long-awaited big-bad, the TV network switches to the commercials. Nobody likes TV commercials – unless they are starring in one. These days, consumers wake up to dozens of salesy forwarded emails or text messages from brands they didn’t even share their contact details with. 91% of consumers claim ads to be extremely intrusive. 86% of them skip television commercials. Whereas more than 240 million consumers are on the ‘Do Not Call’ registry. We would describe this as more of an outbound marketing approach. There’s no official data – but an average person encounters anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 advertisements every single day. Consumers are also approached by thousands of companies via cold calls or mindless email marketing every month.Whether businesses are realizing it or not, consumers don’t want another one of those companies blindly promoting their products and services in front of them. Instead, they believe in interacting with businesses that deliver value. These are businesses that not only deliver value but also understand their pain points and help them out. The internet is flooded with billions of businesses and in this fiercely competitive world, if you want to stand out, it’s critical to focus on customer-centricity. Building long-lasting relationships and positioning yourself as a credible and trustworthy business is the key to success. This is the basic concept of an inbound marketing strategy.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is a reasonable and ethical business methodology that’s focused on drawing prospects towards a business by building value-adding content pieces and custom-tailored experiences. It’s a subtle and non-salesy way to reach out to and build long-lasting and meaningful relationships with potential and already-existing customers. Research indicates that inbound marketing can double a website’s conversion rate when done right. Rather than rolling out promotional emails or ads, you’ll be creating content pieces like blog posts, infographics, videos, E-Books that deliver actual value. You’ll be focusing on your target audience’s pain points and problems. This will allow you to build custom-tailored experiences and highly converting sales funnels.Rather than pushing your business in front of your audience, inbound marketing allows you to strategically pull them towards you.

Inbound Marketing Strategy Defined

The inbound marketing methodology is based on three principles.

·     Attract: First, you’ll be drawing in your potential customers with value-adding content or conversations that’ll help you position yourself as a trusted advisor and position your business as credible and trustworthy

·     Engage: Now, you need to provide them with the much-needed insights and solutions that perfectly align with their problems and pain points. Doing this will boost your chances of converting them into paying customers.

·     Delight: And once the purchase has been successfully made, the next step is to provide the required help and support. This step will help you deliver an outstanding customer experience and skyrocket your retention rate.

Like any other strategy, to turn your inbound marketing efforts into a grand success, you’ll need a solid plan. Otherwise, you may end up creating content without being subject to a good ROI.

Some of the best inbound marketing examples include:

·     Blog Posts

·     Infographics

·     White papers

·     E-Books

·     Case Studies

·     Webinars

·     Podcasting

·     Producing Value-Adding Videos

·     Search Engine Optimization

Benefits of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing can often take a lot more time upfront compared to traditional outbound marketing and sales tactics. That being said there are many reasons why the marketing world has shifted to this methodology and what inbound marketing has become so popular. Some of the many benefits of inbound marketing include:

·     It’s Sustainable

·     Helps Businesses Generate Relevant High-Quality Leads, When Executed Right

·     Enhances Brand Position

·     Increases Trust & Credibility

·     Boosts Business’s Visibility

·     Helps You Build a Highly Converting Sales Funnel

·     Boosts ROI

·     Helps Build Long-Lasting and Meaningful Relationships

Let’s walk through an example! Let’s say you run a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida. So, if your aim is to attract businesses based in your local neighborhood looking forward to expanding their reach, then a great inbound marketing strategy is to create a meaningful blog post titled “How to Build a Highly Converting Sales Funnel the Smart Way?” or anything that’d focus on your audience’s pain points and problems.

And while producing and publishing it, make sure that you’re targeting the high-volume, low-competition keywords. This will help you boost your website’s search engine rankings in an efficient manner. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You will also need to ensure that you’re delivering a brilliant customer experience by focusing on your clients’ or customers’ queries post-purchase. This will allow you to build long-lasting relationships with your customers and turn their experiences extremely memorable.

Inbound verses Outbound Marketing

Inbound marketing methodology has been around for a while. However, it wasn’t until now before businesses started realizing the methodology’s potential. The problem with outbound marketing is that once you stop fueling your campaigns, they’ll fall off the cliff. However, that’s not the case with inbound marketing. While inbound marketing won’t deliver immediate results, it’ll help you build a strong foundation. And with consistent efforts, you’ll see yourself driving high-quality traffic and ultimately converting more and more of them into paying customers. So, what are you waiting for?Leverage the power of inbound marketing today.

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