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What is the Purpose of Inbound Marketing? Why is it Important?
Inbound marketing is different from standard outbound marketing. While usual marketing practices involve getting your brand's message in front of the general public, an inbound marketing strategy works to bring your ideal potential customers to you.
When your company chooses to run an inbound marketing campaign, you're creating content that meets the needs of your target market or solves a problem to make their lives easier. You don't necessarily need to promote your own product or service when you're creating content as part of an inbound marketing strategy. Instead, you're working to help potential customers get to know your brand persona.
Inbound Marketing Methodology
Generally, an inbound marketing strategy funnel has four phases: attract, convert, close, and delight.
During this phase of an inbound marketing funnel, customers are attracted to the content the brand has to offer. This doesn't necessarily mean that the potential customer is interested in the brand's product, rather, they're interested in the brand's persona and how the content offered can benefit their lives. For example, a company that markets diapers may offer a blog with tips on how new parents can help their baby sleep through the night.
In this phase, prospects become potential customers who know and trust the brand. During this phase, customers are considering making a purchase, as they've grown to understand the persona of the brand and are interested in learning about what it has to offer. Customers in this phase have likely signed up for a newsletter or have followed the brand's social media accounts and have a positive impression of the company. In the convert phase, a brand might offer a special deal to prospects who sign up for the brand's newsletter, such as a free gift with the customer's first purchase or a percentage off their first order.
This portion of the marketing funnel involves actually making the sale to the customer. It's key that the brand makes the sales process as simple as possible, helping customers who are in the process of making a purchase enjoy their experience.
After the customer has made a sale, the funnel enters the delight phase. Here, a brand may follow up with a customer, send the customer their product with unique packaging, include a personalized note, or otherwise make the experience special and unique. Delight can also involve an excellent customer service team or chatbot. Anything that goes above and beyond the standard experience that a customer expects can contribute to the delight phase of inbound marketing. When the delight phase is done right, customers often share their experiences with others, helping to pour additional prospects into the top of the funnel.
Elements of a Successful Inbound Marketing Strategy
There are several elements of a successful inbound marketing strategy that can help your company draw in your target market. Here, we'll explore five common components of an inbound marketing plan.
Search engine optimization techniques help draw customers into your brand. SEO involves including targeted words and phrases in your web copy. This makes it more likely that your target market will be exposed to your content, even if they weren't specifically searching for your brand. For example, if a meal service company wants to attract people who do yoga, including an article on how to use nutrition to boost a yoga practice can help draw in the right target market by showing them your blog when they're searching for more information on their yoga practice.
Pay per click advertising allows your brand to advertise on pages that are likely to be visited by your target market. Since you're only paying when your ads are clicked upon, this is a low-risk way to find out where your target market spends their time online. Understanding the interests of your target market is key to finding the right websites where your customers will be inclined to click and learn more about your brand.
Content marketing is key to a successful inbound marketing campaign. Content marketing can be especially helpful on social media. For example, an auto parts store sharing Instagram stories on how to get better gas mileage can expose its brand to people who are simply looking to save money. This can help potential customers gain exposure to a brand they wouldn't have come across otherwise.
Email Marketing and Marketing Automation
After customers sign up for marketing information, you're able to easily target them across multiple channels using marketing automation. Emails, social media, and texting can all provide your customers with the information they want–even if you're not directly talking about your brand's products or services.
A landing page is where your potential customer is directed after they click on an ad or a link in a social media post. A landing page takes away the distractions that can be associated with taking a customer to a brand's home page. Landing pages give potential customers exactly the information they need to move forward.
Getting Started with Inbound Marketing
If you're ready to get started with inbound marketing, it's smart to work with an inbound marketing agency that can help you develop the strategies necessary to draw your target market to your brand. Take a moment to download our free guide: How to Run an Inbound Marketing Campaign, to help you get started right.
At DCA, we're here to help you with all your digital marketing needs, including campaign development, inbound marketing strategy development, traffic generation, email marketing development, and more. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help drive the growth of your business with an inbound marketing campaign.