A lot of time has passed since the statement "Content is King" (William Henry 'Bill' Gates III, 1996), but nothing has changed to this day. On the contrary: Content is more important than ever.
What is inbound marketing?
Content marketing is part of inbound marketing, whose methodology is based on winning potential customers and turning them into actual customers and brand promoters. Inbound marketing is a special way of communicating brand messages to consumers, but it is a completely different method from traditional advertising and is only one part of the overall strategy for digital marketing. Inbound marketing is the process of creating useful content to attract visitors before they are ready to buy. Over time, trust and credibility are built and eventually visitors are converted into customers. This is one of the best ways to deliver content that meets the needs of the target audience. Good content should also be linked to the company's business objectives, as the ultimate goal of inbound marketing activities is to influence positive sales development.
What is the difference from outbound marketing?
Many companies have realized that consumers are overwhelmed by traditional advertising. The result of overly aggressive advertising has meant that traditional payment-based marketing techniques (outbound marketing) have lost their effectiveness over time. Today, most people ignore television and radio advertising, and even use ad blockers to stop online advertising. Unlike the traditional outbound marketing strategy, you don't have to force yourself on your target group and fight for their attention. Instead, you concentrate on creating content that is directly tailored to the personal needs of your target group. This is how you attract qualified prospects and establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information. This creates an unprecedented brand experience.
What is the inbound approach?
Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for business on the Internet. There are four phases that companies must carry out to attract a visitor and then customers. Creating content attracts visitors who are fascinated by the quality. They want more information afterwards.
The whole process consists of 4 steps:
- Attract visitors
In this phase you attract new customers thanks to targeted content. The tools you use are: Blogs, social media, keywords, paid and video.
- Convert visitors into leads
Here you collect data from visitors and store them best in one place, the CRM. The tools for converting leads are: home pages, forms, call-to-actions.
- Encourage potential buyers to make a purchase decision
The aim of this phase is to close a deal. Here it is important to use the following marketing and sales tools: E-mail tools, sales tools, workflows, online brochures, sequences.
- Maintenance of customer relations
Here you can turn your customers into long-term, valuable regular customers. Use the following tools to improve customer loyalty: customer surveys, regular customer care, customer success and nurturing tools.
In order to use these tools to their full potential, it is important to use a good platform. Because the greater the benefit of the tool used for the customer, the greater your appeal and thus your success.
Who is inbound marketing interesting for?
Basically, inbound marketing is merely a marketing strategy that has adapted to the changing purchasing behaviour of consumers in today's digitalised world. Companies with complex offers and a sufficiently large number of target customers should consider this methodology as an effective marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is particularly interesting for medium-sized and large companies in the B2B sector. You can really get a lot out of inbound marketing. Customers remain loyal to you, recommend you to others and share their enthusiasm in social media.
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Sam Mallikarjunan, Mike Ewing; Ecommerce Inbound Marketing: How to Sell Better Than Amazon; 2012.
James Crawford, Star Gates: Your Passage to Inbound Marketing; 2014.
David Newman; Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition; 2013