Embassy Gazette

How to Conquer Inbound Marketing

 

You’ve probably heard the term ‘Inbound Marketing’ before. This technique focuses on attracting prospects to your business rather than the traditional method of finding or even buying them through Outbound Marketing. The Outbound Marketing methods of cold calling, direct mail, buying display ads and email lists are increasingly ineffective as people have more options to filter out messages they don’t want to hear – meaning your invaluable advertising spend is wasted!

You’ve probably heard the term ‘Inbound Marketing’ before. This technique focuses on attracting prospects to your business rather than the traditional method of finding or even buying them through Outbound Marketing. The Outbound Marketing methods of cold calling, direct mail, buying display ads and email lists are increasingly ineffective as people have more options to filter out messages they don’t want to hear – meaning your invaluable advertising spend is wasted!

So what is Inbound Marketing?

Coined by Brian Halligan, CEO at HubSpot, Inbound Marketing is described as “a holistic, data-driven approach to marketing that attracts individuals to your brand and converts them into lasting customers.” Or put in another way, “marketing activities that use content to influence, and draw in people you want to do business with”.

Inbound Marketing focuses on attracting not just anyone but the right kind of people – those who are likely to become leads and then customers. Attracting the right people is just the first step. Inbound Marketing also aims to create a meaningful connection between you and your leads & customers with the hopes of turning them into promoters or ambassadors of your brand.

Who benefits from Inbound Marketing?

All businesses can benefit from the implementation of inbound marketing strategies. HubSpot’s research shows that Inbound Marketing is:

  • Highly effective and produces up to 54% more leads than traditional marketing methods.
  • A cost effective form of advertising, costing 61% less than Outbound Marketing.

What are the Inbound Marketing techniques?

Inbound marketing techniques aim to attract leads and prospects then convert and close. The techniques for attracting new customers and leads include:

  • Blogs – one of the most valuable Inbound Marketing techniques. Blogs are a fresh source of valuable content that can continually attract new visitors to your website and engage with your existing customers. They offer you an opportunity to establish a reputation as an expert in your field by producing content that educates and speaks to your potential customers providing a solution for their pain points.
  • Search Engine Optimisation – most of your potential new leads will begin their process online. Thought must be given to the keywords that your ideal leads will be using to search for you. These keywords can be used to build your content and optimise your pages but tread cautiously - stuffing your page unnaturally with keywords no longer works.
  • Social media – Conduct research into which channels your target audience is using and become active on these channels as a part of your Inbound Marketing strategy. Social media channels allow you to share your content with your customers and put a human face to your brand through your interactions with your customers.

Once you have attracted new visitors via your blog or social media it’s time to convert them into leads. Today most people don’t give up their contact information willingly so offering them an incentive such as exclusive email offers, eBooks or newsletters in return would help the process.

Tools for converting your visitors into leads include:

  • Optimised Forms – which your visitors fill out their information and submit.
  • Clear Call to Actions – are buttons which very clearly encourage your visitor to take the next step in the decision making process like “Make a booking”. Strong call to actions generate more leads.
  • Landing pages – are the place that the visitor is directed to when they click on your call to action. The landing page fulfils the offer that you made in the call to action and turns the visitor into a contact when they complete the form on the landing page.

Once you have attracted new visitors and leads they need to be closed or transformed into customers. There are a number of marketing tools available to help you accomplish this including the use of highly targeted emails.

To ensure you are sending the right message, to the right person, invest time into segmenting your email list into different customer types. This allows you to create customised email campaigns and landing pages that have the right message / call to action for each type of customer.

How effective is automated Inbound marketing software?

There are many automated Inbound marketing software providers such as HubSpot ranging in cost and features. Inbound marketing software aims to simplify your marketing efforts by automating the process of content creation, distribution, lead capture and management, and measuring of ROI.

As exciting as all these automated tools sound, they are but tools, or aids only, and cannot do the thinking part for you. They cannot create a winning strategy, write and design your campaigns, or interpret your data in a way that gives you a clear direction on what to do next. While these tools certainly have their place there is no replacement for having the right Inbound marketing knowledge and resources at your disposal.

For some further reading, here is a great comparison on the top 5 inbound marketing tools.

And the final steps…

The final step of Inbound Marketing is actually ongoing. Once you have attracted and made new customers, Inbound Marketing allows you to remain connected with these customers. You can achieve this by using surveys, different call to actions (that reflect their position in the decision making process) and content such as blogs and email newsletters which keep them informed of new products or upcoming events that might be of interest to them.

You should also remain active on the social media channels that your customers are using, remembering to thank your customers when they post positive feedback about your business or products and responding appropriately plus taking any necessary steps if you have received negative feedback.

Sounds like a lot of work?

Like doing anything worthwhile in business, often the most lucrative activities require a significant investment in time and resources. Fortunately with Inbounds marketing there are a growing range of cost effective online tools available to help simplify this process. But remember these are but just tools at the end of the day. They are not a replacement for human thought.

Having the right Inbound marketing knowledge and resources at your disposal will almost alway yield the best ROI from your marketing spend.

Whether your knowledge and resource gaps reside in the planning, content creation, distribution or measurement of our Inbound marketing activities, The Digital Embassy have a team of qualified certified professionals to help you develop, and implement your Inbound Marketing strategy to attract more leads and build ambassadors for you brand.

Get in touch with us today and see how we can help you drive further leads online.

 


About The Digital Embassy

The Digital Embassy™ is an Australian Certified Digital Agency leading clients through the digital experience. Our core competencies lie in Digital Strategy, Responsive Website Design, Mobile App Development, Content Marketing and Production, Inbound Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), AdWords campaigns, Web Hosting, Education and Training.

These attributes allow us to educate our clients on industry best practice and develop highly engaging digital assets and lead generation channels that deliver a measurable Return on Investment (ROI). 

The Digital Embassy™ is a pre-qualified ICT service provider for Government in SA, VIC and NSW.

Image source Flickr.com, username: Kim S
Used under the Creative Commons licence

 

The Digital Embassy

AuthorThe Digital Embassy

The Digital Embassy™ is a Multi-Award Winning, Australian Google and Microsoft Certified Partner transforming digital business.

PostedMonday, 18 May 2015