Today, the rise of the internet has empowered customers with alternative ways to find information about products or services. Traditional channels that merely push out companies’ messages, which are known as outbound marketing, no longer attract them. Instead, inbound marketing has emerged, giving marketers new ways to create connections with prospective customers.
Inbound marketing is a content-driven method that seeks to educate and/or entertain current and prospective customers. Focused on creating value-added and engaging content, it leads prospects to find, read, and share what companies want them to know. Ultimately, companies are able to increase online visibility and move visitors toward making a purchase.
Widely used tools for inbound marketing include social media, blogs, white papers, ebooks, search engines, and more. Research found that “68% of inbound marketers believe their organization’s marketing strategy is effective,” versus 48% outbound marketers.
While inbound marketing includes content marketing, it requires more than the content itself. Inbound marketing and content marketing work together to drive tangible results. To succeed in inbound marketing, ask yourself a few of questions before implementing any plan.
Who is your audience?
As always, the first step is to identify your target audience. You can only create content that solves their needs if you understand their interests and behaviors. Based on your knowledge, you can then select the best platforms or channels to reach them. For example, if you want to target young generations, you probably have to prioritize Instagram and Twitter over other tools.
What makes your content?
The form of your content should depend on the platforms where your audience is active. Dynamic and continuous delivery of content makes for powerful inbound marketing campaigns. Communication that is less than frequent may stop prospects from following you. So, post your work at an appropriate frequency to keep generating attention.
In addition to earning visitors’ interest, focus on addressing their needs and answering their questions. Don’t forget to include smart calls to action in the content.
What should you do next?
Interaction is critical in converting visitors into leads, so don’t simply put your content online and stay silent. Find ways to open up meaningful conversations with visitors and keep a record of your interactions so that you can facilitate the future ones.
The next step is to transform leads into customers. This requires you to nurture relationships over time by analyzing your progress and following up with the leads you have.
It may be difficult to measure the results of inbound marketing because it is a long-term strategy. Additionally, the efficacy depends on the quality of the content. A team with a diverse skill set capable of crafting credible and engaging content is critical.
Creative Spot is a full-service marketing and advertising agency in Columbus, Ohio. If you would like to learn more about how we can help your organization with strategic marketing, please contact us.