A term that has gained popularity over the last few years in the marketing arena is inbound marketing. In this technology driven world it is absolutely essential that digital marketers attempt to stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and customer demands so as to obtain and retain customers. So what exactly is inbound marketing and how does it come into play?
In simple terms, inbound marketing is the process of attracting visitors to your business website, converting them into leads and then cultivating these leads right through to sale and in the process creating a customer with the potential to return. Although this is a very simple definition and is in line with nearly all forms of marketing, there are a lot of specific details that go into formulating marketing strategy that works. The special thing about inbound marketing is that the main focus is on the user and the experience they have on their journey towards a sale.
Inbound marketing must work hand in hand with what’s knows as contextual marketing, where you must pay special attention to what type of content your target audience likes to engage with then using this information to help move through the conversion process (or sales funnel). Using this information about your audience will help create ‘profiles’ for the type of buyer you are targeting which in turn will help you understand your customer better and develop the right marketing content for that type of customer.
Key aspects of an inbound marketing strategy:
Inbound marketing can have many different aspects to it and really depends on the strategy in place. However there are a few things that are key parts of an inbound marketing strategy, some of which are listed below:
- Content creation: An inbound marketing campaign cannot perform to its full potential without the right content. Content creation is an essential part and it’s vital that the content is developed with the audience in mind. Fresh content must be created regularly with the end user (reader) in mind; the content must convince or encourage a reader to continue through to a sale.
- Lifecycle marketing: This is the process of identifying where a potential customer is on their purchase/buying journey. Once you identify exactly where in the sales funnel a potential customer is, deliver content that is designed specifically for them – so this way you can customize content influencing a customer’s decision by knowing exactly where they are at in their purchase process. As a digital marketing agency it’s important that you track a customer’s journey and how they engage with your website content.
- Personalised marketing: The record of customer information that you have will help you send more personalised messages and content based on what the customers are engaging with. Many people think that personalisation is limited to just the customer’s name, but inbound marketing can take this to the next level using the data gathered.
- Multi-channel integration: Once the right marketing content has been produced and a good marketing contact list gathered, the next step is to share the content with your customers. It’s important to identify where your customers spend most of their time and market it on that channel. Whether it’s social media such as facebook and twitter, or whether its YouTube, email and other online forums – make sure you have a presence there too.