Main motive to consider inbound marketing - educate the audience, give them solution, be there when they need something that you can offer, delight them with exactly the right information, and repeat.
A few companies still practice Outbound Marketing and a few big pocket companies run loud posing advertisements. These activities are not showing up only to their audience but showing to everybody. This can literally piss off people. Harmful, in the long run.
5 reasons your company should consider Inbound Marketing, irrespective of the stage it is in:
1. You want to build a brand image
Inbound marketing is a slow and viral process of marketing. You create lots and lots of content, in the form of blog posts, social media, ebooks, presentation slides, videos, GIFs, images and infographics etc. All the content represent your brand, but never shouts out your brand name.
You first identify the pain points of your target audience and list down the possible solutions to each of those. Now, start creating content that addresses their problems directly. Create attractive and engaging images and videos.
Never sound like you’re selling something.
So, every time your target audience will look for a solution on the internet, they’ll find you easily. This, overtime, will create trust in your brand. After the gestation period of your inbound marketing efforts will complete, this audience will directly come to your website/blog for seeking solutions, without even looking up on the internet elsewhere.
Your brand image must be built such that your audience don’t feel like going to anyone else.
Although this stage is the ultimate one, but it takes time to show you results from inbound marketing where you start getting paying customers.
2. You want to keep it cost effective
For startups and large businesses alike, it’s always important to keep the cost-to-market on the lower side. Inbound marketing can be an ideal kind of marketing for any business as it helps reduce the cost spent on a lot of areas.
Continuous research, studying the buyer personas, and regularly looking for the problems of the target audience as a part of inbound marketing can help you create super-guided campaigns. On the contrary, putting huge money into random campaigns can drain you out very quickly.
Inbound marketing can help you reduce cost upfront by marketing automation. The whole process of engaging with the audience can be automated using a lot of inbound marketing tools.
Cash and other resources would find a better way to get invested, and you will not run out of it throughout the process.
Hiring an inbound marketing agency would further reduce your cost.
3. Your customers must be your priority
In any of the marketing activities you do, your primary focus should be to fulfil your customers’ need, wants and demands. Inbound marketing understands this very well. Each and every step taken is done with the intention of making your customers’ life better and easier.
Traditional method of marketing is a kind of deliberate push for your customers - You push them to buy from you. You have to invest a lot of resources in convincing them, and there’s no guarantee even after that that they will buy from you.
The best way is to prepare for the coming six months in terms of the real user personas for your business, studying their likes, dislikes, habits, and pain points. This will give you a strong base to plan for the right content and the right marketing funnel. The system setup should be such that your customers never feel like they are being pushed for anything, instead they must get attracted to your content offers feeling satisfied. This can happen only when you have planned well, and your content is really targeted.
Don’t aim to close your prospects as customers quickly. It can harm you in the long run. Let those prospects be well-educated about their problems and the possible solutions, and only then they will be able to make an informed decision. This doesn’t mean that you’re losing customers. Instead, by keeping it this way, you’re empowering your customers to make their own powerful decisions and they will always respect you for that.
4. You would love to have sales-ready leads
In outbound marketing, prospects who become your customers are not fully ready to buy from you. They somehow make a hasty decision to do it and finish off. But, the story doesn’t end there. You’ll notice, this is the kind of customers who always want to get more from your service than they’ll ever pay for. They don’t focus on solving their problem exactly, and they’re mostly never satisfied with your service/product.
Inbound marketing is nice blend of your efforts and your customers’ understanding. This can be achieved only with the customers that have come to you inbound. By the whole process you’ve taken them through, they now understand their own problems well, they support you in each and every campaign you do for them, they are ready to take risks for you, and at the end of the day, they trust you.
With this trust, they are very highly likely to pay you for the solution they want. This is called your customers being “sales-ready” on their own. You have to set a benchmark for your customers through inbound marketing strategies.
Be clear with your target market, and work in line with it. It is sure to give you awesome experience of handling the customers. No rowdy customers!
5. You want your marketing efforts to give permanent results
Any kind of quick marketing hacks might give you instant customers, but they’re not certain to stay with you for long. Inbound marketing involves your team creating a lot of relevant content. Your content should address the issues faced by your customers, and remember, it’s a never ending process.
You can be highly specific in your content. You can reuse your good old relevant blog posts into videos, infographics in blog posts, videos into presentation slides, and just anything. This will keep your content interesting, and it’ll serve your audience with different interests of consuming the content.
Once you start building up this content repository and spend quite some time on it, you will start coming into the picture where your audience goes to look for solutions - It may be Google, YouTube, etc. The best part is that what content you’ve already put out is not going to disappear. It will remain there to nurture your prospects over time.
You just have to keep a watch over your content in different formats so that you can tweak them as required along the way.
Second important point to consider is the automation you’ve done for your prospects and customers. Whenever they interact with your company via any online/offline channel, they’ll be taken through this process. It can be modified and adjusted any time making it suitable for them.
On an Ending Note…
Inbound marketing efforts will keep on giving you quality customers repeatedly. That’s why, inbound is a long term game. You’ll definitely reap the results without asking, If you’re prepared to play - mentally and with resources.
Keep your patience and let the marketers do their job. If you’re that marketer, then keep educating yourself about inbound marketing so that you set for yourself some real SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) and diligently work towards it.
It’s sheer hard work, and only who understand this must go for it. I accept, this is not for everyone.