Do you feel like you are constantly chasing new sales prospects? Is your marketing approach relying on cold calling potential customers?
Sales are a key element of every marketing strategy – but focussing purely on outbound marketing to acquire customers can be exhausting – and not always effective. Instead, you could be attracting customers to your business using the power of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is the process of helping potential customers find your company and familiarising them with your brand – it is “buyer-centric”, focussing on their needs rather than yours; unlike with outbound marketing, for example, cold calling, which is “seller-centric” focussing on the product and service and seeking out the customer. It is a focus away from what a company sells and instead focuses on who the company is, and WHY it sells.
The inbound approach is patient, subtle, never aggressive, and never trying to force a sale – it is more concerned with solving a buyer’s problem and building a relationship. The beauty is though when consumers find your company this way, it has a stronger influence on their future purchasing decisions and their feelings toward your business in general. It is a strategy that uses many forms of ‘pull’ marketing to entice potential customers and to create brand awareness through the use of authentic content that is educational and entertaining — including content marketing, blogs, events, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and more.
The success of inbound marketing isn’t achieved by throwing money at it, but by the amount of time invested and the commitment to produce great content that informs, empowers, and attracts current and potential customers.
Here’s how to get started:
Identify your target audience and learn all you can about them. If you don’t know your audience the content may not hit the mark – make it personal and relevant to them.
Determine the best way to reach them, whether it’s through Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, your blog, or elsewhere.
Plan quality content to continually engage with your audience making it useful, relevant and on brand, focussing on building trust and loyalty with your customers. The content needs to attract and retain customers throughout their entire lifecycle, not just before they are a customer, but after as well.
Measure the success of your inbound marketing efforts by analysing SEO rankings, inbound links, or the number of articles published – these resources will provide valuable insight into how your campaigns are performing. This step will help you to understand how effective your inbound marketing efforts have been but also how they can improve. Want to learn more about the world of inbound marketing – or need a helping hand to get started with a strategy?