Let's talk... inbound marketing
Inbound. Marketing that puts the customer right at the centre.
We all know that, in business, it’s wise to put your customers first. So, it makes sense that your marketing should do the same – and with inbound marketing, every element of your strategy has the customer at its heart.
The inbound marketing methodology is defined as a way of attracting your customer into your business, using engaging and tailored content, as opposed to ‘outbound’ marketing, which pushes for the hard sell with offers they don’t necessarily want.
In this blog post, we will explore inbound in a little more detail:
By employing an inbound strategy, you can serve your audience with content that provides value to their lives, in the way they want it and at the time they want it, making them much more likely to trust and buy from you.
First steps of an inbound marketing strategy
The key to an effective inbound strategy is in tailoring your marketing to your customer. In order to do this, you need to understand who your customers are.
The starting point of any inbound marketing plan is to create buyer personas for your customers. These can be formed from your existing knowledge of the customers you have, who your ideal market is, or from performing market research. Speaking to customers, analysing competitors and conducting surveys are all good ways of pinning down your buyer personas and getting a clearer of who it is you’re targeting. With each of your buyer personas, define who they are, what their lifestyles and interests are, and what challenges they are looking to overcome.
By knowing who your customers are through buyer personas, you can open a world of possibility. With understanding of what your customers need and what their pain points are, you can ensure your business to providing exactly the solution they need. By clever targeting, your customers are attracted towards you, so you can focus on providing the best service instead of lining up sales.
Inbound and content
With your buyer personas in place, it’s important to guide your customers into the right direction with your content. From blogs to email newsletters, you’ll want to make sure you’re providing information that has worth to whoever is receiving it – and encourages them to make a purchasing decision with you.
Using your buyer personas, you should know what it is exactly your customers need. Use that to shape your content: answer the questions they’re asking, using the language they’re speaking. Make sure every piece of content is crafted to assist the reader. You’ll also need to ensure the right message is getting to your clients in the right place, so make sure your buyer personas detail which platforms they’re most likely to be on. If you aren’t sure, test different platforms to find out which is the most effective.
Inbound methodology shouldn’t just take place in your content aimed at new customers. You should make sure that you are providing value to a customer at every stage of their journey in order to build a lasting relationship. Map out what their individual customer paths may be and deliver content at every stage. From building their initial awareness of your brand and guiding their first purchasing choice, to post-purchase communications, you should make sure you’re always talking to the customer when they need it.
In short, your content needs to attract your customers to your business, such as with ads or blogs. Once they’re there, it needs to engage them into finding out more. After they’ve bought with you, it needs to delight them into remaining a customer and making repeat purchases. By doing this, you can make sure you’re earning more than sales: you’re earning lifelong customers and brand ambassadors.
The benefits of inbound
We’ve all experienced pushy sales people in the past, and the chances are it didn’t convince you to make a purchase. The inbound methodology says goodbye to forceful marketing and sales techniques, instead creating a world in which customers and business mutually benefit from shared goals.
By utilising an inbound strategy in your business, you can be the perfect solution to the problems your target markets are facing. With unique understanding of your customers, you can make sure you’re delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time, every time. By doing so, you can turn leads into customers in a way that builds trust and forms the basis of a lasting relationship.