Inbound marketing as the name suggests, is the total opposite to ‘outbound marketing’. Instead of trying to get ‘in front’ of customers to sell, inbound involves generating relevant and useful content to help attract perfect potential customers.
These perfect potential customers find and engage with your content through digital channels such as Google, your blog or social media.
The phrase ‘inbound marketing’ was originally coined by Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO. The usual ‘text book’ inbound process is known as ‘Attract, Convert, Close, Delight’.
Here’s my simple 3 step inbound marketing approach to kickstart your digital marketing strategy –
1. Get Found
A fundamental part of inbound marketing is getting found online.
I recommend conducting a simple review of your digital marketing channels. These channels will probably include your website, blog and several social media channels. They may also include membership organisations and other directory listings.
It’s a good idea to establish your ‘key’ digital marketing channel. This could be your blog, LinkedIn or Facebook, but I recommend that whenever possible your ‘key’ digital marketing channel should be ‘owned’ by you.
How ‘Google friendly’ is your website? How easy is it for potential customers to find you? Are you getting found on the right key words and key word phrases?
If you need to improve your seo strategy, click here to find out how.
2. Generate Branded Content
In inbound marketing content is crucial!
Your content could include text, images, video, podcasts, infographics and can be shared through your website, blog, email, or social media channels.
I recommend that all of your content starts out on a channel that you ‘own’. This is usually your website or blog.
It’s important that your content appeals to your target market. What do these people need to know? What are their problems? How can you help them? If you need to do more work to define your target audience and perfect potential customers, then check out my Market, Message, Medium guide.
Content will always feel easier and less daunting if you have a content strategy and plan.
To create amazing content, check out this blog post.
3. Engagement and Nurturing
Inbound isn’t about selling! It’s more about engaging, educating and interacting with people.
In inbound marketing it’s always better to try and help someone instead of using hard sell tactics. However, it’s also important that you think about using a strong ‘call to action’. There’s no point in dedicating time and effort to generating branded content and getting found if at some point you don’t ‘ask’ your audience to take action.
‘Conversion’ is an important term in digital marketing. You have to have strategies in place, probably on multiple channels to ‘convert’.
Ultimately you want your audience members to become customers, but ‘conversion’ is what you want your audience to do first. This could be making an enquiry, handing over their email address, registering to attend an event or ordering a free sample.
Landing pages are a great tool for conversion!
Check out this blog post –
How to publish a landing page that will actually convert.
With your inbound marketing strategy, you need to be able to continuously and repeatedly action these 3 stages.
You should use different digital marketing channels to ensure that you have all three stages covered. Most people are good at one or two, few people are good at all three.
For example –
Your channels to ‘get found’ could include your website, blog and Facebook.
Your blog and LinkedIn might be the channels where your best content starts out.
Twitter and Instagram might be the channels where most of your nurturing and engagement takes place.
Category: Inbound Marketing