There are two schools of thought when it comes to marketing, outbound and inbound. In traditional, or outbound marketing, companies use marketing tactics that are interruptive. These tactics look to push their message out. These techniques have become saturated and are generally not cost effective. Inbound marketing takes the opposite approach. It is customer focused and pulls the customer in with useful content.
Outbound marketing is push marketing and tends to be mass marketed and interpretive. Tactics that are often used in outbound marketing include direct mail, cold calls, and pop-up ads.
Inbound marketing focuses on pulling customers in by adding value. It also tends to be permission based. It seeks to draw customers in by using content marketing. Tactics frequently used include blogging, social media, and videos.
Inbound is more effective and creates a better customer experience, by focusing on solving problems and being a part of the conversation.
|Customers come to you||
Customers are fought after
There are four components in an inbound marketing strategy:
In the attract phase we are looking to build awareness and attract people, in your target audience, to your site. This done through quality content that adds value. In this stage, we are looking to build brand awareness and position your brand as a thought leader. Look to attract visitors by blogging, podcasting, and being active on social media.
Though targeted landing pages and compelling calls to action, you convert your site visitors into leads. In exchange for contact information offer visitors exclusive, high-quality content. At the minimum, you will want to collect their email address. Common pieces of content offered are eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, and checklists.
Now that you have qualified leads the next is to close the lead. This is where lead nurturing and automation are helpful. They will help you determine when your leads are ready to close. Having a well managed CRM and appropriate workflows will be helpful at this stage.
Once someone becomes a customer don’t forget about them. Your goal is to turn customers into promoters and brand advocates. This will help drive referrals. In this stage continue creating and sharing content that helps them better use your products or services. Track sediment using survey and social monitoring.
It is time to stop taking a push approach and interrupting your potential customers. Instead, start taking a pull approach by adding value. While this method is slightly more complicated is far more effective and cheaper.