One of the most popular trends in the marketing world lately is inbound marketing. The philosophy behind inbound marketing is fairly simple: instead of trying to attract new business by outbound efforts like radio/TV ads, phone calls, or email blasts, a marketing team will curate a set of content to attract potential clients to them, or to “get found”.
The idea behind inbound marketing is to provide something of value to the market, earning a potential customer’s trust by giving them relevant content, and finally converting them to a sale at the end of the inbound marketing cycle. Think of it as a pull instead of a push: inbound marketers no longer think in terms of pushing their product out into the market, hoping that one of the fish in the pond will bite, but rather they think of enticing them with valuable content and waiting for the fish to swim straight into their net.
In today’s world, almost any business can benefit from inbound marketing techniques. Even you, reading this right now, probably don’t realize it, but you have a lot of incredibly valuable information to offer your marketplace. You’re probably quite knowledgeable on a variety of topics, and there’s a good chance that at least one of those topics relates to your career. By sharing your knowledge with the market, you’re demonstrating that you really know what you’re talking about, and customers will be more likely to buy your product knowing that they are in safe hands.
The types of content that you can produce come in a wide variety of forms, but some of the more common types are white papers, infographics, and blog posts. Think of each of these types of content as different vehicles to deliver your industry knowledge with potential customers. White papers can be as complex or simple as you like, but they tend to share information with a combination of written text and graphics. Infographics are more visually stimulating and depend on data to give information to the market, quite often in the form of statistics, possibly from a survey or a study. Blog posts are probably the most common type of content for inbound marketing. These are written articles that come in various lengths and provide useful information to the reader.
Of course, inbound marketing is not limited only to white papers, infographics, and blog posts: this is where your particular company can show itself as a thought leader in its industry. For example, video could be a very compelling type of content for a craft company, showing how to carry out different types of projects with how-to videos. Video blogs (or vlogs) can also be a fantastic way to present content from a member of your staff on a certain topic, or by showing a video case study. Consider the type of company that you have and the content that would be most valuable to your business, then put it together in a creative way to get the most out of your inbound strategy.
Once you have attracted customers to your brand they will be more likely to purchase your product or service due to the trust you have instilled in them. But once the conversion happens, the inbound strategy continues to provide content for all its customers, sharing it with them as part of the value proposition of the company. Content can be highly valuable to the right person, and it’s not just applicable to the early stages of inbound marketing. Keep it coming to increase brand loyalty among your existing customer base.
If you’re looking to fundamentally change the way you market your online business, inbound marketing could be just the thing for you!