True marketing is about creativity, finding ways to not only reach your audience so that you can tell them about your product and service, but to nurture relationships and create an unforgettable experience that will inspire them to tell their friends and keep them coming back for more.
There are two approaches to marketing: inbound and outbound. Traditional marketers tended to use outbound marketing: broadcasting their message to a mass audience, regardless of who, in order to seek potential customers.
Unfortunately, this method is expensive and highly inefficient. Most of the people who see outbound marketing advertisements ignore it completely, since the message is not pertinent to them.
But isn't the point of marketing to let as many people as possible know about your product or service?
Yes and no.
EFFECTIVE marketing is about letting as many RELEVANT people as possible know about your product or service so that they are more likely to buy from you. Not everyone needs what you have to offer, and advertising your products to them wastes both of your time.
However, advertising to the right people, people who actually want and need your product is a win-win situation for both. But how do you do that?
Enter inbound marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is all about attracting and engaging the right people to your product and business in a way that provides value and encourages connection and trust.
According to HubSpot, inbound marketing consists of three stages:
In the Attract Phase, the goal is to bring in the right people to your business—people who are interested in your product or service, who are likely to buy.
You don't want EVERYONE coming to your site—only those to whom your message is relevant. You want to attract the RIGHT customers, using relevant content that they are looking for. Some methods for doing this include using blog posts, video content, and targeted ads.
With Engagement, your purpose is to create strong, long-lasting relationships through communication on your prospective customers favorite channels, whether that is through email or social media live chats, or other apps.
Conversion tools like forms and calls to action will help you collect relevant information from prospects so that you can more effectively reach out to them, inform them of your offerings, and give them the opportunity to buy.
Now that you have found the right audience, built a relationship with them, your job is not done. It is time to Delight your clients, so that you not only get to sell them one item once, but will keep them coming back for more.
Creating memorable content and offering superb customer service will not only help transform one-time customers into repeated clients, but will inspire them to share their newfound discovery—you—with their friends and family, which is advertising gold for all businesses.
In reality, of course, these three phases of inbound marketing are not entirely distinct. Attracting, Engaging, and Delighting your clients and prospective clients are strategies that blend into each other, and support each other, like the three legs of a three-legged stool.
But when all three legs are strong and sturdy, you will have an incredible marketing strategy that will far outperform traditional marketing techniques every time.
How to Create Your Own Inbound Marketing Strategy
There are multiple strategies for creating an effective inbound marketing strategy, which address the different aspects of the 3-part inbound marketing definition given above.
If you want to Attract the right customers, for instance, you will have to:
- Design a target persona: Who is it you want to market to? What are they like? What are their desires and fears? Where do they live? In what way can you serve their needs?
- Produce amazing content: Whether it's through blog posts or videos, you will need to put out creative, high-quality, helpful information about your area of expertise that will draw the right people in—people who want to learn and benefit from your knowledge and abilities. You will need to know the right strategies for whichever medium you choose, from writing attractive headlines to choosing eye-catching video thumbnails.
To Engage with customers, you will need to:
- Go where people are: If your prospective clients are on Facebook, you will want to learn how Facebook ads, pixels, and insights work.
- Ask clients what they want: Learning how to survey customers and leads is an art form. What platform do you use to ask clients what they want and need? How do you increase response rates, and then translate that feedback into action?
To Delight clients, you must:
- Give them more than they expect: Offering free content is a great way to capture leads. If you give away highly useful content for free, clients will learn to trust you and want to do business with you.
- Build effective email campaigns: Communicating regularly with customers and leads in a fresh, helpful, and fun way will keep prospects aware of your presence and cue them on where to turn when they need the solution you are offering.
Of course, the above are only a few tips on how to create your own ideal inbound marketing campaign. But the reality is that great inbound marketing takes time to learn, refine, and implement. If you would like a shortcut on that process, and create from scratch a powerful inbound marketing campaign without years of trial-and-error, you will want to seek help from a professional.
Here at HIVE Digital Strategy, we have worked with multiple businesses over the years to create the perfect inbound marketing strategy for them. We ARE an inbound marketing company and we're very good at what we do.
Using diverse inbound marketing tactics ranging from web design to social media to SEO, we turn strangers into visitors, visitors into leads, leads into customers, and customers into loyal word-of-mouth promoters for businesses in all industries.
We can help you create stunning websites and use above-board white-hat SEO strategies to help you quickly reach out to and bring in prospective clients who are the most relevant and therefore most likely to buy from you. If you would like us to put our considerable experience to work for you, feel free to contact us today!