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What Is Inbound Marketing? 2021 Guide to Inbound Marketing

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11 Minute Read

How inbound marketing can help your company grow faster

Learn actionable tips fo how inbound marketing can help you attract ideal customers and nurture those strangers into happy customers.

If you are reading this, you are wondering what exactly is inbound marketing and how inbound marketing can help your business.


what is inbound marketing

This article is perfect if you are trying to distinguish between inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing and which is right for your business. Learn actionable B2B marketing strategies, best practices and tips to quickly jumpstart or refine your inbound marketing efforts. So, what is the inbound marketing marketing definition.

Only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, while 62% will consult a search engine

Inbound marketing tactics provide an approach for drawing ideal customer to your company. Inbound methodologies help you turn ice cold website visitors into leads, then helps you nurture those leads into happy customers.

The most successful B2B marketers spend 40% of their total marketing budget on content marketing.

This HubSpot video below really helps to encapsulate how an inbound marketing company and HubSpot growth stack can help your business grow faster. If your company is looking to improve your marketing strategy and ROI, first step back and look at your marketing challenges. The chart below outlines common top priorities for marketers in 2021 as marketing in 2020 is already becoming outdated.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound traditional marketing only works if the other customer chooses to do what you want them to do. At least, which will be basic contact data. In some instances, it will be more than that. However, it's not as easy because the person is changing into alert to your existence online and so right away deciding to attach with you and to cultivate a relationship.

With inbound marketing, it takes time to build the relationship and to trust each other and for you to become credible in the other person's eyes. It is important that you understand that even though it may feel like a slow process to you, it is an extremely effective process and well worth exploring. Inbound marketing works effectively for many different businesses. This video below is an excellent overview of what this is and how it can help your business grow faster.

 

 

"The method that it works is that you just continually post persona-driven content mapped to your buyer's journey high-grade, education, valuable content and therefore the alternative person gets to grasp you and your business through your content."

At some point shortly, that person will want to deepen the connection that he or she has with you, and you will begin to interact with each other. With any luck, you begin to try to do that often. Before you recognize it, you have got designed a solid, meaningful, mutualistic relationship that may exist for a long time.

At now, you will be speculative the way to start employing a strategy that has inbound marketing.

But here is the long definition as provided by HubSpot:

“Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey. 

Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.

 

That is a bit more of the full picture and where Wikipedia drops short on their definition is that you are creating a long-term cohesive marketing strategy based on your company’s growth goals and plans.

 


How Does Inbound Marketing Work?

Inbound marketing only works if the other customer chooses to do what you want them to do. At least, which will be basic contact data. In some instances, it will be more than that.

However, it's not as easy because the person is changing into alert to your existence online and so right away deciding to attach with you and to cultivate a relationship.

With this strategy, it takes time to build the relationship and to trust each other and for you to become credible in the other person's eyes. It is important that you understand that even though it may feel like a slow process to you, it is an extremely effective process and well worth exploring. Inbound marketing works effectively for many different industries and business types.

"The methodology that it works is that you just perpetually post high-grade, education, valuable content and therefore the alternative person gets to grasp you and your business through your content."

At some point shortly, that person will want to deepen the connection that he or she has with you, and you will begin to interact with each other. With any luck, you begin to try to do that often. Before you recognize it, you have got designed a solid, meaningful, mutualistic relationship that may exist for a long time.

At now, you will be speculative the way to start employing a strategy that has inbound marketing.


Inbound VS Outbound

To Start Let’s look at the difference between Inbound vs Outbound marketing:

Inbound marketing is the process of creating a digital marketing strategy built to organically bring leads and customers to your company when they’re looking for solutions.

Juxtapose that with what we all think about when we hear the term ‘marketing’ as more traditional Outbound Marketing.

Outbound marketing is the process of paying for placement, advertisements, print, cold calls/emails, and the process of getting in front of people’s faces who might not know it exists (or may not need your product/service at all).

what is inbound marketing

The biggest difference is that inbound aligns better with the modern buyers—who in a 21st-century environment has the powers of the internet at their fingertips. Which means that they can research whatever they want at any given time!

Meaning that inbound marketing is positioned to assist buyers who know what (or close to it) they’re looking for.

Outbound is a ‘blast’ of information and making the potential customer pay attention, where Inbound is the creation of high-quality content that user seeks out to find when they need it.

 

 


How Inbound Marketing Will Help Your Business

 

1. Grow & Nurture Relationships

Fostering relationships requires tender in loving maintenance over time. That’s true of private also to skilled relationships. If you would like to form the solid connection and enduring, you ought to place forth some effort to make it happen, which actually adds value.

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It’s not essentially correct to assume that the minute you connect with the opposite person, you may become besties! It takes time and energy to develop true relationships.

In several cases, the level of effort you develop into the business relationship, the stronger that relationship can become. Bear in mind that your initial objective is to unravel how they fit into one of your buyer personas and using candid probing questions to identify their pain points. I

The customer sought out your information, maybe by an internet search of a specific term that you’ve optimized a blog post for. Or you’ve created an e-book that people want the information from, so they enter their details in a form in order to unlock this content.

What that self-selection does is helps you identify that these leads want something that you offer. They ended up on your site for a reason, the simple fact that you’ve made it this far into this blog post is a testament to the fact that your marketing strategy is working!

what is inbound marketing

You searched for something related to this title, or we’ve created enough content in the past that positions us in your network as the content you should read.

However, to build on the point above, just because you’re reading this post does not mean we’ve turned you into a client yet… It is important to remember that inbound marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. What a well-crafted campaign does is keeps your company relevant, above the competition and will continue to do so (long after this blog post has been read).

Creating content is not always easy, it often requires a lot of work—this is why many companies decide to hire an inbound marketing company to help them navigate this journey.

 

2. Develop your communities

Assuming that you have created a strong repository of top-quality content, the next thing that you will need to ensure is that your online communities are in order. The reason for that is so that you have places to share your content. This means that anytime you post you, it will provoke positive results.

That is, it's advisable that you select uniqueness and quality over quantity when it comes to your online social relationships. However, you should still have a significant number of connections. You should present your content in ways that appeal to your target audience, including words on relevant, compelling topics, graphics, videos, etc. to nurture leads through their buyer's journey more effectively.

 


Inbound Content Marketing Strategy

The first and most popular inbound marketing strategy involves the effective utilization of content. It's quite often that the phrase "Content Marketing “and "inbound marketing" are used interchangeably. The truth is that content marketing is a subsection of inbound marketing.

Content is king! That cannot be emphasized enough. Before you are doing any writing in any respect, you wish to ascertain your content strategy. It’s that strategy (or roadmap) that may keep your content flowing and can hopefully assist you to avoid any barricades or roadblocks within the method of your writing productivity.

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Your strategy ought to contain elaborate details regarding your target market audience, as well as their needs and desires. Those details can guide you to customize your writing perfectly.

Your main priority should be aimed at solving other people’s problem(s) without selling them. You need to write down content that resonates with them, which helps you to ascertain associate emotional affiliation.

With the help of effective content marketing or management, brands publish authentic and helpful content on a blog and their website. They optimize the content to achieve increased organic search engine rankings to increase your website traffic.

Instead of advertising upfront and pushing the content, the content pulls the customer towards itself via blogs, social media platforms, and websites. That's how people find it and connect with the brand. The core idea is that effective content management is used to generate leads which are then converted into customers.

 


Examples of Inbound Content marketing

We want to dispel the rumor that inbound is hard, there is a difference between being difficult and being time-consuming. Inbound marketing at the end of the day should be something that your company enjoys, it should be an aspect that is a fun way to share what you do on a daily basis with the world at large.

 

Below are a few of the most common forms of content creation:

1. Forms

Any good salesperson knows that you have to give a little to get a little. Forms are the perfect version of this, it allows you to ask the questions you want to know about your website visitor in order for them to move forward in getting access to something you’re offering. A simple well-crafted form can be an amazing way for visitors to tell you about themselves.

what is inbound marketing

Once you have gotten the attention of prospects, you will want to deepen the connection. Great machinery for that is to use a form. You may need to motivate your online connections to complete a form with contact details and alternative items of valuable facts that you want.

The means that you will accomplish that's by providing a link to your landing page that contains documents or form. The landing page can offer extra content that your prospects can see important.

 

2. Trials & Demos

People love—free stuff, this isn’t new to you, but it’s one of the best ways to create demand for your product/service. The “test-drive” is a time-tested strategy for creating great leads. If you get a prospect to use your product or service then they’ve qualified themselves as a high-quality lead who needs a solution like yours!

 

3. Blog Posts

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As we’ve talked about, inbound marketing starts with great content, and a blog (like this one) is an amazing way to attract new visitors to your website. Create educational, fun, or otherwise intriguing content that speaks directly to your target audience. Answer some questions they might have or share some knowledge for free—but show that you know your stuff.

 

4. Content Offers

Creating some sort of downloadable e-book or file is a great way to get people to get a ton of content in one big dump. With a contact form gating your content, a user must provide their email address and name, thus becoming a marketing qualified lead for your sales team to communicate with, when appropriate.

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The best way to save your time and money is to leverage HubSpot marketplace templates that are pre-built so your team can drag and drop types of content or functionalities via HubSpot modules without needing to do any programming.

 

5. Social Media

In the modern age, we all know there is great value in social media—but it’s often hard to really determine what/where the value is. Creating remarkable content is important, but social media is the platform that allows you to go one step further than just sharing—to interacting!

Think about creating multimedia content such as infographics that people are more likely to share because is increases their own perceived social currency.

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Digital marketers will often use social media to connect with the target audience by posting something witty or a touching story shared by people and has the elements to go viral. Brands get coverage and gain followers when they effectively use a sound social media strategy.

Don’t leave too much on the table, if potential customers want to interact with your brand on social media then make sure you are on the right platforms to engage with them.

 

6. Email Marketing

When your visitor to the site clicks, downloads, or likes your content make sure that if you can you collect their email address.

By tracking what they interacted with, and sorting them properly you can follow up only on the specific topics you think they’ll find relevant—this way you stay in touch, but don’t inundate them with too much content.

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Leveraging strategic email marketing campaigns  can greatly help you move leads from the top of your funnel into the middle of your funnel by personalizing the email messaging and also sharing pertinent blog posts or content offers to download.

This also helps you gain insights into how effective the sales ready messaging in your email marketing is, with respect to moving leads to the bottom of your sales funnel.

 

7. Search Engine Marketing

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Baidu can show any potential customer any content. SEO is great for rankings, but SEO will not nurture leads through your funnel like marketing automation will.

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How people find you is SEO, and it’s hand in hand with content marketing—there has to be something to find! Both on-page and off-page SEO are important in inbound marketing.

 

8. Referral Marketing

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Referrals are one of the most effective types of leads. Typically, referrals can close pretty quickly and are low-cost in the grand scheme of digital marketing. More than 50% of sales reps call referrals “very important” but less than 30% of businesses have one in place.

 

9. Co-Marketing

Collaboration with other companies offers a new viewpoint and audience to have exposure to your brand. Leveraging each other’s social media engagement and newsletter subscribers is what helps to get both companies audiences involved.

It’s fairly unique territory, in that one size all doesn’t fit every partnership. Hosting a webinar together, writing an ebook, or create branded content—any form this wants to take where you complement each other well.

 

10. Ad Retargeting

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Using intelligent ad retargeting you can turn your hard-earned website visitors into customers—increase conversions by re-engaging potential customers that left your site. Think of the time you were looking at an item of clothing online, then left the website—and soon saw ads for that item (even maybe at a discount?) That is retargeting in action!

 


How to Begin Your Inbound Marketing Campaign

The first step is to sit down with your sales team and marketing team and align on objectives and ideal outcomes. This will help you focus on the bigger picture objectives in support of your revenue growth goals.

Don't throw darts with surface-level marketing communications, identify your buyer personas and the set of pain points for each respective buyer person pain points. This is what makes sure that the content you create actually ads value to your reader, thus increasing the likelihood they will stay on your site longer and ultimately become a marketing qualified lead.

 

 

Then begin creating content, you can start with just about anything—but the most important thing you can do is start today, the only better time you can start your inbound marketing efforts is yesterday.

However, if this all seems like a little much to kick off yourself then you should reach out to a veteran inbound marketing agency that knows how to navigate these waters.


Reasons Inbound Marketing Will Win Over Traditional Advertising

  1. Cost. A radio campaign will cost thousands of dollars. A blog article with the unique and accurate information only costs your time.
  2. It's where your audience is. With DVR's, iPods, Satellite radio and the American attention span, commercials are losing ground when it comes to our attention. Instead, people are on the Internet.
  3. Trust. Most of Inbound Marketing involves social media like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp. Rather than trusting an advertising agency to inform your customers what they need, people incline to trust their social circles at a considerably higher rate.
  4. Mobile marketing. Another benefit to Inbound marketing is the mobile aspect. More people in the global world own a mobile telephone than a toothbrush. Getting found on an internet search engine on a mobile phone is becoming vital.
  5. Control. While you're the client in a traditional advertising firm or PR house, you lose control of your product or service when it comes to the campaign. Inbound Marketing is all about you having control.
  6. The future is now. TV viewership is down. Newspapers are closing up shop. The old ways of doing business and getting attention are going the way of the newspaper. They're dying. The time is now when it comes to search engine optimization and Inbound Marketing in order to turn the old sales funnel on its head and educate the people rather than sales pitches.

Takeaways

Inbound marketing is an especially effective approach in business. Inbound marketing offers you with the chance to ascertain solid, meaningful, lasting relationships. Those relationships can profit everybody concerned.

Your online relationship exists for you as a result of they require to, not as a result of they need to. Your business can doubtless grow at an accrued rate, and therefore the relationships that you establish can last.

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Chris Leach

Digital marketing professional with 17-years of tested experience balanced in strategic planning and scaling ROI for lead generation, customer acquisition and client engagement programs. Since starting 310 Creative in 2003, I have had grown it into a Platinum Tier HubSpot® Partner ranked in the top 3% of all HubSpot® partners worldwide and serving as an extension of marketing teams of large brands such as Live Nation and Universal Music Group to help scale marketing and lead generation partnership campaigns for Verizon, Best Buy, AT&T and EMI.

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