If you’re struggling to create content that resonates with your target audience or inspires long-term customer relationships, your business might lack an effective inbound marketing strategy. Unlike traditional marketing, inbound marketing focuses on providing value to your audience at every stage of the buyer journey.
So rather than bombarding them with ads at every click, let’s break down the types of inbound marketing and how to build an inbound marketing campaign.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a strategy that attracts customers by creating valuable content tailored to their needs at every stage of the buyer journey. Building an effective inbound marketing strategy starts by understanding the difference between inbound vs outbound marketing.
Inbound vs Outbound marketing
Outbound marketing is a traditional method of marketing that pushes messaging out to potential customers while engaging with the medium. For example, if your customer is on Instagram and sees an Instagram ad, this is outbound marketing. Other tactics can include email blasts, commercials and cold calling. This type of marketing focuses on creating brand awareness through external efforts rather than customer engagement through internal efforts.
Key aspects of outbound marketing:
- Focused on selling
- No communication with the buyer
- Disruptive to the target audience
- Paid ads are a common outbound marketing tactic
Inbound marketing focuses on making yourself visible to people already interested in your industry. The idea of inbound marketing is to get in front of your customer on their terms and timelines. For example, if you sell skincare for acne and a customer is trying to understand how to clear their acne, you might create a how-to blog post with SEO best practices to get in front of the reader when doing research. Think of inbound marketing as magnetic vs casting the net far and wide.
Key aspects of inbound marketing:
- Attracts your audience to your product or service
- Solves the needs and pain points of your customer
- Highly valuable and engaging
- Typical formats include blogs, eBooks, explainer videos and social media
Types of Inbound Marketing Strategies
There are various types of inbound marketing strategies built for different stages of the buyer journey. Their purpose is to continue to provide value, drive relationships and build trust with your audience beyond when they make a purchase.
You can apply inbound marketing in three ways: attract, engage and delight.
The first stage of inbound marketing is to attract your ideal customer. At this point, they are strangers to your product or service, so you reach them by creating and publishing valuable content such as how-to videos and blog posts, ebooks and social media posts.
For your content to reach the right audience, you should also implement an SEO strategy. SEO involves optimising your content by targeting specific keywords and phrases related to your product or service that solve the needs of your customer’s pain points.
After attracting your ideal customer, you need to engage them. Engaging strategies refer to how you communicate with your customers. Communication is important to make them feel supported and want to start a long-term relationship with your brand.
During this stage, it’s essential to focus on selling transformation, not information. You can do this by speaking to the value of your business. Common examples of engagement strategies can include customer chatbots and email marketing.
After attracting and engaging your ideal customer, you need to implement delight strategies to ensure they’re happy and satisfied. These strategies should apply to the customer’s experience before and after purchasing.
This strategy should focus on every customer interaction, no matter how small or large because a delighted customer becomes a brand promoter. The most significant way to delight your customer is with your customer service. It won’t matter how good your product or service is if your customer service is poor.
Tips to build an inbound marketing campaign
An inbound marketing campaign aims to provide content that helps modern buyers learn about your product or service to make an informed decision. Here are six tips for building an effective inbound marketing campaign.
- Identify your audience and their pain points
Before you can start targeting your inbound marketing campaign, you need to identify your buyer personas and their pain points. A clear idea of your ideal customer will help you craft relevant messaging.
- Set SMART goals you can track
Once you understand your ideal customer and their pain points, it’s time to create goals. These goals will form the foundation of your marketing campaign. Similar to other marketing tactics you’ve used in the past, you’ll want to use the SMART goal framework and create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals.
- Plan and create a lead generating offer
To generate leads and interest in your product or service, you need to create a lead-generating offer. This lead magnet will prompt potential buyers to submit their contact details. In addition, the offer must address a clear pain that your customer might experience. Common types of lead magnets include free ebooks or webinars.
- Optimise for SEO
Next, you’ll want to optimise your content for SEO to help attract and engage your ideal customer. This step will require some further research into the types of questions your customers are searching for so they can continue to find your content long after you launch the campaign. Pro tip: optimise for long-tail keywords to target a specific subgroup of your target audience.
- Create nurturing automation and workflows
After engaging them through your lead generating offer and SEO strategy, you need to create nurturing automation and workflows to delight your customers. Automation is a great way to keep your brand on your customer’s radar without extra effort from your sales team or other marketing campaigns.
- Measure your results
After launching your inbound marketing campaign, track and measure your results. This step will help you understand the real impact of your inbound marketing strategy and whether it’s working. All the metrics you monitor and measure should lead to your SMART goals.
It’s easy to get lost in the hustle of paid ads, but this type of marketing could be hurting your chances of attracting, engaging and delighting your target audience. Instead, emphasising your inbound marketing strategy will help generate long-term customer relationships and position you as the leader in your niche.
If the idea of inbound marketing feels overwhelming, schedule an introductory inbound marketing consultation with our team. Our strategy is all about attracting the right audience ready to listen.