Inbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing definition:

Inbound marketing is a way to generate interest, engagement and trust with potential customers. Rather than needing to reach out and actively approach new business, inbound instead focuses on creating valuable content and demonstrating that you can offer solutions to your leads’ problems, enticing them to come to you for help.
Account based marketing structure

Many platforms, including HubSpot, break down inbound marketing into three key sections. Here, we’ll go over what each of these can include.

Attract

The purpose here is to introduce your business to potential customers, and begin on the path to earning their trust. This often takes place by producing helpful content, without the purpose of simply making a sale. This can come in the form of blog posts or videos addressing common concerns and questions, or it can be through social media engagement. Many businesses choose to run ads alongside this to broaden the reach of your content. By showing your potential customers value, you’ll help them to start seeing you as the place they turn to for help, and increase the likelihood that they’ll be open to pay you for it in the future.

Engage

Once you have the attention of your potential customers, you need to start a conversation. You can do this using lead forms, email, live chat, bots, you name it. At this stage you will be reaching out to make contact with your audience so you can learn more about them, and hone in on the areas where your offering could be of use.

Delight

At this stage, you’ll be able to start delivering fantastic results for your potential customers by turning them into happy clients. You can use email and marketing automation to showcase specific ways you can help your clients, Align your sales and marketing teams to make sure you’re making connections with the people you want to do business with, and create a lasting relationship by delivering quality products and services.

Advantages of Inbound Marketing:

  • Effectiveness - Inbound Marketing is a great way to generate consistent, high-quality leads to your business regardless of product complexity.
  • Capital Requirement - For those with limited monetary resources, inbound marketing is accessible. Everyone can start to generate content and publish online through website or social channels to good effect. Be prepared to commit to consistency.
  • Develop new skills - Inbound marketing touches on many different facets of the digital world, and in heading down the inbound marketing route you are sure to learn the intricacies of many different subject areas. Great for your portfolio.
  • Build Customer Empathy - Inbound marketing requires us to deliver content that our customers want to consume and helps them solve their problems. An effective inbound strategy connects businesses with its target audience like no other.

Disadvantages of Inbound Marketing:

  • Time - Inbound marketing is a long term strategy, those with an expectation that inbound will start to generate leads in the short term (3 months) will struggle to accept this methodology. 1 year minimum is generally required to ramp up to effective levels.
  • Investment - The investment required to generate consistently high quality content is high, whether through expending time or money. It can take half a day to write a semi decent article, 1 day to film a video, etc. This isn't for the faint of heart.
  • Skills - In order to make a real impact through inbound marketing there are a plethora of skills that are required to deliver. From SEO to design, video editing to web dev. These skills help to maximise the impact of your inbound content.
  • ROI - It can be difficult to track the ROI generated through inbound marketing strategies. This is becoming easier with the development of data reporting platforms, but it's a whole world of complexity to pull it all together.
“What types of information and tools can you put on your site that will pull in more people from your market?”
Brian Halligan, Inbound Marketing