Over time, marketing has gone through different changes.
At first, it was ad-based. These still interrupt people and take their attention to teach them how specific products or services could change their lives.
But they are no longer enough. Digital transformation and changes in consumer behaviour have forced companies to look for new ways to win over their customers. Inbound Marketing is one of them.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing or Attraction Marketing is a set of techniques to attract and convert customers through relevant content.
For this strategy to be effective, it is necessary to produce quality content in different formats and other channels. You can publish them on blogs and social networks, for example.
Inbound Marketing is a way for you to get the attention of people who are interested in your content and your products or services. So you can help them with relevant information and solutions to their problems. And as a consequence, you increase the likelihood that they will become customers and become loyal.
It is necessary to understand that the main objective of this strategy is to reach a qualified audience of users who have already shown interest in your solutions, either from social networks or Google searches.
Therefore, content creation is focused on attracting the attention of a specific audience. And to do so, you first have to know your buyer persona very well. Knowing your interests is the only way to produce content that you like and draw.
How did Inbound Marketing come about?
Although it was not named “Inbound Marketing”, its concepts have been used for a long time. With the advancement of the Internet, it is rare for someone to go to a store to shop without first researching online. So the strategy of using useful and quality information is decades old.
More precisely, in 1999, these concepts were worked on in the book “Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin. However, the term only first emerged in 2006, when Hubspot was founded.
With the popularity of the internet, Inbound Marketing is directly associated with Digital Marketing and Content Marketing. But we must understand the objective of each of the strategies.
How does Inbound Marketing work?
Content Marketing is the fuel for Inbound Marketing strategies to work. Inbound marketing turns consumers into customers and customers into ambassadors for your brand. Through content, you solve doubts and interact with your audience.
If you focus on the quality of the content, you generate good results. You have to offer it at the right time and in the preferred channels of your buyer persona.
This way, you generate traffic on your website and your social networks. However, your strategy should also prioritize using forms, sending newsletters, and downloading rich materials, among others, to convert your readers into leads.
Remember that it is necessary to record all the data of your campaigns in reports. Only then will you be able to analyze your metrics and know which strategies work the most and what you should improve.
What is the difference between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
In opposition to Inbound, we have outbound marketing strategies. Outbound is nothing more than traditional marketing. It is more direct, and its costs are much higher.
Let’s understand their differences carefully.
The focus of Outbound strategies is mainly on ads, such as those from search engines, social networks, blogs and other communication channels. Among its main features are:
- Unilateral communication: In an advertisement, for example, you cannot interact. And, if they are not well configured, they can appear to users who are not at the right time in their purchase process.
- Direct offer: Although these strategies are also considered the purchase process, the offers are direct. The potential customer does not reach your brand through content that attracts them but through intrusive ads.
- Less user engagement: If the advertised product or service is not of interest to the consumer or is not shown at the right time, the ad will not have good results. In addition, unlike Inbound, it is not the lead that the company is looking for but the company looking for the information.
In this case, the lead is already looking for the company. A more open conversation and a closer relationship are also offered. In this way, we hope:
- Open and free communication: brands and their consumers have the opportunity to interact at any time.
- Continuity: Instead of interrupting people with ads, the brand message is conveyed at the most appropriate times.
- More user engagement: As the relationship between consumer and brand is based on trust, user engagement is much more significant because of the valuable content they share.
Advantages of Inbound Marketing
Attracting potential customers through relevant content has many benefits. It doesn’t matter if your business is B2B or B2C; it’s with Inbound strategies that your audience interacts with your brand.
Reach your audience correctly
Producing quality content, which dialogues directly with your target audience and disseminates it in the proper channels, increases the possibility of reaching consumers interested in your solutions.
Using Inbound strategies often results in better quality leads for sales teams. Although it is important to publish content with a specific frequency, quantity is not the strategy’s focus, but quality.
Bring your brand closer to your customer
As we have already mentioned, one of the initial phases of developing Inbound strategies is to create your buyer persona. It’s important to understand your audience’s pains and desires so that you can provide constructive and organic interactions.
Instead of acting as a marketer, you create bonds with your audience through their interests. In this way, you conquer your audience more every time you produce new content, and sales happen naturally.
The Internet and Digital Marketing allow us to go far beyond physical borders. Today we have the opportunity to meet companies and brands that we could not reach through digital networks.
You can become a reference in your performance tracking if you produce relevant content. When the content has quality, it reaches its audience and is shared through the different channels. In this way, the brand reach is also much more significant.
Shorter sales cycles
The sales cycle is the time spent from the initial contact with the consumer until a sale is made.
When the sales cycle is large, the cost of investing to win customers is also high. Therefore, strategies that can reduce this time are very important, and Inbound Marketing is one.
With content customized to your buyer persona, you accelerate consumers’ journey through the sales funnel. In this way, they reach the purchase decision stage faster and increase the chances of sales in a shorter period and with fewer expenses.
Lower costs per acquisition
Customer acquisition cost (CAC) is a fundamental metric for marketers. Decreasing its value is the main objective.
As traditional marketing strategies have different actions and ads, paid campaigns have high CAC. However, Inbound strategies are much cheaper. You can share the content, taking advantage of and adapting to the different channels you publish.
Average ticket increase
The average ticket is the average value of each purchase from your customers.
Qualified leads with relevant information trust more to buy from your company. And usually, the value of your purchase is higher than that of a customer who does not go through education in the purchasing process.
Through Inbound Marketing, you have what it takes to nurture your leads and follow them closely before offering your product or service.
The stages of Inbound Marketing
The Inbound Marketing methodology consists of four stages. And it can bring together different actions.
A web page without traffic does not generate leads. Without leads, there are no sales. Therefore, the first step is to attract users to your communication channels. And, of course, the goal is to attract the attention of people interested in your products or services.
This way, you’ll have qualified traffic.
In this case, how to attract people?
- Blog: it is the primary channel in which you will publish your content. It is important to remember that your website is the only channel that you have complete control of, and you have to value it.
- Website: while we find content on the blog, we see the product you sell on the corporate page. Your texts must be persuasive and speak carefully about what you offer.
- SEO: SEO is essential to optimize and enhance the possibility of finding your website. This resource allows you to improve your web positioning in search engines.
- Social networks: its main objective is to allow the brand and its audience to interact. You can use them to learn about their problems, interests, and desires.
To move forward in the sales funnel, it is necessary to convert this user we attract into the lead. For that, there are some tools.
- Landing Pages: A landing page aims to convince visitors to accept an offer. For example, download an ebook.
- Forms: in landing pages, newsletters or surveys, it is necessary to fill out a form. This should be simple and provide an excellent experience to the user to have a high conversion rate.
- CTA: a call to action directly invites the user to perform the action you want. Therefore, it must be present on the landing pages and forms.
- CRM: in CRM software, or Customer Relationship Management, you manage all your contacts’ information. It lets you know what and when everyone needs, nurturing your leads.
After attracting visitors and converting them into leads, you have to move forward to make them customers. You have to know your buyer persona very well and use personalized communication.
Some tools are going to help you.
- Marketing Automation: Automation tools help you maintain the level of personalization in communication with your leads. This way, you keep a close relationship and take the information to the end of the sales funnel.
- Email Marketing: Email marketing is an excellent channel to keep your leads interested in your brand. However, it is not only about entertaining them but also taking them to the purchase.
- Lead Scoring: even if you generate highly qualified leads, not all of them are at the time of purchase. Lead scoring evaluates those that deserve the attention of the sales team.
The main reason for this process is to guide leads through their purchasing process. However, the road does not end with this closure. After the sale, it is important to build customer loyalty and turn them into an ambassador for your brand.
Without forgetting that conquering a new client is much more expensive than keeping the ones you have. To do so, your after-sales service must be as good as possible.
For that, it invests in three fundamental factors.
- Customer Success: if the customer has good results, he will buy again and, in addition, he will indicate your store to other potential customers.
- Active relationship: For them to buy again, your customers must remember you. Therefore, send them relevant messages and content with a certain periodicity. In this way, you keep your relationship active. You can do it through social networks and newsletters.
- Relevant content: You should offer a specific range of customers you already know and their needs. This is how you teach them that you care.
How do we measure the results?
One of the best advantages of digital marketing is data analysis. Everything online generates data and can be measured. With that, you know exactly what you need to do in each strategy.
For Inbound Marketing, some metrics are more important to accompany.
This indicator represents the number of converted consumers. It is important to measure visitors’ conversion rate into leads and leads into customers.
In addition to tracking the entire conversion class, it also tracks the conversion rates for each sales funnel stage. If something needs to be fixed, you know exactly where the problem is.
ROI, or Return on Investment, is critical. You can find out if your marketing investment is generating positive or negative results through that metric.
To calculate, you have to add up the marketing investments in a certain period and compare them with your results.
NPS, or Net Promoter Score, allows you to measure satisfaction rates with each business segment. Thus, you can concentrate efforts on what needs improvement.
Ready to implement Inbound Marketing in your strategies?
Digital Marketing is a world of possibilities. If you have understood well what Inbound Marketing is, you know it can not be missing in your strategies. However, do not forget that you can and should mix Inbound Marketing actions with Outbound Marketing, as each one has its advantages.