Attract. Engage. Delight.
Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that is designed to draw visitors and potential customers in, rather than outwardly pushing a brand, product or service onto prospects in the hope of generating leads or customers.
In terms of digital marketing, this means using a combination of marketing channels – most commonly content marketing, SEO, and social media – in creative ways to attract people’s attention. The aim of a successful inbound marketing campaign is to increase reach, and drive quality traffic, engagement and conversions using ‘earned’ and ‘owned’ media.
Inbound marketing software provider, HubSpot, coined the phrase ‘inbound marketing’ back in 2006.
HubSpot defines inbound marketing as the process of attracting, converting, closing and delighting customers. Through using various types of content at different stages of the buying cycle, the ‘inbound methodology’ is “the best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business.”
If there’s one thing you remember about inbound marketing, it’s the importance of tracking performance and refining your approach accordingly. This is where testing comes in too – discover what messaging, types of content, imagery, calls to action etc. work best for your target audience and ensure you implement these on a permanent basis, or in your next campaign.
Measuring the impact of inbound marketing work in a way that demonstrates understandable ROI has always been a tricky one. The key is to be clear from the beginning.
It may be that you can’t track the number of leads generated as a direct result of your campaign, but you can track how many downloads your resource has had, the average duration people watched your video for, how many new social media followers you gained, etc.
When you’re planning your campaign, be clear about what it is you’re trying to achieve and measure that appropriately and honestly. That way, everyone’s expectations are set – and therefore, are more likely to be met.
Long-term strategy is vital.
Successful inbound marketing campaigns don’t happen overnight. They take time to plan, implement and refine. It can be labor-intensive too, you might need content creators, designers, developers, outreach specialists, social media marketers and a campaign manager to even get the thing off the ground. That said, if you put your time and effort into the right outbound campaign, you should have something that continues to provide value for the foreseeable future.
Inbound marketing is all about giving potential customers the information they are looking for – even if they don’t know it – in a creative and engaging way. It’s not about pushing unwanted sales at every opportunity. By using inbound marketing as a way to present your brand as a useful and reliable resource, the hope is they’ll come to you when the time to purchase does arise.