Inbound marketing is a branch of marketing that is based on non-intrusive techniques to help the user throughout the purchase process. With these tools, accompany the potential client all the way. This is done through the creation of relevant and valuable content for the Internet user Thus, it provides help to the user and makes them have a positive vision of the firm. Conventional advertising techniques seek to sell products in an aggressive and direct way. However, inbound marketing aims to create lasting relationships with users and potential customers throughout the sales cycle.
Differences between inbound marketing and outbound marketing
This branch of marketing focuses on the user, in their problems and needs. With this, the signature is useful throughout the purchase process and not only at the time of the transaction. On the contrary, outbound marketing pays more attention to the product than to the person. The result is that it leaves aside the study of the target audience, since it intends to reach as many people as possible.
Since a prior study of the people to whom it is going to be addressed is not carried out, outbound marketing uses channels of general use in the population, like TV or radio. Therefore, it presents the product or service regardless of whether the public needs it at that moment or not. We can give an example of a television commercial in the middle of a series. In this case, the person viewing it may not be ready to receive that information and it really does not add value at that moment. Instead, inbound marketing does use of digital media to engage with your target audience. It uses social networks, blog articles, videos and other formats and targets those media in which your audience has a presence.
In addition, not only pay attention to the format and the channel in which it is published, but also to the moment in which the public is to whom it is addressed and how relevant that content is to him. By making use of this type of media, communication is not only given by the firm to the user. Quite the contrary: there is an interaction through comments or reactions, thus creating a two-way communication. This is really helpful. Just like in a face-to-face conversation you can rectify tone or message based on the look or the answers of the other person, the same happens with inbound marketing. Through the reaction and involvement of the target audience with the content, the firm can learn from this and redirect strategy.
However, outbound marketing does not have this opportunity, so you cannot know for sure if you are creating the acceptance you want in the public. This, as we talked about before, is due to the underestimation made of the natural person. Since it is the product and the transaction that is important, he does not look for a direct way to communicate with the public. Clearly, this is a wrong view, since, as you well know, the point of view should always be on the audience you are addressing. Without customers there are no sales and without understanding how your customers behave, it will be difficult for them to understand how your product or service behaves.
Stages of the inbound methodology
The inbound methodology consists of four major stages, which are adjusted to the times and phases of the purchase cycle.
The first one is to attract. At this stage, what is sought is to attract users and increase your website traffic. To do this, you must provide useful information to the user, which will help them solve various problems they may experience. In this way, enriching content is generated through informative or educational articles, adding value to users.
Once the users have been attracted, the next step is to carry out the conversion from visitors to leads. The user has already discovered the problem or need that he has and move through the buying cycle. The latter is the process that said person goes through from the moment they discover this need until they make the purchase of the product or service that covers this deficiency. For clarification, a lead is an Internet user who has voluntarily left certain contact information on your page, becoming part of your database. In exchange for this conversion, this user gets a benefit from the firm.
Since the objective is conversion, the most recommended contents for this stage are those in which the user will have to provide certain information. Among these contents are the ebooks. These are very attractive and invite the user to provide their data in exchange for said electronic book. In this way, the Internet user receives quality and relevant content completely free of charge and altruistically from the firm. They are also very seductive webinars, guides or articles for subscribers. Since within this information the user provides his email, the firm can begin to have a closest relationship with that person.
At this point, the user has already advanced through the conversion tunnel, being closer to the transaction that will lead them to become a customer. Right now, the strategy is to Accompany the potential client and educate him for the moment of purchase. This is where the firm's products or services begin to be presented. These are exposed in such a way that the client understands that they are the solution to their problems. Thus, the best contents for this phase are success stories and testimonials from individuals and companies who have already made the purchase of the products and services. These act as evidence to verify that what the firm offers is what the user is looking for.
Once the customer has made the purchase, the process is not over. Inbound marketing seeks a relationship between the firm and the client that is lasting and that has a commitment on both sides. If you neglect the customer once you have secured the transaction, you will be wasting a great potential for future purchases. By pampering the client through offers, discounts or high-quality content, it will make future purchases and, most importantly, it will make firm promoter. Therefore, they will recommend their experience with the brand to their closest people. Thus, you will attract more users, who will already have a positive image of the company.
Benefits of inbound marketing.
As we have already explained throughout the text, inbound marketing has multiple advantages over traditional marketing.
- First of all, by creating relevant and valuable content, the search engines will reward the web page. Therefore, it will be placed in the first page of search results.
- Thus, the presence of the company on the Internet will increase. This makes it easier to find for all those people who have needs that the products or services offered by the brand can solve.
- By generating a higher level of users, you also leads will increase.
- Therefore, the sale odds they will too.
- Because the relationship does not end with the transactionAs with other more traditional techniques, the company continues to bring benefits to customers. As expected, they will prefer this one over the rest of the competition. This generates a lifetime-value increase. This term is nothing more than the value that a customer has had throughout the entire life of the company. That is to say, the income that the brand has received from a single person. On the other hand, if after the purchase the client does not have any kind of added value from the firm, they may in the future prefer another company that does. This translates into a indirect feed to the competition.
- All this makes the company gain industry awareness, thus having a greater scope, which will result in a saving resources and a better brand image.
Inbound Marketing Techniques
Content marketing is a marketing strategy that is part of the inbound methodology. What this intends is to attract users through the creation of valuable content. To do this, you must know your ideal client, in order to know what their concerns, their preferences, their routine and their ideals are. This is achieved through the creation of the buyer persona, a fictitious person who corresponds to the profile of the ideal client of a company.
The buyer persona is created through different data, such as customer interviews or leads. Once the profile has been created, it must be produce content that fits this. Different formats enter content marketing, such as publications on social networks, ebooks, pocasts, videos or blog articles. In addition, content marketing is also present after the transaction, being the tool used to retain customers.
The development of quality content that meets the needs of potential customers is essential. However, it must be well positioned in search engines through SEO tools. A good positioning is crucial, since without it they will hardly be able to find your content. The key is to be among the first 3 results, to get more traffic. Within SEO we can differentiate the SEO on page and SEO off page. The first one refers to all the tools that are used on the web page itself, such as loading times, whether the page implements a responsive design, domains, tags or keywords. On the other hand, off page SEO are the tools that help position your website from outside, through third-party links.
Tools for converting users to leads
Quality content and optimal positioning in search engines increase the number of visitors. The purpose of this increase in traffic is to convert those visitors into leads from contact forms, calls to action or chatbots.
marketing automation It is the technique by which the help provided by software is used to be able to carry out actions in an automated way. This makes it possible respond to the needs of the user at the time they need it. Automation includes conversion, lead scoring and lead nurturing. The conversion aims, as its name indicates, the transformation from user to lead. This is done through different content that is highly attractive to the Internet user.
On the other hand, lead scoring tells you about the journey that the user takes in your digital media. From this information, create a score. In this way, the firm can orient itself and know which Internet users are at the point of being able to receive an offer. Finally, lead nuturing takes this data obtained and uses it to be able to accompany the user until the moment of the transaction.
In summary, inbound marketing is a technique with a lot of potential that is based on a fundamental premise: the investigation. Research your target audience and the best ways to reach it. Once the focus is on the user, all decisions will be on the right track. Take advantage of all the clues that your audience gives you and make your message to your measure and likeness.