With the likes of GDPR making it increasingly difficult to use data for outbound marketing the importance of inbound marketing has increased drastically and is set to do so even more.
But what is inbound marketing and why should businesses be using it? In this article we tackle this question, defining the terms and offering some of the top reasons on why it is great for your business.
What is inbound marketing?
To put it simply, inbound marketing is about creating enough value that will attract your customers to come to you. Industry software leaders Hubspot define the term as:
“Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.”
Unlike outbound marketing that works by going out and effectively convincing customers that they should buy, inbound is about making your brand appear so irresistible and making it so discoverable that you naturally make sales.
Many business owners like to use inbound marketing as it is more subtle and less aggressive than many outbound techniques.
Why should I be doing it?
With outbound marketing you can put a lot of effort into selling directly to one customer, but once they have made a decision whether to purchase or not a lot of that effort becomes obsolete.
Where inbound uses tactics like blogging and other value adds, once the resource has been put into creating these assets they can then be used over a very long period of time to attract sales.
For example, one well thought out and executed blog post or whitepaper may bring in sales leads for many years after it has been published.
Increases brand visibility
By creating useful resources for your customers to benefit from, inbound marketing gives you the opportunity to drastically increase your brand awareness.
Incorporating your brands tone of voice and making your offering an integral part of your content means those readers become subtly aware of who you are and what you do.
It also allows you to boost brand value by associating you with helpful and to the point information.
Educates your audience
This is especially useful for those that sell complex products and services. Your inbound marketing efforts should be used to help educate potential customers on exactly why what your business offers in the best option for them.
Take for example that your business sells coconut bowls. Developing a series of blog posts explaining the sustainable nature, Instagram worthiness and superior quality of your bowls will go a long way to convincing customers to choose you.
We can see that inbound marketing is an integral part of the marketing process for any business. Unlike outbound, the techniques used through inbound are more subtle and gently work to convince potential customers to pick your offering. This is becoming increasingly important as methods of outbound marketing become more difficult due to data protection laws.