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What Is Inbound Marketing And Why It Is Essential For Every Marketer To Implement

If you have more money than brains, you should focus on Outbound Marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on Inbound Marketing.

-Guy Kawasaki

Co-founder, Alltop.com

 

You may have come across this phrase ‘Inbound Marketing’ from various different sources and especially in recent times, its use has increased stupendously… and rightly so!

So let’s dive right into it. What is Inbound Marketing?

Traditional marketing is a one-way conversation – the marketer talking ‘at’ the potential customer. Inbound marketing is an invitation to an ongoing dialogue in which you can communicate with your customers in both a professional and congenial fashion.

In general, Inbound Marketing is an approach focused on attracting customers through content that is relevant to capture and convert potential customers through channels like blogs, search engines and social media which draws the user base to your product or service.

If the content educates, informs and engages directly with your target buyer persona, it serves to build awareness and increases interest generating leads. Once a visitor becomes a lead, based upon on a scoring system, you can pass them into a sales funnel. Once they convert and buy repeatedly you can analyse the process to produce more desirable content and showcase your expertise.

Now that we understand the concept of Inbound Marketing, let’s get onto why it is important because there is no point in learning, understanding and implementing something if it’s useless and does not help us achieve our ultimate objective.

Why is Inbound Marketing becoming so popular these days?

If you’re new to digital marketing, you might be a little bit fuzzy about the concept of inbound marketing. It’s a relatively new tactic that’s almost exclusive to the Internet.

Inbound Marketing did not exist from day one when the digital marketing industry cracked into the traditional marketing world. Today, more and more businesses are trying to jump onto the Inbound Marketing bandwagon and trying to leverage it as a part of their overall marketing strategy.

  1. The Role of Customer in the Buying Process is Changing-

The traditional Marketing Funnel has changed its attributes. This new marketing funnel visualizes the various psychological phases a customer travels through before they actually try or buy your product. In recent times, a customer now passes through all the stages of the funnel, their number dropping out at each stage, and only when they reach the last two stages of Evaluation(final stage before the purchase decision) and Sales(the result of the marketer’s effort throughout the process) does the actual consideration of purchase take place. Earlier was a much simpler and easier time when sales took place right from when a customer began considering a product or service.

2. Majority Are Not Ready To Buy Yet-

Now, with a shorter attention span, massive increase in competition and increasing availability of sources of information, customers are getting onto the web more so for research purposes than to make an immediate purchase.

This normal distribution curve (bell curve) shows that the majority(95%) of qualified prospects on your website are there to research and not to buy.-Marketo

What is important to keep in mind here is that it is not that this 95 % of people are not relevant or not interested in your product or service but rather that they are just not ready to buy from you at that point of time. The bell curve shows that only about 5% of users are actually there on your website to make an immediate purchase. These are very very significant numbers and something that every marketer must consider at the time of developing his inbound marketing strategy.

Of course, these numbers are not always 100% accurate. there is a minor deviation on a case by case basis depending on the industry, but overall this graph applies to every marketing campaign.

Marketers now need to nurture the users who have just visited their website to research more about the product or service and convert their interest into a purchase through regular and efficient inbound marketing, holding their hand from one stage of the marketing funnel to the next.

70% of people on your website will buy either from you or from your competitor- Marketo

3. Personalization Is Possible At Scale-

In today’s day and age, technology has increased at such a stupendous pace that there is now an availability of tools and techniques which has enabled personalization at scale. This was something that was not possible earlier.

This custom tailored Happy Birthday email mentioning the name of the viewer and wishing him on his birthday along with a discount coupon is a perfect example of Personalization. Instead of simply handing over a coupon, to a customer, the brand gifted it, and that’s what makes all the difference. What this does is that it builds a relationship between a user and the brand, thus increasing relatability and credibility.

With today’s technology, it hardly takes any super-coding skills in order to actually create such detailed personalization.

4. Cost of Inbound Marketing Strategies-

Studies show that Inbound Marketing costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing.

Inbound marketing tactics don’t generate leads, they generate revenue.-Hubspot

The average PPC on any popular website will support that statistic.

5. It’s Organic and Natural 

Take this scenario: someone searches online for a specific service at 3:00 am on a Saturday; your listing appears in the search engine’s results; your rich content provides them with fundamental value and inside knowledge that will improve their understanding and prompts them to contact you – they become a profitable lead. Inbound marketing is natural, targeted and truly resonates with a primed audience.

6. Attract More Website Visitors-

Inbound marketing is about getting the most out of your website. Creating great content that will attract customers is part of the process. A blog becomes an asset that drives traffic to your website. You can identify “keywords” that your customers are searching and leverage it to your advantage. Therefore, SEO is of utmost importance. If you commit to the process you can drive more visitors to your website. This can increase your chances of converting visitors to leads.

Conclusion

Inbound Marketing is no longer a secondary marketing tactic within our overall digital marketing strategy. In 2018 it will be a must for every marketer to implement and only those businesses that are able to leverage Inbound Marketing effectively will be able to survive in this fast-moving digital marketing world, the rest will inevitably perish.

Wondering how to organically increase your level of engagement on Facebook? Check out ‘8 Types of Facebook Content to Drive Engagement’.

Image Source- Google, Digital Vidya

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