Inbound Marketing is the buzzword in online marketing and SEO fields today. It’s not just another ‘in-fashion’ SEO term that you can use to flaunt your SEO knowledge.
Simply put, Inbound Marketing involves all activities required to build a feeling around your brand that attracts new audiences and ultimately turns them into your customers. It is to take all the beads of your marketing mix and braid them together into one beautiful piece. As per me, it is plain marketing that got amplified in 2009-2010 due to various online, social media and SEO factors.
2 years back this concept was widely unheard of but thanks to the mature market, Inbound Marketing is being viewed as a data-driven holistic marketing that seeks to attract people to your brand and then convert them into customers by delivering value.
In short, go out on inbound marketing to get new audiences to discover your brand. When they become aware of the brand, it's up to you to create trust, build a relationship and eventually turn them into fans.
How is inbound marketing from other marketing?
Inbound marketing means a holistic approach to marketing efforts. It combines content marketing, SEO, email, lead nurturing and social media. Together, it is these elements that create your inbound marketing.
When content, social media and SEO create a value, it attracts new audiences. Once you get them to you offering a new value, you get to know them with good call-to-actions. This way you work with your whole to take a person from total stranger to someone who falls through the entire marketing funnel to finally get to the customer - a customer who loves you.
At GetPromoted, a leading Web-Design and Online Marketing Agency in India, Inbound Marketing is viewed as a form of marketing that is aimed at new audiences. We assist our clients in finding how their audiences travel through relationship building campaigns and activities that will hold your new-found audience.
To further explain inbound marketing and give you a slightly deeper introduction to how you can implement it in your work, we compare the concept of building a house. Any house needs a foundation, walls and a roof.
You may already have a well-established traffic to your website that you maintain with updated information and interesting content. But probably you are working too hard to get the number of visitors to increase and also convert your conversion rate.
Any online marketing will agree that good inbound marketing work built from a solid foundation will go a long way in your success. A strong foundation is invaluable. No matter what happens and how the other parts look like, if you have a strong foundation, can lean against it. The house must be stable!
So what should form the basis of the foundation of Inbound Marketing? Think hard…well actually not that hard…it’s quite simple. The basis of the inbound marketing consists of value. The value is that your company offers the already existing audience and what makes the new audience will find to your business. Notice how I have written "you for your business" and not vice versa. The goal is that your audience will find you and choose to go with you. You do not draw the audience to you with advertising. This is the basic which you should embed in your Inbound Marketing Plan as a foundation.
Concentrate on creating valuable content regarding a solution or knowledge for your audience that they will not find elsewhere. Find out what that value might be by looking at what competitors are offering and what unique knowledge you can offer that your audience could enjoy. Once this is complete, you easily produce blog posts, guides, videos and so on.
Now that you have built up the house's foundation, the next step is to build the walls. It is now time for you to offer your value to the world. The distribution of your content is the house's walls and that will support the all-important roof which is the last step in our construction process.
Start by focusing on the traffic that is already there to your website and other channels. Make sure to provide the audience with content that makes it worthwhile for them to return.
You can use two channels- your website and landing page.
For those audiences who have not yet found their way to these two channels, you must also place content in addition to the website and customized landing pages.
Now it's time to start thinking about the social channels.
- Which social platforms are your audience active at?
- How will you use them?
At this stage it is important to think about how your business will use these different channels. Why, for example, an audience will follow you both on Facebook and Twitter? Try to formulate a unique offer for each channel that allows your audience chooses to engage on all your channels and not just one of them.
The last, but certainly not least, the step in the communication building's walls is a newsroom - known as a content hub. Make sure all your press materials (presentations, reports, press releases, news, photos, videos) are available in one place along with your social channels. This is an essential piece for your audience to find you and perhaps most importantly, return to you.
Finally, you must protect the house's foundation with a strong ceiling that does not leak. The ceiling I am referring to is comparison and analysis and to give your brand the opportunity to get better.
Analytical way of thinking will assist you at this stage also, as all other previous stages of Inbound Marketing.
To build a bearing and protective ceiling for your Inbound Marketing plan, you need to find out:
- Who are your audience?
- How they come to your communication material?
- What type of media they view most?
- What knowledge they seek?
This is the easy part. The difficult part is how to find out this information.
- Ask your audience to fill in information about them before they can download material.
- Ask questions in the social channels and ask for your network's thoughts and comments on what you publish.
- Remember, numbers never lie. You may notice that your audience is not at all interested in taking in information in the text? Good, then you know! Produce short videos and podcasts instead.
Everything looking good so far? Now it’s time to move into your new house.
You have given your Inbound Marketing house a solid foundation in the form of a value, the walls are ready to distribute your content, and the roof is in place in the form of a running analysis.
But hold on! Your Inbound Marketing house needs to be furnished, and you may want to have a nice garden. And don’t forget the work that is required to take care of your house! More on this in my forthcoming post.
What are some of the methods you are using or planning to use for your Inbound Marketing? Do share your views here on Inbound Marketing methods and trends.
About the Author: Nitin Jain is the founder and CEO of GetPromoted - an International Award Marketing Agency in India. Visit www.GetPromoted.in for more.