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Inbound marketing – what is it and how to use it?
Do you wonder how to engage your recipients? Get to know an inbound method that has revolutionised the world of marketing!
Inbound marketing is a very broad term; however, regardless of the tools used, there is just one objective – building positive relations with clients that are supposed to influence their buying decisions. What should be borne in mind when using the inbound marketing strategy?
What is the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
Inbound marketing, i.e. incoming marketing, is targeted at a customer who has given consent to receive information tailored to their needs. In other words, inbound marketing is a precise strategy of advertising activities which recipients use when they feel like doing so. The inbound marketing strategy may include e.g. content marketing (articles, blogs, infographics, reports, videos, podcasts, presentations or e-books), SEO, seowriting or permission marketing.
On the other hand, outbound – unlike inbound marketing – comprises outcoming actions initiated by the company, namely e.g. direct marketing, telemarketing and mass mailing campaigns. These are directed to persons who not always expect contact from a given company. The main objective is building brand awareness and acquiring customers through product or service advertising and presentation.
How to use the inbound strategy?
First and foremost, we need to focus on providing recipients with appealing content at relevant time and place. In this case it is necessary to get to know the potential customer precisely and adjust the message to their needs. Inbound marketing activities consist of creating many common grounds with the company – these can be blog articles, videos, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts. It is all about grasping recipients’ attention, attracting them to the website and finally presenting the offering. Customers may initiate the follow-up contact themselves, leaving sales leads e.g. by subscribing to the newsletter or opting in to be sent push notifications. Basic pillars of inbound marketing include:
- website statistics – one should primarily take care of appealing look of the website and interesting content that will attract a recipient;
- brand attachment – it is worth delivering as much interesting content as possible and present customised products or services;
- conversion – the primary thing is recipient’s first contact with the website which needs to be intuitive and easy to use;
- measurement of effectiveness – what is crucial here is monitoring of advertising campaigns and understanding what marketing activities are the most effective.
Outbound and inbound marketing – advantages and disadvantages
One of the biggest downsides of outbound marketing is lack of personalised communication. An advertising message is often directed to people who are not interested in the offering and simply get discouraged towards the brand. Campaigns of this kind are carried out on a very large scale, which is obviously associated with immense costs and usually hardly satisfactory effects.
Consumer awareness is increasing, customers search for products or services that they need at a given moment, while the web is obviously their source of information. Owing to inbound strategy we can get consumer trust by helping them satisfy specific needs. The main advantages of the method include lack of aggressive communication, engagement of recipients and acquiring users that are actually interested in services of the given company. Owing to this method we can build a positive brand image, educate customers, build a subscribers’ base, improve a search engine position or increase sales.
Does inbound marketing have any drawbacks? Some industries are very saturated with high quality content, which often doesn’t allow smaller companies to be heard. Moreover, in the case of some activities we cannot expect immediate effect or revenue growth.