How To Get Started With Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing focuses on providing prospects the information they are looking for through informative content.
Sales and Marketing professionals might be wondering how creating written content such as blogs and visual content in the form of videos and infographics will amplify their message and help generate leads. As Marketing Strategist David Meerman Scott says [referring to inbound], “Marketers earn their way in, in contrast to outbound marketing where they buy or bug their way in.”
Regardless of industry, B2B businesses, especially those selling knowledge-based products, benefit from Inbound Marketing since prospects tend to buy from businesses that demonstrate expertise in their particular field.
The Inbound Methodology is designed to turn strangers into customers and promoters that ultimately become advocates for your products/services.
If you are ready to start your inbound journey continue reading, if not get back to cold calling.
Before starting to create content you have to think about who will be consuming your content.
Creating a Buyer Persona
Products and services are made to address a specific need or pain. A successful inbound marketing strategy starts by analyzing buyer personas, or those buyers who are the most likely to adopt your solution. For example, a CRM vendor will cater its content towards sales, support or marketing executives.
Some questions you should address when developing your buyer persona are:
- What is their demographic information?
- What is their job and level of seniority
- What does a day in their life look like?
- What are their pain points?
- What are their goals?
- What experience are they looking for when shopping for your products and services?
- Where do they get their information?
- What are their most common objections to your product or service?
- How will you identify this persona?
You can have the most informative content, but if it is not created for a specific persona, will it reach the right ears?
Set Up a Marketing Automation System
Inbound Marketing can include a variety of tactics including: blogging, ebooks, webinars, videos, social media and SEO. To embrace all these tactics and analyze their efficacy users should have all of them under one roof, instead of using a plethora of different tools.
Before embarking on the inbound journey, marketers should highly consider investing in an inbound marketing automation tool such as Hubspot.
Content is the lifeblood of inbound marketing and blogging is the most effective way to create fresh content that captivates your audience. Hubspot statistics assert that “92% of companies who blogged multiple times through the day acquired a customer through their blog.”
At first it might seem challenging to create frequent fresh content, yet frequent blogging also improves SEO rankings. Every time a new post is added to your blog search engines will scan your website which will lead to a boost in search rankings. To get more readership promote your blog through social channels and make sure it is easy to reach from your homepage.
Social Media is not exclusively for millennials. Increasingly B2B companies are relying on social to connect with vendors and customers.
Some marketing consultants swear by social media as the panacea for all your marketing woes. This cannot be further from the truth. Before you get excited about social remember social media IS NOT a direct sales tactic but merely a sharing and connecting tool.
Use social media to publish your own content on an ongoing, consistent basis while at the same time engaging with customers' posts. If a customer praises your product on social media be sure to reply with a “thank you” or other personalized message.
Hubspot’s social media feature allows users to monitor, customize and schedule social media posts automatically without being glued to your computer.
Don't Toot Your Own Horn
Using your blog, social channels, webinars and ebooks to self-promote your company & products will not be appreciated by prospective buyers. Consumers tend to distrust advertising; they go online in search of valuable information on how to solve their problems and the last thing they want to see is advertising.
As readers develop trust for your company they will have your business on their radar when looking for a specific solution. For instance, an office furniture company with an engaging blog that provides valuable information is much more attractive than its old school counterpart that does not even have a website.
If you already jumped on the inbound bandwagon, what medium generates the most traffic for you? Blog? SEO? Social?