Katie Lamberg Sevenseven

Written by Katie Lamberg in Marketing

7 Ways Inbound Marketing Can Transform Your Business

Inbound Marketing

Ask any savvy marketer, and they’ll tell you that inbound marketing is something every business can benefit from. Some leaders in the field will even testify that traditional outbound techniques are in a fast decline, and it’s easy to see why. With 91% of people saying that they find ads intrusive, and 81% admitting to closing webpages because of pop-ups, there’s a clear argument for less invasive marketing techniques.

In this online age, people are well accustomed to dodging adverts, and being in control of their buying choices. Half of online searches are conducted through smartphones, and the way consumers interact and engage with brands has made a seismic shift thanks to social media. Being able to respond to these new habits effectively is the key to staying relevant as a brand. Add to this emerging and growing technologies like AI, and you have a completely different marketing landscape to the one we had just a decade or two before.

The inbound methodology

Inbound techniques embrace these trends, actively engaging with audiences to develop brand identities, encourage interaction and generate leads. At its heart, inbound puts the consumer at the centre of its world. As opposed to vying for attention through marketing that shouts for attention, it draws people in through smart content and marketing techniques.

Just look at the four strands of the inbound methodology and you’ll see how consumer-focussed it really is. To attract, convert, close and delight, that’s what inbound seeks to do. Attracting through valuable content like blogs and social media, converting with the help of things like CRM systems and live chat tools, and using techniques such as effective pipeline management and lead nurturing to close the deal. From there, the lines of communication don’t shut. Instead, brands are encouraged to keep up the good work, delighting consumers with things like targeted content.

Why outbound is losing traction

As with any type of marketing, all this is not to say that outbound marketing has died a death to be sure. But in today’s increasingly digitised world, interruptive advertising like TV ads, direct mail, press and radio have more than a few challenges to contend with. You only need to consider how we consume TV on-demand to illustrate how in control consumers are when it comes to advertising and content.

According to stats from HubSpot, outbound practices like advertising are top of their list when it comes to wasting marketing budgets. The key to understanding this gripe, is to delve deeper into what marketers are actually trying to achieve. The same survey revealed that marketers struggle most with generating leads and traffic. In fact, solid metric-driven results are rated as the most important thing for marketing teams. Compared to outbound, inbound methodologies deliver on this through creating effective customer experiences based on metrics, and pitched at specific points in the sales process.

Benefits of inbound marketing

Appreciating exactly how inbound works best is the key to getting it right. Through insightful data and targeted engagement, inbound creates a two-way dialogue that outbound marketing lacks.

Here’s what inbound really does for businesses:

  1. Listening to your consumers – rather than shouting messages into the void hoping for some traction, inbound looks at data to see what your audience is looking for at every stage of their journey. This will help you build attractive content that appeals to them at a specific point in time.
  2. Generating valuable leads – it gives you valuable leads that are much closer to being qualified. Because people will be coming to you, they’ll be familiar with what you can offer, and open to messages. It works in tandem with sales – rather than defining sales and marketing into two separate entities, inbound creates what’s been coined a smarketing approach. Through integrating these processes, information can be passed seamlessly from the marketing department to sales, resulting in fewer loss leads.
  3. Working cost-effectively – developing content that can be refreshed is something that doesn’t cost the earth. In fact, investing in your content strategy is relatively inexpensive compared to some other forms of traditional marketing.
  4. Building brand awareness – utilise all the tools at your disposal, and you’ll be in the driving seat of building your brand awareness. Increasing traffic through social media posts, SEO, PPC, and developing strong content pieces including blogs, video and infographics.
  5. Planning for the long-term – because inbound techniques are data-driven, you’ll get a clearer picture of your consumers as time goes on. That will enable you to look to the future, tweak your tactics as you go, and create long-lasting relationships with your audience.
  6. Being credible – through targeted posts and insightful content pieces, you’ll be acting as an authoritative voice in your field. All this will increase your credibility, encouraging people to engage with you again and again.

Round up

Now is the time to review your approach to marketing if you want to take your brand into the future. Technology continues to advance so rapidly, the way we interact with each other, brands and organisations is evolving at a pace.

Inbound techniques seek to tap into these trends, through understanding that the consumer has control over what they absorb and act on. Rather than seeing this as a barrier to getting brand messages across, finding fresh, exciting ways to capture attention and create meaningful interactions is something inbound does, and does with aplomb. The key is to approach it right and develop a strong strategy that fits with your business and your audience.

Want to discuss how inbound marketing can help transform your business? Get in touch with our expert team today.

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