If you've heard of inbound marketing but don't fully understand what it means, you're not alone.Inbound marketing is simply a way to get leads or customers to come to you instead of you going after your potential leads. You could also say that inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing. The follow-up question then becomes of course what outbound marketing is, so we will address that as well.In this blog post we will explain in as educational a way as possible what inbound marketing is but also why it has become so popular.
As I said, inbound marketing is a way to get leads or customers to come to you. It is based on the same type of steps found in most digital strategies.
AttractEngageConvertCare Evenin Sweden, the terms attract, engage, convert and care are often used.The strategy is based on creating value for a potential customer or lead through content in the form of text, video, blog posts, podcasts, etc., and getting them to engage with your content. When a lead reads your engaging content, it creates trust in your company. When the need ever arises for the services or products you sell, the trust will be so great that your company will be one of the potential suppliers. In an inbound marketing sense, the lead will then make contact with your company either by downloading more information in exchange for an email address or asking for a quote or simply sending an email. Once a conversion has taken place, the next step is to nurture the lead until it's time for a deal. Often a buyer is interested in finding out information and educating themselves long before they are ready to hit the buy button. They want to do their own research before making the purchase. That's why it's important to nurture and nurture those leads that convert but aren't immediately interested in the deal. If you work according to inbound marketing strategies, you should keep the lead warm for as long as it takes until the lead is ready for the deal to happen. This can be by writing newsletters, blog posts, holding webinars, etc.
Inbound marketing the opposite of outbound marketing
As mentioned earlier, it is possible to explain inbound marketing as the opposite of outbound marketing.So what is outbound marketing.Outbound marketing is classic marketing i.e. print media, TV advertising, radio advertising. The reason why it is called outbound marketing is because it is not the potential customer who seeks out the information but it is you as a marketer trying to reach out with your message to people who were not looking for this themselves. This is in contrast to inbound marketing where you want the lead to look you up primarily through a search on the internet via a search engine.Having said that, you can also see that when it comes to companies that are launching a brand new type of product or service, inbound marketing is not as effective. For example, say you invented a new product that you call "pelakriom". It's a product that doesn't exist today and for a use that no one knows about either. Therefore, very few people will search for your product, let alone actively search for your product name. Then outbound marketing is needed!
Content marketing as part of inbound marketing
As mentioned earlier, content is a big part of inbound marketing. You've probably heard of content marketing, too, and it's fair to say that inbound marketing and content marketing are intertwined. Content marketing is part of every step of the inbound marketing strategy. Content is needed to attract new visitors, to get them engaged with your content, to get them to connect and convert and to nurture those leads until they become customers.
Why has inbound marketing become so popular?
The reason why it has become so popular is that there have been major shifts in marketing and sales over the last few decades with the digitalisation that is happening globally.
The shift for sales
10 - 20 years ago, it was up to a salesperson to inform and help customers find new products and services and outreach was even appreciated by customers. Today, when all the information you need is available at the touch of a button and a quick search via search engines, buyers/potential customers have a completely different opportunity to find new solutions on their own and to immerse themselves in the new products and services. As a result, it is the customer who contacts a salesperson more often than the other way around.According to Google, 91% of all B2B purchases are initiated through a search engine query. That statistic says a lot about how selling has changed. It also means that it is often the customer who is better educated on the product/service they want to buy than the seller is. This is because in many cases the seller has multiple products in his portfolio while the customer is focused and has immersed himself in the individual product/service he wants to buy.Furthermore, there are statistics that say that in 60% of cases where the customer meets the seller for the first time, the customer has already decided to buy the product, which means that the seller's job is more to confirm what the customer has already found out.
The shift for marketing
Marketing as a branch has changed significantly in 10-20 years, from print and TV advertising that cannot be measured at all to digital where the focus is on measuring in the smallest detail. Marketing is becoming more and more data-driven as a result of the ability to measure to a greater extent and it is now possible to clearly calculate whether a marketing campaign is profitable or not.Social media has also gained a lot of space and new platforms are emerging that need to be worked on.Marketing departments have the opportunity to transform themselves from a cost item in the income statement to a revenue item where ROI will be the focus.
New Marketing Strategies
As a result of these changes in sales and marketing, new all-digital strategies such as inbound marketing, content marketing and growth hacking have emerged. Inbound marketing is currently one of the most popular strategies, which is understandable given the shifts that have occurred. A potential customer must be able to find your offer digitally and be able to immerse themselves in the topic to find out more information and make the decision to proceed to purchase.
Inbound marketing is a digital strategy that involves getting potential customers and leads to come to your business instead of trying to find them through outbound marketing.There are four steps in the inbound marketing strategy, attract, engage, convert and nurture. Inbound marketing and content marketing go hand in hand, and it is impossible to succeed with inbound marketing without content.The reason why inbound marketing has become so popular is that there have been major changes in sales and marketing, much thanks to digitalization.
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