It’s a digital marketing strategy and its purpose is to grab the attention of leads and buyers by showing them the way to solve their problems. Ideally, through inbound marketing, a good impression can be created. It can be done by a blog, info-graphic, e-book, a case study, a webinar, podcast, video series, SEO et cetera.
Based on the likeliness to make a purchase of potential audience, it is divided in three categories :
1. Top of the funnel
Usually comes in the form of blog articles which readers find via search engines, social media or email marketing. It aims to inform the audience about their existence. Creating brand awareness is the main purpose.
2. Middle of the funnel
It intends to lead those who already know and are aware of the product or service but aren’t ready to invest money yet. Through educational resources(ie; webinars, e-books) and such content, it goes deeper into the benefits of the service or product in form a more prominent sales pitch.
3. Bottom of the funnel
This happens when the prospects are mostly convinced. At this stage, it’s good to engage them more by case studies, demos and free trials et cetera. Inbound marketing should certainly include insightful and impactful contents.
Inbound marketing strategy relies heavily on some tools to attract the prospects’ attention and make them the customers. Some of the tools are:
1. Call to action
To inspire the audience to take action or contact with the provider, eye catching text, images and some other attractive features are used.
2. Landing pages
To persuade users to download or sign up for content offers(ie; guides, e-books).
- Website analytics capture information about visitors, track the audience’s behaviour and measure the performance of the contents.
- CRM or customer relationship management software helps to store and maintain interaction with prospects and customers across the sales lifecycle.
The Inbound Methodology
It helps to grow an organization by creating meaningful and long lasting relationships with customers, consumers and audiences. It’s about encouraging them to fulfil their targets. This methodology can be applied in 3 ways:
Drawing people’s attraction with eye catching contents or targeted contents which the audience will find relevant and appealing.
Presenting insights and solutions that goes with their pain points and targets. Thus they will be more likely to spend money on.
Helping customers to be satisfied with their purchase by providing help and support. If the customers become happy and share their experience with others, it helps to attract new customers toward the organization. Thus a self sustaining loop will be created which is a strong foundation.
Inbound Marketing Strategies
After creating the content, it is the most important part and should be the top priority. It’s the process of affecting the visibility of a website or webpage in a search engine’s unpaid results.
2. Search Engine Marketing(SEM)
It’s one of the most effective ways to promote products and services to increase a business in a growing competitive marketplace. It’s a part of paid strategies to increase search visibility. Brands pay for their ads to appear as search results. When a user searches for something using a keyword, they see an ad of the brand. The brand is charged when a user clicks the ad. There are many aspects of SEM:
A. SEM platforms
It is the search engine platform where search ads are placed by the brands. The most used SEM platforms are Bing and Google.
B. Kinds of SEM keywords
The terms and phrases targeted in the search engine marketing campaigns are SEM keywords. For instance; if the ad campaign targets the keyword ‘marketing’, the ad will appear every time a user searches for this word.
- Broad match keywords: These are the target variations of any term which includes similar phrases, singular or plural forms, stemming, misspellings, synonyms of the target term.
- Phrase match Keywords: Along with targeting the exact phrase, target any other phrase that comes after or before the exact target keyword such as: while targeting the keyword ‘food restaurant’, a campaign may also target ‘best food restaurant, find the best food restaurant, top ten best food restaurant’
- Exact match keywords: these words are closely related to the target term. Misspelling, stemming, abbreviations, recorder words, paraphrases, or related words with the same search intent of the match term.
- Negative keywords: It refers to excluding the term that a brand doesn’t want to target.
C. SEM targeting
Targeting keywords tell a search engine when to show the ads. Through targeting, additional parameters like when the ad should show or to whom it should show to can be set. There are a few types of SEM targeting:
- Location targeting
- Ad schedule targeting
- Demographic targeting
- Device targeting
3. Email Marketing
It is a digital marketing strategy through which businesses send emails to prospects, customers and convert them into customers and turn one time buyers into loyal customers. The benefits of email marketing are:
- People check their email inbox regularly
- It is cost-effective
- Easy to design and implement
- The perfect tool for promoting blog posts
- It enables a business to customize content with targeted messages
- The email includes links which directly take the audience to its websites
- Easy to create brand awareness and also easy to track the effectiveness of the campaign
4. Social Media Marketing
To achieve marketing and branding goals, businesses promote creative content on social media networks. It helps to establish a strong social presence. It is beneficial for:
- Promoting brand identity and positive brand association
- Creating brand awareness
- Increasing traffic of websites
- Helps to engage potential customers
- Enhances SEO rankings
Social Media Marketing Strategy:
- Setting meaningful and valuable marketing goals
- Researching the target audience
- Establishing the most valuable metrics
- Analyzing the competition and competitors
- Communicating goals to an audience
4. Buyer Persona
Buyer persona refers to representing the target audience through a fictional character which resembles the potential customers.
Creating a buyer persona required detailed information including customer demographics, behavioral patterns, motivations and goals etc. It helps the marketing and sales team to create content that are vital for target customers. To understand the buyer persona of target customers, three approaches can be helpful :
- Interviewing or questioning current users or customers over the phone or in person .
- Conducting an online survey
- Collecting info about their average day, responsibilities, professional and personal needs, lacking, problems they face.
- Helps to get a better ROI
- Helps to get better lead
- Helps to develop and improve the content
- It’s the best way to show genuine understanding and concern for the target customers
Basic questions to create buyer persona :
- Personal info : Age, education, gender,income,children,marital status, location.
- Professional info: Job title, industry, company size, special skills, career path.
- Goals and challenges: personal and career goals, privatization of goals, challenges they face.
- Values and fears: what do they value, what are important to them, what drives their decision making process, their objectives and so on
- Negative info: Are they the customers who are not needed, are they difficult to handle, is it too expensive to support them.
- Their position : how do they get indo, how do they communicate, what social media they use, do they attend having vents or conferences, where do they spend their days, their relevant hobbies
Buyer persona clarifies the type of people who would be benefitted by the solutions offered. It is a researched based process and it helps a business to grow.
5. Landing Pages
A landing page is a web page created for a marketing campaign. A visitor lands here after clicking on a link in an email or ads from google, bing, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, twitter or similar places on the web. A landing page is designed with a focus goal known as a CTA or call to action. User expectation needs to be met with a message match. Only one outbound link and one conversion goal should be there. Some specific campaigns are benefitted from this type of targeted landing pages such as:
- Paid search engine
- Paid social media marketing campaigns
- Retargeting campaigns
- Email marketing campaigns
6. Keyword Research
It’s the process of finding keywords which a business wants to rank for in search engines.It helps to understand what potential customers are searching for and what they are typing into search engines.
Keywords can be found in 4 steps:
- Analyze the keywords competitors rank for
- Keyword research tools
- Study the niche
Selecting the best keywords and using them in appropriate manner is very important. SEO metrics and data help to narrow things down. 6 keyword metrics are:
- Search volume
- Traffic potential
- Cost per click
- Keyword difficulty
The way to group keywords to add structure to the list:
- Group by parent topic
- Group by search intent
- Group by business value
Keyword prioritization should be done in an effective manner. While doing this, we must keep in mind that we are not only looking for ‘easy to find or rank for’ keywords but also looking for those with the highest ROI(return on investment)
Inbound marketing inspires the right type of customers to search for the business because they are attracted toward the contents provided.