What exactly is Inbound Marketing?
As part of your Digital Marketing Strategy we need to have in-bound marketing activity and out-bound activity. let’s understand what the difference is between in-bound and out-bound marketing?
In-bound marketing activity
It’s a indirect soft sell approach designed to attract visitors and potential customers to your webpage. To understand the differences between the 2 terms (Inbound and out bound) marketing the following is the easiest way to remember. As part of your Digital Marketing Strategy we use Out bound marketing which outwardly pushes or broadcasts communications of a brand, product or service. It sends out messages to a wide audience in the hope of generating customer leads that will be attracted towards your webpage and get customer ‘conversions’. Most DigitalMarketing Strategies have inbound marketing activities which in contrast relies mostly on digital marketing channels – such as social networks, blog page(s), content marketing and SEO. Combined together (in bound and Out bound) this forms the basis of your Digital Marketing Strategy which if managed properly will attract and engage your target audience.
A major part of your digital marketing strategy objective is to find a bigger audience and inbound marketing activity will help you reach a wider audience base. It will also drive better quality traffic leads and achieving better engagement and better conversions.
Inbound marketing efforts are sometimes described as efforts that are ‘earned’ as opposed to being just paid for.
Inbound activities are typically transmitted via non-paid media. E.g. Social Network, Blog, email and SEO of your content. Many people attribute the in bound marketing term to the software publisher ‘HubSpot’, who introduced ‘inbound marketing’ back in 2006 as the process of attracting, converting, closing and delighting it’s customers.
Using an indirect soft sell approach inbound marketing seeks to drip feed its communications via social, content, blog, web content, email. It then delivers them at various stages of the attraction cycle. Although it’s effects are not as immediate as paid media, it is generally regarded as the fastest way to convert (anonymous) cold leads into identifiable warm leads. These leads over time become customers and ideally converted ‘brand ambassadors ‘perfect scenario for your Digital Marketing Strategy.
The Key differences between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?
If we look at the name inbound marketing is about on attracting customers inwardly, whereas outbound marketing is about outwardly broadcasting an advertising message. Inbound marketing is about earning a strangers respect and trust. Then raising their interest level and engagement with own(ed) media that’s not paid for. Whereas outbound marketing involves paying for 3rd party media to broadcast all communications. As you can see yourDigital Marketing Strategy has to manage both Paid and Non-paid media channels.
Inbound Marketing = (Owned & Earned Media) uses non paid media and earns its engagement of potential customers in many diverse creative ways.
Examples of owned media include channels that a business can use for free or at least a modest fee (like hosting services). For example website, blog page, social network- business pages/profiles, and video channels (Vimeo, tumblr, YouTube). With Inbound marketing the business operator has control to manage these channels choose what content to publish, how to publish it, all without paying for media. Think of ‘Earned media’ as what your business earns as a result the quality and relevance of your messages and it’s also these activities that determine your organic SERP ranking.
For example you create a piece of content which you post it online for your audience to view, this audience can then decide to ‘share’,’retweet’, ‘like’ and ‘post’ on their own channels.
Tags and Hashtag
To help users find your content we use a hashtag, to help find similar conversations in forums, and reviews.
Inbound marketing Outbound Marketing:
Essential to your Digital Marketing Strategy is outbound marketing activities which rely on Paid Media. Outbound, could be traditional offline TV, Radio, Press, OOH,PPC and display advertising, and paid emailers. Paid media can also include sponsored spots’ on social networks, for example Facebook advertising orTwitter promoted posts. Social media advertising is often an effective way to ‘boost’ the performance of inbound quality content. Advertising on Facebook, for example, allows you to promote your content and ad campaign to your target audience, no matter how niche it might be.
Advantages Of Inbound Marketing.
Done properly it will net better quality leads, by connecting with the target audience in the right place at the right time. Inbound marketing will avoid wasting time and money attracting traffic from an undefined audiences who are less likely to be converted. It has a more focused higher rate of reaching the right audiences in the right place at the right time.
Improve customer trust
Inbound Marketing is less about preaching and more about providing relevant content to potential customers, delivering information they are looking for in a relevant, entertaining creative and engaging way.
In contrast outbound marketing is about broadcasting information by pushing it out there whether you need it or not. Inbound marketing doesn’t expect an immediate conversion, it’s a slower more subtle way to present your brand over time. Furthermore it’s seen as a useful and reliable resource that expects one day a demand will occur and that follower will become a customer. Think of it as a conversion that happens over and extended time period.
Diversify your lead generation across multiple channels:
If you aim for higher quality traffic from multiples sources – social media referrals, organic searches, referrals from other websites talking about your business organization. You then reduce the costs and the reliance on one channel alone.
Other considerations- Tracking and ROI- Measurement.
Trying to measure the impact of inbound marketing activities is not that straight forward it will be difficult to track the number of leads it generated. However if the campaign includes an eBook resource as a ‘free download’ then this can be tracked. For example time spend watched a video ‘Facebook Insights’ can show you number of new social media subscribers, followers, shares, likes and retweets. Its all shown on analytics.
When you’re planning an inbound campaign online, try to decide realistically what you expect to achieve and measure. Then explain this metric to those involved so everyone’s expectations are set and met.
If you are expecting a quick ROI then inbound marketing is not the solution inbound marketing campaigns take more time to organically build up earned trust and awareness. They aren’t immediate and take time to plan, implement and refine.
They can also be can be resource intensive requiring writers and designers to create web content. Also outreach specialists for SEO, social media marketers and a campaign managers to coordinate campaign activity. With patience and diligence if you put your time and effort into the right campaign, you should get the ROI you deserve over time which can provide better longer term bang per buck than paid media.
Here are 3 samples Of inbound marketing:
A blog is one of the most common examples of inbound marketing. Of all the content marketing strategies on this page, email marketing has the greatest potential for revenue and growth. Other examples of an inbound marketing besides blog are social media marketing, eBook resources and explainer videos.
by reviewing an active online campaign will enable you to monitor results, by tracking performance of content you can review, refine and refresh each successive campaign for better results. You can also do testing to understand the kind of communications that work best, messages, imagery, calls to action, landing pages whatever works best for your target audience.