All businesses have the core need to reach, attract and engage their target audiences. Without this focus, a business’ rate of failure increases dramatically.
One of the biggest misconceptions around these activities is to do advertising & other outbound strategies, such as cold calling, cold selling and product dumping your information whether it’s through face to face, print, radio, TV or phone.
Let’s be clear – This is NOT marketing, but instead, it is one of the many components that make up what marketing actually is.
Marketing is now no longer defined just by outbound tactics such as direct mail marketing, TV advertising & radio. Whilst these channels can still be effective these days, the most effective marketing strategy is less about reaching out to buyers, but about letting buyers come to you. It is all about putting your brand forward, having a presence and being more visible to your target market.
With technology being ubiquitous and easy access to more information at our fingertips, more than 81% of consumers will engage in online research before making a purchase decision. One Google search can give the consumer all that they need to know about what they are looking for and the companies that provide these products or services.
Because of this process of discovery and information gathering, the traditional model of outbound marketing & advertising is weakened, however, the inbound approach is strengthened significantly.
The Inbound Approach
The ultimate goal is to build your brand up to a level of positioning that consumers naturally find you when they are engaged in researching their purchase decisions.
Firstly, businesses must identify their expectations, pain points, and business goals. Once these are identified, marketing techniques such as segmentation, target audience identification & market analysis need to be homed in on, which will ensure the correct strategy for consumer engagement & boosted awareness of your products and services
So what types of inbound marketing is there? How do you make your brand more visible to people who are in the market for your products, yet don’t know who you are yet?
- Content is King & here is why. Content is one of the strongest components of your inbound marketing strategy as you will develop a reputation, trust and be seen as a market leader though informing & entertaining your customers. Let’s be clear, however, that content is not necessarily a pitch for your products and services
- Businesses should create a content marketing strategy, where they develop an ongoing series of blogs, articles, e-books, videos, reports, etc
- Content also drives visibility in other channels such as SEO and social media.
- Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an in-depth process and series of strategies to help your website rank higher in search engine queries, such as Google.
- SEO is a complex beast, however, combined with the power of having a strong content marketing strategy, this will help your SEO get off to a solid start.
Social Media Marketing
- By building an audience and community on social media, ensuring a steady flow of content, networking with influencers & creating a two-way conversation with your audience, over time business will attract more attention through peer 2 peer advocacy and shareability.
So, What Are the Benefits & Advantages?
There are a few main advantages of pursuing an inbound strategy:
Reputation & Increased Trust
- As your consumers find you naturally VS finding you through advertising messaging shoved in their faces, consumer’s level of trust is increased. By starting off businesses relationships with their consumers in this positive & trusted way – conversion rates and retention are increased.
Expenditures Can Be Lower
- Not always the case, however, inbound marketing generally tends to be more cost-effective than driving outbound strategies.
- As with all good things, an immediate return generally does not happen straight away. Instead, these strategies build in value over time as your presence, reputation and trust grows. This means sustainably growing ROI which eventually will become so substantial that any typical “advertising” campaigns and methods will become obsolete.
Keep in mind that outbound advertising & marketing can still be effective considering key elements such as messaging, audience, medium & timing – however even a good outbound strategy can be hugely scaled up and improved with an integrated inbound arm to the strategy.
As technology evolves, so will your inbound marketing strategies. However, the core foundation will always remain the same – give your consumers the information & products that they are searching for & they will trust your business with their needs.
If you’re ready to start growing your business for the better, contact us today.