By its very definition, inbound marketing is the opposite of our previous marketing strategies and tactics. In the past, marketing relied on getting into your potential customer’s “space”, whether he wanted you to or not! We mean classic actions like:
- Endless emails to purchased or mined contact lists
- Pop ups blocking every action on a website
- “Spray and pray” design ads
Inbound marketing is a strategy that involves creating contextual content, targeting your audience with something they actually want to read. It means putting your content out there, so interested prospects will find you on their own – not because you’ve disturbed their internet browsing with a series of aggressive tactics.
So, what does it take to master inbound marketing and its culture? Check out this infographic for a nice overview of inbound marketing basics:
THE INBOUND MARKETING INFOGRAPHIC FOR B2B COMPANIES
HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE TIDBITS:
MARKETING IS AN ONGOING BUSINESS INVESTMENT
Many B2B startups and tech companies start with a grand entrance and leads come in from all over the place. Business owners and marketers resist the urge to prioritize their marketing and say: “I’ll deal with marketing when I have time. I’m so busy now, I don’t know when I’ll get to it.” However, soon after, the hype dies down and companies are left thinking, “Maybe I should have put a bit more thought into my marketing efforts.” There’s a greater focus on first working on the product and seeing how it’s received before the marketing happens. This just doesn’t work. By the time someone finds your company, it may be too late. That budget may have already been allocated to another organization. This is why market research and planning product launches are also a key part of inbound marketing. See why 75% of B2B tech companies prioritize their marketing today.
WHY A NICE WEBSITE ISN’T ENOUGH
Inbound marketing is based on the concept that a potential customer will find you and not the other way around. Therefore, it’s not enough to just have a well-designed website. You need to put strategies in place to ensure that prospects will find your site, such as blogging, pillar pages, social media, SEO, paid campaigns, and more. These strategies work together to drive more traffic to your site. An engaging blog alone can increase your site traffic by 55%. Put all the strategies together and your overall traffic will increase significantly. When they do find you, it’s important to have a clear, efficient and UI friendly website as your inbound marketing “home base.”
OFFERS AND CALLS TO ACTION (CTAS)
Once a prospect is on your site, it’s key to ensure that they stay engaged and are given triggers to move further down the funnel.
Offers and CTAs both enable you to achieve these goals. Offers are pieces of collateral that you give to potential leads and customers. They can include anything from “awareness stage” offers informing prospects about who you are and what you do (or your company does) all the way down to “decision stage” offers, explaining why they should choose your service over others. CTAs direct site visitors to move towards specific pieces of collateral so that they become leads, SQLS, and, eventually, customers.
Inbound marketing can be multi-faceted and complex. However, when executed properly, it has the ability to help businesses grow in leaps and bounds. Want to learn more about how to make inbound marketing work for your company? Talk to us!