The quick and easy guide to Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing is a customer-focused marketing approach that aims to attract, engage, and retain potential customers by providing them with valuable and informative content.
This approach was popularised by Marcus Sheridan in his ground-breaking book ‘They Ask You Answer’, where he outlined the principles of Inbound Marketing as a strategy for businesses to attract and retain customers through helpful, educational, and informative content.
According to Sheridan, Inbound Marketing involves identifying the target audience and understanding their motivations and challenges. This enables businesses to create content that resonates with potential customers and answers their questions, thereby building trust and credibility.
By creating content that is aligned with the interests of the target audience, businesses can position themselves as thought leaders and establish a relationship with potential customers that is based on mutual benefit and trust. This leads to a significant boost in website traffic, potential customers educating themselves about your services or products (thus reducing the sales conversion time), and ultimately leads to ongoing and consistent sales.
However, creating high-quality Inbound Marketing content can be time-consuming and require expertise or research in particular subject matters.
This is where using a third-party agency that specialises in Inbound Marketing can be beneficial. By outsourcing content creation to an agency, businesses can leverage their impartial perspective and their expertise in creating high-quality content that resonates with their target audience.
This can be particularly useful for small businesses that may not have the in-house resources to create content consistently. It is also useful for larger businesses that may have lost sight (as commonly happens) of the core questions they need to be addressing to engage and answer potential customers.
Inbound Marketing can be distributed and shared in numerous ways, including social media, email, and other online platforms where potential customers are likely to be present. It can also be used to create a ‘Knowledge Hub’ on your website that will work like a magnet drawing visitors to it.
By engaging with potential customers through these channels, businesses can establish a relationship with them and nurture them through the buyer’s journey.
Inbound Marketing helps businesses to attract and retain customers by providing them with valuable content that addresses their needs and concerns. By establishing a relationship with potential customers based on mutual benefit, businesses can position themselves as trusted partners in the success of their customers. This can lead to increased customer loyalty, advocacy, and referrals, which can have a significant impact on the growth and success of a business.
It is important to note that Inbound Marketing is the direct opposite of Outbound Marketing, which is the marketing that most companies around the world do.
Outbound Marketing is – as the name suggests – all about pushing out a message to the world or a specific audience in the hope that someone will be interested. It is noisy, competitive, and can be very expensive (after all, you’re doing exactly the same type of marketing as everyone else).
This type of ‘megaphone’ marketing is opposite to the ‘magnetic’ approach of Inbound Marketing.
Read more about the difference between Inbound and Outboard Marketing here.