Marketing, like so many other things in life, is in the process of changing.
While traditional marketing techniques prevailed for decades, with our modern technologically-driven era, the game has and is changing. Inbound marketing strategies are now essential for any business that wants to get ahead.
In this article, we look at the importance of inbound marketing and give you an overview of why it is important to have a successful inbound marketing structure in place.
What is inbound marketing?
Before breaking down what inbound marketing is, it is useful to reflect on what we mean by marketing. The dictionary definition says:
“The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”
Essentially, inbound marketing is the above definition of marketing achieved in a natural and authentic way by creating unmissable, eye-catching content such as social media and blogs that capture the attention of the individual.
This in turn is then spread by that person to others through social media shares and word of mouth. Inbound marketing seeks to do this without “disrupting” the individual’s experience, which is how traditional outbound marketing works. Inbound marketing is therefore very different from outbound marketing – the traditional in-your-face marketing strategy of billboards, radio, and TV adverts.
Most of us don’t enjoy adverts popping up while we listen to music on Spotify or YouTube, nor do we appreciate an engrossing film suddenly being interrupted by TV adverts. We might say that inbound marketing represents a new modern era of personalized marketing which is increasingly replacing the old paradigm of outbound marketing.
Rather than being told what to buy or like, now we are making up our own minds by being drawn to a brand through authenticity.
Why is it important to build up an inbound marketing structure?
It is absolutely vital for businesses to build a well-planned and effective inbound marketing structure in order for their brands to be successful. Here are 6 important reasons why your business should conceive and build an inbound marketing strategy:
Money, money, money
The bottom line matters. We are in business to make money. While inbound marketing strategies cost money, we can think of them as an investment in the future as opposed to the traditional high-risk outbound marketing strategy that sees businesses throw lots of money at advertising that has absolutely no guarantee of working.
Inbound marketing attracts customers through experiences and valuable content that is tailored to them as individual human beings. In the long run, it will save your business money and will also bring a greater return on investment.
The importance of quality over quantity
We all understand the difference between quantity and quality. And most of us appreciate the value of quality over quantity in life, be it experiences or friendships. This same principle applies to inbound marketing vs outbound marketing.
It’s infinitely better to attract individuals to your brand who are genuinely interested rather than being enticed there by mass marketing techniques.
Trust that is earned
Trust is always stronger and more likely to last when it is earned. This is one of the great benefits of authenticity over manipulation.
Individuals who discover your brand in an organic way will trust you and associate more with your business than those who come across you through traditional mass marketing methods.
Inbound marketing offers sustainability
Outbound marketing campaigns only target an audience for the period any ad campaign is up and running. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, continues for as long as relevant blogs, posts, and content exist.
For example, if you would like to sell your product on a big online marketplace and want to know more about topics like how to sell on Etsy, then sustainable growth might be the most effective way to organically bring traffic and level up your business.
For a brand to be successful, it needs to be visible as much and as often as possible. Creating high quality engaging and authentic content on a regular basis enables excellent brand visibility.
Inbound can be combined with outbound
While inbound marketing is recognized by many as being a more important strategy than traditional mass marketing, that’s not to say that outbound marketing still doesn’t have a place in a business’s marketing strategy.
And the good news is that inbound and outbound marketing can be combined in very positive and effective ways.
15 steps to build an inbound marketing architecture
Content creation and strategy
Content is king. Content marketing is the single most effective way to attract quality traffic to your brand. It should be your single biggest priority when building an inbound marketing architecture. Content includes blogs, articles, guides, ebooks, videos, photo content, infographics, testimonials, reviews, checklists, influencer content, and case studies.
Create a content creation strategy that ensures your target market can first become aware of you, so that they can then evaluate what you do and what you offer, before enticing them to the purchase decision. An editorial calendar is one of the important considerations to include.
Search Engine Optimization
Fantastic content is essential to building an effective inbound marketing structure. But that content won’t achieve half of what it could achieve without it being properly optimized for search engines.
SEO should be part of your content writing strategy by incorporating your keywords in as natural a way as possible within any content you produce. Good content and SEO must go hand in hand so that your brilliant content shows up on the search engines of the kinds of people you know will love what you do.
The average person now spends a whopping 147 minutes every single day of their life on social media. That means we are all spending 37 entire days per year, on average, on the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
This might not be good news for the human race but it certainly presents incredible opportunities for online businesses. Clearly, your inbound marketing architecture should include a social media marketing strategy.
Which platforms best suit your business and the types of people you wish to target in an organic way?
Build a team
Many business managers are Jack of all trades. However, nobody has the complete skill set or time to successfully complete everything a brand needs to build its entire marketing structure.
Put together a team that can cover all the vital things you need including web design, web analytics, copywriting, blogging, SEO, and social media community management.
Create clear goals
In order to be successful in life and in business, we all need to identify and set our goals. What do you want to achieve and when? Create goals that are clearly defined, measurable, and attainable.
What are the sources of traffic for your marketing architecture? How many weekly and monthly leads do you expect to create?
Define who your target audience is
There’s little point in launching a marketing campaign unless you understand the buyer personas of your brand. Who are you marketing to? What are their characteristics? How do they communicate? And how will you best communicate with them?
Blog well and often
Blogging is essential but before you get started, draw up a content plan that appeals to your buyer personas. Once you start blogging with quality targeted content, make sure you post regularly to lead traffic to your website.
Videos now more popular than blogs
People can’t get enough of video content. In fact, video content is now more popular than blogs. High-quality video improves conversion rates.
Your best content should be found on your landing pages. So it’s absolutely essential that your landing pages are functional, well designed, and attractive.
Remember that there are some fundamental differences between Landing pages and sales pages. Your landing page should point the reader to the desired action once they’ve read that content.
Calls to Action
Calls to Action, or CTA for short, are graphic buttons you want your visitors to click, which then redirect them where you ideally want them to go.
You can have a brilliant-looking website but without the appropriate CTAs, your visitors might do nothing more than browse, leave and immediately forget you. Forever. HubSpot found that anchor text CTAs increased conversion rates by 121%.
There are many other steps to consider when building your incoming marketing structure. Here are just some of them:
- Webinars & live events
Live events and webinars are a sure-fire way to keep your customers engaged and updated.
Update your customers on industry current events and with your latest product news.
Use surveys to discover your customers’ thoughts on what you are doing well and what you could be doing better.
- Email marketing
You should consider hiring email marketing expert. It’s an important part of the marketing sector. If you have people who’ve subscribed to your email list, then this clearly means they want to hear from you. Why exactly is something you need to find out and utilize!
- Opt-in forms
When done well, opt-in forms are a simple and effective way of gathering vital information about your visitors.
A successful inbound marketing strategy is essential because it will help you build trust, sustainability, and 24/7 visibility. Inbound marketing is also your business’s key to attracting the right kind of traffic and boosting revenues.
Inbound marketing tactics generate 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing methods.
Building an inbound marketing structure that works is therefore your top priority. There are many ways you can do this.
From creating clear actionable goals and building a fantastic team, to dreaming up amazing content with clear and effective CTAs, it’s possible to use inbound marketing to help make your business a huge success.
Filip Nikoloski is Partnership Specialist at Printify. Printify is a transparent print-on-demand and dropshipping platform designed to help online merchants make more money in a simple and easy way.