Inbound Marketing: The Complete Guide
Inbound marketing is one of the most effective ways to convert prospects into loyal customers.
Inbound marketing is a process that attracts prospective customers by developing content that provides value, answers questions and creates personalized digital experiences. It’s one of the most effective ways to convert prospects into loyal customers. Where traditional outbound marketing interrupts and disturbs, inbound marketing connects and delights.
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The proliferation of digital tools has created many ways for brands to reach their target audiences. Inbound marketing leverages many different technologies to provide solutions and create strong relationships. Take a look at how this methodology compares to other types of marketing:
Traditional marketing strategies present marketing materials to people who may or may not be interested in the offer. Essentially, outbound tactics like cold calling actively interrupt potential customers to ask if they’re interested in a particular product or service. In this case, the prospects may not be fully aware of the brand and its offerings and they may not be ready to make a purchase decision.
Inbound marketing takes a more customer-friendly approach. Rather than disturbing people in their daily routine, inbound marketing efforts help brands to be found by people who are already interested in learning about them. Through blog posts, landing pages, social media and other inbound strategies, marketers can transform their brands into valuable resources and trusted thought leaders.
Inbound marketing is a big-picture concept that encompasses many different activities. Content marketing is one of those activities; it uses content that a target group will find beneficial to establish a relationship based on trust and expertise. So, the two concepts are not exactly the same thing, but they have the same goals because content marketing is a highly effective means of attracting inbound prospects.
If inbound marketing is a broad term that includes many different methods of attracting customers, then digital marketing is an even broader term that involves any marketing using digital technologies.
Therefore, sending cold emails would be a form of digital marketing, but not inbound marketing. However, an email newsletter for which customers proactively sign up would be both digital and inbound marketing.
入站已经改变了营销人员思考的方式engaging with their audiences and has given...
内容形式的支柱inboun任何有效d marketing campaign. Without engaging content, site visitors aren’t likely to spend much time hanging around. Inbound marketers conduct research to discover what their target audience is looking for online. It might be information about an industry, a trend or a particular product or service.
Content marketing is highly valuable to brands because it helps them to rank highly in SERPs. In fact, content that is deemed high quality by Googleoften becomes a rich snippet– a SERP feature that is enticing to searchers.
Traditional marketers used physical mail and email to send mass communications to people who might be interested in their offerings. Inbound email marketing takes a different approach. Rather than pushing out emails in the hopes that they will convert prospects, inbound email marketing seeks to draw customers to the brand’s website with valuable content. Often, marketers will use segmented lists to send highly personalized messages to prospects who have expressed interest in a particular offer.
Brands with a strong social media presence forge strong relationships with their customers. A social media page is often the first place prospects connect with brands. Inbound marketers use social channels to distribute content and engage in conversations with customers. Ultimately, the goal is to use social media to attract users to the brand’s website.
Many customers dislike traditional outbound marketing because they don’t want to be sold to. However, consumers have shown a preference for learning about new products from online personalities they trust. A recent survey found that 72% of consumers prefer to interact with micro-level social media influencers – those with fewer than 100,000 followers, compared with celebrity endorsements.
One of the largest B2B IT solutions companies in North America needed a sustained lead generation engine.
B2B companies with long sales cycles need leads, and lots of them.
Without strong content, inbound marketing strategies wouldn’t be so effective. Brands that distribute several types of content on various channels can reach their target audience wherever they happen to be online.
Blogs are one of the most common forms of content marketing because they can be highly valuable resources for customers in search of information. Search-optimized blogs help brands to rank highly in SERPs and capture top-of-funnel traffic. Blogs can address customer pain points and then direct them to other pieces of content that either lead them to make a purchase or contact a sales representative.
Today, blogs and other forms of content should be optimized for mobile devices, because search providers like Google use mobile versions of webpages for ranking. Pages that load fast and offer simple user interfaces are more likely to place highly in SERPs.
Considering that inbound marketing focuses on drawing customers to your site, it should be no surprise that landing pages are an essential part of an effective inbound strategy. Landing pages should not only be optimized for search engines, but also for the brand’s sales funnel. That means each landing page should serve a specific purpose and it should connect to other relevant pieces of content through strategic linking strategies.
For example, many marketers combine pay-per-click (PPC) ads with optimized landing pages. So, if a PPC ad that appears on a SERP addresses a specific keyword, it should lead to a high-quality landing page that gives the reader more information about that keyword. From there, engaging calls to action can drive site visitors further down the funnel.
人们喜欢阅读故事，一个很好的案例研究就是这样：一个引人入胜的故事。案例研究使用了满意客户的报价和轶事，为潜在客户提供了一个吸引人的平台，以了解品牌。另外，案例研究可能是useful type of gated content，对于哪些潜在客户将交换他们的联系信息。
Whether or not you believe that 65% of people are visual learners, there’s no doubt that graphics can be a highly effective way to get across important information. In fact, users arethree times more likely to share infographicsthan other types of content. Through colorful illustrations and easily digestible copy, infographics provide readers with useful information without taking up too much of their time.
Not all infographics need to be whimsical, either. B2B brands often use infographics to convey data in an engaging manner, without departing from their typical brand tone and voice.
This concept was coined by Rand Fishkin on the Moz blog in 2013. It uses the engineering principle of a flywheel – a revolving device used to store power – as a metaphor for attracting customers. A flywheel requires significant effort to start moving, but once it’s going, it takes less energy to keep moving.
So, how is inbound marketing like a flywheel?
In this model, the first customer engagements are like the first spin of the wheel. It takes a tremendous amount of work to earn the first marketing conversions, but over time, it becomes easier to convert prospects as the marketing effort ramps up. A concrete example would be the creation of a new landing page. It can take up to three months for the page to rank on the first page of Google, but once it does, more and more prospects are likely to find it.
There are two widely accepted inbound marketing funnels:
While the brand should have a consistent story to tell, it needs to be organized parallel to the customer journey. Each stage of the marketing funnel should be tailored to the prospect’s needs at that time.
Inbound marketing is scientific. Marketers should establish baseline measurements of their campaigns and look for opportunities to improve their strategy as they obtain real customer data.
Brands need to build relationships with their customers. Collecting relevant data about prospects can help marketers craft personalized, engaging experiences.
As a concept, inbound marketing includes many unique tactics. Here are two examples that highlight the core principles noted above:
Consider prospects who have read a few blogs on a brand’s website. They have expressed interest in the brand’s services by browsing the site and viewing various pages. What’s next?
An eBook is a perfect opportunity to position the brand as a true authority in the space. Ebooks can go in-depth on subjects and provide immediate value to the reader. Plus, they can be used as gated content with which to obtain the reader’s email address. So, if a visitor is reading a blog, they might click on a CTA at the bottom of the page, enter their email address and download an eBook that gets them one step closer to making a purchase.
At the top of the marketing funnel, prospective customers tend to seek out basic information about an industry or topic. At this stage, they may not be interested in downloading an eBook or handing over their email address.
Infographics work well at this level of the funnel because they can provide a ton of useful information in a short period of time. Plus, they tend to be highly branded, which helps to make a connection between the value of the information and the brand itself. Plus, infographics are shareable, making them more likely to go viral and rack upvaluable backlinks.
What makes an inbound marketing campaign great? These examples will give you some ideas.
Need inspiration for your next content marketing campaign? These 10 timeless content marketing examples can...
One of the great things about inbound marketing is that it is much more cost effective than traditional outbound marketing. Small businesses with simple websites canget a marketing strategy up and runningwith minimal effort, for example.
利用数字这样的工具可以最大化the ROI of a strong inbound marketing strategy:
HubSpot offers a number of technologies to help marketers and sales leaders connect with prospects and form lasting relationships with customers. Its 100% free CRM is useful for managing customer interactions and generating reports. Plus, it integrates with G Suite and Microsoft Office.
Google’s extensive ad network (formerly known as AdWords) reaches 90% of internet users across the globe. Marketers can quickly create text and visual ads that dynamically format to any device type.
mailchimpis an all-in-one marketing platform that helps brands scale their growth through automation and customer personalization. Its automated email marketing tools make it easy to send custom messages that delight customers and keep them engaged.
缓冲区可以计划,创建和publish social media content for Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest all from one dashboard. Its collaboration features enable remote teams to work together on cohesive campaigns.
There are so many tools out there to help drive results from inbound marketing. Read on for a list of our top recommended 18 inbound marketing tools.
From attracting prospects to transforming them into customers, you need the right tools to get...
We’ve compiled 10 expert tactics for inbound success.
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