The idea behind inbound marketing is that the customer comes to the business. If that sounds counterintuitive, it’s only because we are so accustomed to the idea that bombarding people with blatant advertising is the best way to ensure our message gets out there. Does Inbound Marketing have real value?
Inbound marketing suggests that there may be a way that is both subtler and more effective in both the short and long term for attracting customers.
Inbound marketing focuses on piquing the interest of potential customers, drawing potential customers in with something that is of value to them and building long-term customer relationships. This means that the aim of inbound marketing is not just to attract new customers but also to retain existing ones.
Inbound marketing is important to any business that needs to connect with clients or customers, but in order for it to be most effective, some best practices should be observed.
Timing is important. Studies have shown that companies that follow up with prospects in minutes fare better than those that wait hours; after a lag of days, the lead created may have gone cold.
Even worse, many companies believe that they respond to leads much more quickly than they actually do. Clearly, companies using inbound marketing need a good system in place to ensure that contacts are dealt with quickly.
Leads from inbound marketing must be treated differently from outbound marketing leads. If a company is going to respond quickly to those leads, then there needs to be a way to differentiate the highest-quality and most promising leads from the rest.
Inbound marketing needs a good content strategy. Once a customer has been persuaded to visit a company’s website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, YouTube channel, blog or forum, the company needs to offer something of value. This could range from coupons or exclusive information on early-bird promotions to important information about products or new developments in the field.
Content must focus on bringing in new customers as well as continuing to engage with existing customers. For example, if a business is one where a forum is appropriate, that discussion place can be welcoming to newcomers as well as comfortable for longtime visitors.
What inbound marketing means for businesses is that it’s important to be timely, to understand the customer base and to give customers something valuable. By responding quickly and intelligently to promising new customers without neglecting current customers and offering something of value to both groups, a company can make the most of inbound marketing.
How does Inbound Marketing affect your business and what strategies do you employ?
About the Author
Steve Minks has over 25 years of IT & Digital expertise with a background in Property Development, Telecoms and as an accredited Health & Fitness professional. Outside of work, Steve enjoys writing on a range of subjects, exercise and visiting historical places.