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What is Inbound Marketing?

What is Inbound Marketing?

As a Marketing Executive, I get asked this question often, so here's the rundown synopsis on what Inbound Marketing is and why your business needs to implement it right away.

Here's the thing, in 'traditional marketing', companies focus on finding customers. Please note: Traditional marketing is interruptive and marketer-centric.

Nowadays buyers are more empowered. They have information readily available to them. The internet provides them with instant information gratification which your customers own as 'Search'.

Inbound’ is about adapting to this evolving buying behavior.
— HubSpot

Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey. Inbound marketing attracts qualified prospects and builds trust and credibility for your business.

Please Note: Inbound marketing is marketing focused on getting found by customers.

What is your role as an inbound marketer?

  1. Be helpful.

  2. Be human.

Being helpful means doing these things:

  1. Problem-solving blog posts.

  2. Personalized emails.

  3. Educational social media videos.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I creating content with my prospects in mind? Why would they find this helpful?

  2. Am I sufficiently explaining this thought or idea?

  3. Am I giving them all the information and resources they need?

Helpful marketing is clear, correct, and, most importantly and trustworthy.
— HubSpot

What is it to be human?

Being Human means embracing technology in such a way so you can be more human and have the time to concentrate on what matters most - THE CUSTOMER. Enabling consumers to feel connected to your business, by creating a marketing experience that your prospects and advocates will love.

Inbound Marketing Process

A single inbound marketing tactic will not be powerful on its own. To do inbound marketing, you need to be using the tactics together.

SO WHAT ARE THE FUNDAMENTALS OF INBOUND MARKETING?

Let us quickly explore the fundamentals of inbound.

  1. Contacts

  2. Buyer personas and the buyer’s journey

  3. Content

  4. Goals

What is a Contact?

Your contacts are the heart of your inbound marketing efforts. A contact is anybody your company markets to, sells to, partners with, engages with, or employs.

An individual whom you’re creating a relationship with. A strong contact database is instrumental in allowing your business to grow.

Identify which contacts your business can successfully help and ultimately delight. You want to be able to segment your contacts, so that you’re sending them relevant and helpful information.

What are Buyer Personas?

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behaviors, motivations, and goals.

How to create Buyer Personas

  1. Research

  2. Identify trends

  3. Create persona profile stories

Researching Buyer Personas

Buyer personas must be based off, of actual research, not assumptions.
— HubSpot

Start by interviewing the following, then start looking for trends. Patterns and similarities in answers to persona research questions indicate who your personas really are. These are the four areas you focus on:

  1. Current customers

  2. Former customers

  3. Prospects

  4. Co-workers

Here is an example of a persona worksheet template. You don't need to be as fancy, but what is most important is to note the specific goals and challenges and persona detail.

Buyer Persona Worksheet Template

The Buyers Journey

The buyer's journey is the active research process someone goes through leading up to purchase - As simple as that. Identify > Connect > Explore > Advise.

Inbound Marketing Awareness Conversion

Content Marketing

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Content

Inbound Marketing = Content + Context. It's about delivering compelling and contextualised content which evokes further discussion.

Set Goals

When setting out with your inbound marketing efforts, start from a place where you know what you want to achieve.

If you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know how to get there? Goal setting helps you provide alignment between your marketing and sales team. Set goals that show how marketing efforts help your company hit the numbers and set a clear direction to grow.

Success

Now with the basics understood you are that much closer to SUCCESS!

Next time we will explore the tools and tactics which you need which work best together.