Unlike traditional marketing or outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not emphasize on making marketers reach out to existing and potential customers through TV/radio advertisements, newspaper advertisements, press releases, cold calling, trade shows, or direct mails. Instead, the modern marketing approach focuses on pulling customers towards a business, product, or service using high-quality content. The enterprises can attract leads and convert them into customers by publishing content according to customers’ interests and preferences.
According to Search Customer Experience,
“Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers, or leads, via company-created Internet content, thereby having potential customers come to the company rather than marketers vying for their attention. This type of marketing tries to make it easier for customers, who are already actively looking for goods or services via the Internet, to find what a company offers.”
The updated inbound marketing statistics posted on several websites suggest a steady increase in the number of enterprises switching from outbound marketing to inbound marketing. Businesses from various sectors these days attract leads and drive lead conversion by implementing different inbound marketing strategies – search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media promotion, blog posting, and online events. Many businesses even leverage the benefits of inbound marketing by making content creation and publication an ongoing process.
Inbound marketing strategies aim to build long-term relationships with customers by winning their trust. Popular inbound marketing strategies like blogging and SEO influence the purchase decision of customers over a longer period of time. When a business posts fresh content and optimizes the content for search engines, the customers will access the content after some time. Also, a business can easily gain customers’ trust by strengthening its presence on the right social networking platforms.
Various outbound marketing strategies do not influence customers when they conduct pre-purchase research. For instance, while comparing products or services, a customer may not remember the information delivered through TV or radio advertisements. But she can use search engines or social media to find relevant information about a product or service before placing online orders. A business can easily influence the purchase decision of customers by publishing relevant and engaging content regularly.
Outbound marketing strategies do not allow businesses to run ads by targeting a specific segment of customers. Hence, businesses find it challenging to reach out to relevant customers and generate qualified leads. But inbound marketing strategies enable marketers to influence the purchase decision of individual leads by publishing targeted content. A customer will access the content according to the product or service required by her. Small businesses leverage the benefits of inbound marketing to explore new markets and reach out to new audiences simply by publishing relevant and customized content.
The inbound marketing campaigns enable businesses to reach out to leads across geographies. While planning and launching inbound marketing campaigns, a business can target both local customers and global customers. Also, it can align a variety of digital content to the buyer’s journey seamlessly. Buyers can use search engines or social media to find relevant and targeted content according to their current position in the buyer’s journey. The targeted and relevant information helps businesses to increase brand awareness and online presence by strengthening online reputation and credibility.
While exploring ways to solve a problem or meet a need, customers behave in different ways. The inbound marketing campaigns allow marketers to publish a variety of content according to the interest and behavior of individual leads. Businesses from various industries these days publish digital content regularly to help a lead solve a problem or meet a need by providing the required information and guidance. In addition to answering the questions asked by a lead, the content focuses on influencing her purchase decision.
As a new-age lead nurturing technique, progressive profiling helps marketers collect small bits of information about leads. The marketers will collect a variety of information about a lead gradually by making her fill out new forms with different fields. Inbound marketing strategies make it easier for marketers to implement and leverage progressive profiling. They persuade website visitors to fill out new forms while consuming digital content. Many marketers these days customize inbound marketing strategies to create opportunities for implementing progressive profiling.
The B2B buying process starts when the decision-makers identify a problem or requirements. They gather information from various sources to solve the problem or meet the requirement. Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing creates opportunities for businesses to educate and influence the decision-makers during three important steps in B2B buyers’ journey – awareness, consideration, and decision. A business can distribute highly-targeted content through various inbound marketing campaigns when the B2B customers conduct pre-purchase research.
The business cannot measure the performance of outbound marketing campaigns using specific parameters and tools. But many digital marketing tools enable marketers to plan, manage, and track various inbound marketing campaigns without putting in extra time and effort. The marketers can measure the performance of outbound marketing campaigns using a variety of metrics – website visitors, leads, social outreach, conversion rate, close rate, and sales opportunities. Also, they can generate and convert leads more effectively by finetuning individual outbound marketing campaigns.
The cost-effective nature of inbound marketing campaigns makes it easier for small businesses and startups to compete with large and established enterprises. Small businesses and startups often lack the budget to run TV, radio, and newspaper ads. But they can run multiple inbound marketing campaigns simultaneously without investing in extra resources. A business can curtail 2/3 of marketing costs by switching from outbound marketing to inbound marketing.
A business can boost lead generation and lead conversion by launching inbound marketing campaigns regardless of its size and industry. But it can leverage the benefits of inbound marketing fully only by creating and publishing a variety of digital content. Also, the managers must adopt the emerging inbound and digital marketing trends proactively to convey the desired message by attracting and engaging the leads.