What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a customer-first approach to marketing. Instead of interrupting consumers with unwanted marketing messages, inbound aligns with the way that consumers want to learn, shop, and recommend products and services.
As a manufacturer, you need to be concerned about your end users’ buyer's journey—even if you do not sell to them directly.
The inbound marketing methodology focuses on the principles of Attract, Engage, and Delight. Through informative content that focuses on helping the customer solve their problem, you can attract visitors to your website and convert them into leads, engage them with content to help guide them in their decision, and delight them after they’ve become a customer. Delighted customers then turn around and help you attract more business through word-of-mouth and recommendations.
Why You Need Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a response to shifted buyer behavior. We live in an always on, digitally connected world where everyone has easy access to infinite information. Buyers actively consume content on websites, portals, blogs, and social networks that brings awareness of products that can help them solve a problem, fill a need, or make their life easier or happier.
Inbound marketing helps you attract, convert, close, and delight consumers in a more human way.
Inbound isn’t just good for your customers—it’s good for your business’s bottom line, too. In fact:
- Inbound marketing brings in 56% more leads than outbound
- Leads generated from inbound strategies cost around 61% less than outbound leads
- 82% of marketers who blog see a positive return on investment from inbound marketing
How Do I Get Started?
To get started with inbound, you need to first have a clear vision of want you want to achieve. Next you need to understand your buyers. Then you need to create content that aligns your buyers’ needs with your offerings. After creating great content, you have to ensure that your ideal buyers engage with your content. Finally you have to measure the results and allow the data to guide your next steps. Sounds like a lot? No worries, give us a call and we can walk you through it.
- Age & Gender
- Job Title
- Annual Salary
Buyer personas are more than a bullet list of demographic information. They should document real customer’s pain points in the language they use. These might be in the form of a question, like: “How do I reduce inventory levels?” Or they might look more like business goals: “I need to increase sales by 5% over the next three months to meet my revenue goal for the year.”
There is an old saying: “You can catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.” The problem is that bees make honey, so they are not attracted to it. If you want to attract your ideal buyer, you have to know exactly what it is that they are looking for. Armed with this knowledge, you can now start creating content that speaks to and helps solve their problems. Content can be anything from a blog post or email to a video, social media post, or webinar. The format of the content should also be determined by the buyer’s preferences.
Pro Tip: Optimize
There’s a few ways to optimize your content, but they all start with knowing how your customers communicate problems related to your industry. Using language your customers don’t know won’t get their attention. Spend some time doing keyword research with a tool like Moz or SEM Rush, and search topics and hashtags on social media to see how people talk about your industry.
Optimize your content with your research findings. Search engines are better every day at understanding intent, so you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) stuff your content with the same keyword. Connect related blogs and articles on your website together with internal linking to help search engines understand your authority on a topic. On social media, use hashtags to help people find your content.
You’ve got some new visitors to your website and social media pages—now what? Traffic and likes are a great step forward, but to really engage with new visitors, you need to know a little more about them. Let’s start with a name and an email address.
All the content you put out should be helpful and informative, but perhaps you’ve got something a little more in-depth, like a white paper, original research, or an ebook. Use more comprehensive content by gating them, that is, offering them in exchange for your site visitors’ email addresses and turn them into leads.
With contact information, you can enroll your leads into nurturing workflows. Not every lead is ready to buy, so giving them helpful information via email over a scheduled period of time can keep them interested until they’re ready. Then they’ll be contacting you when they want to buy.
Pro Tip: List Segmentation
Segmented contacts are important in his process, and you can base workflows around the content offer they downloaded or signed up for. For example, if you manufacture doors, someone who signed up for an information webinar about door installation will want follow-up content that builds on installation. They might become unengaged if their follow-up nurture content is about doors for different types of weather.
Content stored in a knowledge base can help customers with general self-service questions, and chatbots or live chat on your website can assist customers whenever and wherever they are. Additionally, listening on social media by monitoring comments and mentions of your brand can help identify customers with questions.
Listening to customers and helping them as best you can to help them succeed with their purchase is important to retaining them and earning their loyalty. Happy customers offer opportunities for upselling and the greatest marketing of all: referral.
The HubSpot Enterprise Growth Suite: The Original Inbound Platform, now for Enterprise-Level Companies
A full host of marketing tools designed for inbound success. Email, social media, chat, and a Google Search Console integration are just the beginning. Marketing Hub Enterprise also lets you track the websites of your competitors and build and manage your website in the powerful HubSpot content management system.
Selling, quoting, and reporting built for enterprise teams. Sales Hub Enterprise includes tools like playbooks where your team can collaborate to develop call scripts and competitive battlecards to use during sales calls. Quotes and eSignature capabilities make creating, sending, and signing proposals a piece of cake.
Delight customers with personalization without the mess. Service Hub Enterprise makes customer service dreams reality with tools like 1:1 video creation that allow reps to make videos unique to a customer’s situation. Features like call transcription and the universal conversations inbox make sure nothing is missed or overlooked.