Updated: Jan 21
In this blog, we define inbound marketing, why you can't ignore it as an entrepreneur, and the benefits it has for your business.
Defining Inbound Marketing
Hubspot defines inbound marketing as a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.
Wikipedia says that Inbound marketing improves customer experience and builds trust by offering potential customers information they value. And Optimizely says that Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that is designed to draw visitors and potential customers in, rather than outwardly pushing a brand, product, or service onto prospects in the hope of lead generation or customers.
A Way of Building Trust and some Inbound examples
I like to describe inbound marketing as a way of generating leads and customers without directly paying for them. It includes long term-strategies that build trust with your ideal customers and attracts them to your services. The strategies do not disrupt your ideal audience as a commercial would. The strategies serve to help them in their everyday life.
The concept of inbound marketing also includes targeting people throughout the four stages of their customer journey. The stages are attract, convert, nurture, and delight. There are different variations of this but its purpose is to implement Inbound marketing strategies that are used to take your audience along that customer journey.
There are many examples of inbound marketing strategies so I’m just going to list a few. They include blogging, content creation, social media, public relations, branding, email marketing, Search engine optimization, landing pages, video creation, thought- leadership and copywriting. The list goes on but if you recognized any of these strategies then you've come to the right place.
Why should entrepreneurs even care about inbound marketing?
1. Build Relationships
For starters, inbound marketing is a great way to build relationships with your audience so when they are ready to buy what you’re offering, they choose you! Let me explain. If you have social media and blogs, for example, you’re helping your target audience on a weekly basis with helpful information. They become familiar with your posts, your brand, with what you offer, they know the information you’re providing is reliable and as a result, they trust you. So when they are ready to purchase, they choose you.
2. Attract Clients to YOU
You know what that means. The clients start coming to you. Which is the whole point of inbound marketing. Implementing techniques that create warm leads that come to you as opposed to you reaching out to them.
3. Meet Your Ideal Clients' Expectations
Another reason you cannot ignore inbound marketing is that now people are expecting to build a relationship with you, and trust you, and already get something from you BEFORE they make any kind of purchase. Their expectations of dealing with service-based entrepreneurs have changed. So at this point, if your competitors are offering free value with their blogs or video content, you’re already behind. Now, don’t get discouraged because it's never too late to start. But you definitely don’t want to skip inbound marketing.
4. Inbound is Evergreen
One of the best reasons to invest in inbound marketing content is that it becomes evergreen content. Meaning it lasts a long time because it stays relevant. You can write a blog about the best camping techniques. And that blog can still show up on the first page on Google many years later. Because it’s still relevant!!! So your efforts in inbound marketing have a compound effect. Blogs become a collection of knowledge. Social media posts become a collection of value points. And even Landing pages serve as a way of consistently converting leads for you. And the list goes on.
5. It's Cost-Effective
Inbound marketing does take a lot of effort but many say it's WAY more cost-effective for generating leads. Because over time it starts working by itself.
So if you're an entrepreneur, definitely DO NOT neglect inbound marketing.
A quick summary of why you need to care about inbound marketing, it builds relationships, clients come to you, you're meeting your customer expectations, it’s evergreen, and it’s cost-effective.
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