Inbound Marketing gives you a chance to drive highly targeted and strong leads to your business by sharing your expertise and knowledge on the internet to gain the credibility and trust of your target audience.
If it is done properly, inbound marketing is a great way to rapidly boost your lead generation and drive high volume traffic to your website day and night.
But to achieve this, you need to set your inbound marketing properly to make it effective.
Therefore I have written this comprehensive inbound marketing guide to learn everything you need to maximize your effort and profit from marketing and avoid the errors I made when I was starting with inbound marketing.
So, I hope you will enjoy it, and let’s make your inbound marketing a success.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a new way of business marketing to increase brand awareness and drive more demand for products and services via digital marketing strategies such as content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, and branding. It is a way to promote business, increase profit and achieve business objectives.
Once you understand the term Inbound marketing, let’s discuss furthermore what this means for your business.
As digital marketing is evolving you must evolve as well because your prospects are changing with it and it can affect your business if you stay behind.
Therefore, inbound marketing has become very important for marketers as well as one of the top marketing activities to drive more profit for the business.
Because Inbound marketing is the main driver for businesses to bring more leads, convert them into customers and improve customer retention.
That means inbound marketing influences how you get your customer as well as how you keep your customers.
From recent statistics, you can see that 68% of customers prefer to research independently online also only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, while 62% will consult a search engine.
Therefore, inbound marketing gives you a way to drive these buyers to your business with targeted content for them.
Brief Inbound Marketing History
Before we start to talk more about Inbound marketing let’s briefly discover the Inbound marketing history and how it got here.
The idea of Inbound marketing has appeared early in 2005 when HubSpot’s Co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan started bringing the phrase up.
As time goes on and search engines are improving inbound marketing is becoming very important.
Especially with radically changing the way how people are shopping and react to traditional marketing.
Therefore in 2012 inbound marketing really started to grow as marketers are realizing that the old way of marketing outbound marketing is broken and new marketing is required.
Especially when online platforms such as Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) and Company blogs have started bringing leads to the company.
And as time goes by, better online technologies are pushing marketers to switch from traditional marketing strategies such as telemarketing and blasting emails to inbound marketing strategies such as content marketing and social media marketing.
Today’s marketing is highly dependable on inbound marketing whether you are a Start-up or well establish organization.
Why do You Need Inbound Marketing?
You need inbound marketing because it has become an essential marketing technique to drive targeted traffic to your business with content marketing across online channels, so you maximize your profit from your budget.
Also, that isn’t all, as buyers’ behavior and the way how they are consuming content and learning are radically changing as new technologies come to marketing.
As a result, inbound marketing is more important than ever.
Just let’s look at the recent statistics about inbound marketing and how b2b are making a purchase decision.
- 68% of customers prefer to research independently online — meaning the battleground for reaching clients is clearly online.
- 90% of searchers haven’t made their minds up about a brand before starting their search.
- Inbound marketing generates three times more leads per dollar than traditional methods.
- Most B2B buyers are already 57% of the way through the buying process before the first meeting with a representative (Accenture).
- 67%of purchases are influenced by digital (Google, 2019).
- 50% of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones, and this percentage will grow to 70%.
As you can see, these statistics show that inbound marketing is inevitable for today’s marketing, and therefore to survive and succeed in today’s business world, Inbound marketing is essential for your business.
Source: Blue Corona
Benefits of Inbound Marketing [5 Benefits]
Without a doubt, Inbound marketing is an essential part of success in marketing and whenever you are preparing a marketing plan whether it is digital, traditional, or a mix of both, it is important to know the benefits of marketing strategies.
Therefore, you should know the benefits of inbound marketing for your business to furthermore know why you should actually use this technique.
As sometimes marketing can be confusing with all the rules, strategies, hacks, and so on to make a properly informed decision.
That’s why I give you the benefits of marketing at a glance for you to get only the important benefits of Inbound marketing.
In addition, before we jump into it.
So, without further due, let’s jump into 5 top benefits of Inbound marketing:
1. Improve brand trust and credibility
Inbound marketing is based on digital marketing and Content marketing which suppose to be helpful to buyers. Creating helpful and highly targeted content for your buyers aiming at their pains and needs will increase your credibility and expertise within them. Providing your knowledge to your buyers will assure them, that you are experienced and qualified to solve their problems.
2. Reduce Cost per Lead by 50% and more.
Did you know inbound leads on average cost 61% less as compared to outbound leads and 3 out of 4 inbound marketing channels cost less than any outbound channel? In addition, those businesses that mainly rely on Inbound Marketing save more than $14 for every newly acquired customer.
3. Improve Lead Quality
With recent statistics, buyers are in more control than ever and 62% of buyers prefer to do research online before they contact a salesperson. It has been noted that 57-70% of buyer journey has been made by b2b buyers before they contact a salesperson. This means b2b buyers are educating themselves. Unfortunately, 82% of buyers think, that salesperson is unprepared.
4. Improve Lead Conversion
Inbound marketers double the average site conversion rate, from 6% to 12% total with better targeting options which Inbound marketing gives within digital marketing. With proper Inbound marketing, you can drive leads day and night.
5. Increase Customer Retention and Lifetime Value
Inbound marketing is not just focusing on acquiring new customers, but also to keep them and making them happy. Modern digital marketing helps sales and customer service to improve business profits and objectives. Aligning content with a prospect’s stage in the buyer’s journey can boost conversion rates by 72% (Business2community)
Inbound VS Outbound Marketing
Inbound and Outbound marketing strategies have their pros and cons and marketers need to consider both sides depending on their objective they’ll select the beneficial marketing strategy.
Therefore, you should know the difference between both Inbound and Outbound marketing so you can decide which one of those fits you more to achieve business objectives.
Accordingly, regarding your business objectives should form your marketing plan to make sure, you stay laser-focused.
Of course, you need to keep your marketing plan enough “Fluid” to make sure, you can always be flexible if some changes come to your marketing such as new trends, lowering budget, new threats, etc.
With that being said, let’s discuss the two marketing strategies Inbound and Outbound to better understand the principles of each of the marketing strategies.
So, here are the main differences between Inbound and Outbound Marketing:
|Focus on earning attention from the target audience and customers with helpful content. Usually easy to find through unique and helpful content shared across multiple digital channels to find people who would benefit from the content.
||Demand attention from people to present products and services using an approach called “shotgun” – show ads (easily overlooked) to as many people as possible and hope some will get interested.
|Communication is interactive and is a two-way conversation.
||Communication is passive and often missed by the consumer
|Prospects will come to you via helpful content shared across channels such as Social Media, Search Engines, and Referrals.
||Prospects will come to you via advertisement from TV, Billboards, Radios, Direct mail, Commercials, and Cold Calling.
|Inbound Marketing helps produce qualified leads because buyers are searching for your products or services when they encounter problems.
||Leads and impact are virtually unmeasurable due to the passive nature of Outbound marketing.
|Having a blog will get you 55% more traffic.
||86% of people skip TV commercials.
|The average cost per lead is $143.
||The average cost per lead is $373.
|Inbound marketing gives control to buyers which information want to receive.
||Outbound marketing gives control to companies over what people will see.
|2/3 of U.S internet users regularly use social media.
||87% of people watch tv and simultaneously are on the internet.
Those are the common difference between Inbound and Outbound marketing and there are more different points between these two marketing strategies.
Therefore, once you learn properly about both techniques, you can decide how to use Inbound and Outbound marketing within your marketing.
But the rule of thumb is, Inbound marketing is better for Digital Marketing as Outbound marketing is more traditional marketing.
Inbound Marketing Funnel & Customer Journey
Inbound marketing funnel & customer journey are essential tools for your marketing to understand how your prospects and customers interact with your brand and what the steps they take to make a purchase decision. This allows you to better plan your marketing effort and resources.
Also, understanding your business nature is an essential part of your marketing to deliver good results.
And therefore, Inbound marketing is based on synchronizing your marketing effort and prospects’ needs via valuable content to create effective modern marketing.
Especially that is important in modern marketing when 51% of consumers expect that companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact. (Instapage)
Not mentioned that 63% of respondents are highly annoyed by the way brands continue to rely on the old-fashioned strategy of blasting generic ad messages repeatedly. (Instapage)
That’s why tools like marketing funnel & customer journey help you to create unified marketing which delivers value and a personalized approach to your prospects and profit to your business and not annoy them.
The Marketing Funnel is a simplified model of the marketing process to attract, educate and convert leads into customers by offering valuable content to them. It helps marketers to create a full marketing cycle to nurture lead on every step of their customer journey and maximize profit.
This helpful infographic gives an idea of how such a marketing funnel works and how it could be used to create better and unified marketing across multiple channels.
Also, the marketing funnel gives you an idea of what activities need to be done in your marketing, sales, and customer service departments to create a way to generate and convert leads and maximize profit from customers.
That means you can balance your marketing and sales activities to make sure you have a system and materials in place to generate, educate and convert leads and satisfy your customers to maximize your profit.
But that is easy to say, as your marketing funnel is just a part and you need to follow your customer journey to personalize this system and marketing materials to truly create modern marketing.
Therefore, let’s discuss the customer journey.
The customer journey outlines the steps of buyers how they act from the moment when they encounter a problem and do research until they become your customer. Inbound marketing customer journey gives you a guideline to create consistent marketing across channels to nurture your prospects with valuable content that answers their questions and addresses their pains and needs over time.
With Customer Journey, you can collect and analyze data to see how your prospects are finding you and do research until they become your customer.
Once you have this insight you can create a personalized map for your prospects to increase the effectiveness of your marketing.
Therefore, such a thing as a customer journey can be extremely helpful to your business and marketing department to create a pleasant experience for your prospect.
In addition, nowadays customer service is crucial for businesses as recent statistics prove.
Look at these customer service statistics:
- Companies with a customer experience mindset drive revenue 4-8% higher than the rest of their industries. (Bain & Company)
- Companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%. (Qualtrics)
- 73% of companies with above-average customer experience perform better financially than their competitors. (Experience matters)
- 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand. (Microsoft)
- 83% of companies that believe it’s important to make customers happy also experience growing revenue. (HubSpot)
Conclusion of Marketing Funnel and Customer Journey Roles
So, now you know that the marketing funnel is a guideline for you to create ways (marketing activities such as blogging, social media, email marketing, etc.) for your prospects to find you and learn about you and your products and services until they become your customers.
Also, you learned that the customer journey and marketing funnel helps you to understand how your prospects behave and interact with your brand so you can fill up the gaps and most importantly create more personalized marketing.
Altogether you can plan marketing activities in a way that resonates with your prospects and always deliver what they need at every step of their journey.
In summary, creating personalized marketing is not easy and it requires a lot of data to understand your prospects.
In addition, be also aware of your marketing resources to know what you can manage and afford to do, as I mentioned above, you need to find the right balance between your marketing department and your prospects.
Inbound Marketing Strategies
Inbound marketing works on the principle of attracting leads to your website when they are searching for your products and/or services and inbound marketing strategies create the roadshow they can get to your business.
Therefore, it is important to have enough ways leading to your business, because essentially the more entries you have, the more prospects you can bring.
But there is also a risk of having too many ways (marketing strategies) and that could cause you would not to be able to manage them all due to small marketing resources.
And that’s why is important to properly analyze what you can manage with your marketing resources.
Because the rule of thumb in b2c and b2b Inbound marketing is quality over quantity and even though there are many different inbound marketing strategies, you should focus only on the ones you can handle.
Therefore, I am going to give you my top 6 inbound marketing strategies you should consider if you are starting your business or have a well-established business but missing the essential inbound marketing strategies.
So, let’s discuss the 6 inbound marketing strategies:
1. Create Target Personas
The most important part of Inbound marketing is to be able to properly analyze and create target personas.
Because Inbound marketing is about creating helpful and valuable content which will attract prospects with pains and needs addressed within the content.
And that is the main part of inbound marketing as that’s how you target your audience.
For example, if you have knowledge about how to help startups with managing finances, you can start creating content (videos, blogs, emails, podcasts, etc.) to provide help for them.
So small business owners having problems with finance will naturally be interested.
And that’s why you should be crystal clear about who is your perfect prospects (target audience).
Once you know who your target audience is you can create content to help them solve their problems and also offer your products or services as a part of the solution or as another way to solve their problems.
So, make sure you always know who you serve.
Related Article: B2B Target Audience and Target Market Ultimate Guide
2. Start with Content Marketing
As I already said, the main pillar of Inbound marketing is to produce valuable content which addresses the pains and needs of your target audience and provides help.
So, once you know your target audience and buyers you can start creating content for them.
Of course, there are many ways how you can produce content and deliver it to your prospects and some are less expensive, and some are more expensive.
But my advice is to focus on long-term strategy as most content marketing strategies take some time before they start working.
Therefore watching out for upcoming is a good way to find the one which will fit your business in terms of your marketing resources and also make sure, the strategy will keep being effective even after a year.
Because as I said, producing content requires consistency and patience to start bringing leads to your business.
3. Engage in Social Media
Connecting and engaging with prospects as fast as possible became essential for every business because people are no longer patiently waiting for their answers.
Therefore, social media are a great way how to connect with your prospects and customers and give them a personalized experience.
And it is no wonder that it is the #1 b2b inbound marketing strategy for businesses as most of their audience are spending a lot of time over there.
And that’s everything as social media statistics say:
- Social is key for B2B tech companies. 76% of B2B tech companies are using social media to drive results. (MarketingProfs)
- B2B buyers love to do research before they buy. 55% of saying they look for information on social media. (vividfish)
- 66% of marketers found social media brought new leads. And, social selling is a key tactic for businesses. (HubSpot)
So, social media is an important inbound marketing strategy to drive demand and achieve objectives.
Therefore, it is worth looking at social media even for your business and trying to figure out what you could do with that.
4. Be Found by SEO
The #1 rule for inbound marketing is creating quality content as that is the most important factor for being successful with Inbound marketing, but SEO has its important part too.
Unfortunately, just creating perfect content is not effective and some tips and tricks need to be made to actually start driving traffic to your website.
As by statistics, 91% of all pages never get any organic traffic from Google which is mostly due to the fact the websites do not have any backlinks.
And backlinks and high-quality content are the two most important ranking factors used by Google to rank your website.
Yes, Google also has people go through websites and rank them according to the guidelines they get from Google. But still, most of the ranking is done by computers and algorithms they make.
I am talking about Google due to Google accounted for just over 75% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Bing at 9.97%, Baidu at 9.34%, and Yahoo at 2.77%, and that’s why focusing mainly on Google is the most important at least for now.
So, let’s discuss the 5 most important SEO aspects that every website must have to start a better ranking.
- Does Google know about you? The simple test you can do to find out if Google knows about you is simple to write into the search “site:www.mydomain.com”, as the picture show:
- Create unique and quality content for your prospects and customers. If you are not sure whether you are providing good quality content up to standards, check out this guideline from Google for webmasters.
- Fast and responsive website. Make sure you are having a website that is able to be accessed on any device (mobile, tablet, desktop) and loading fast. Definitely check out more on this from Google Mobile-Indexing Guideline.
- Make sure your users are safe! With SSL Certificate your website is protected from the potential threat of stealing the personal data of your users. You can buy it easily online and install it on your website.
- Hire an expert on SEO. Having a business is already hard work so it might be better to leave your website professionals to improve your ranking, so you can totally focus on your business. Nowadays, you can hire cheap freelancers which will do the work for you, for example on Fiverr.
So, why would you want to improve your SEO?
Well, let’s say, that on the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all clicks.
Also, 70-80% of people ignore ads and go to organic search results sections.
5. Fire-Up with PPC
Pay-per-click (PPC) is usually done by search engines, but you can get it on social media too, but the reason why I would like you to consider PPC is to get quick traffic.
Obviously, driving traffic with pay-per-click (PPC) is expensive and on average it drives 200% ROI.
But what I would like to explain is the quick kick that you need to get traffic to your website, especially before the organic traffic starts coming.
As I have already mentioned to you, driving organic traffic takes some time.
Therefore, if you want to bring people sooner to your website, especially in the early stage of your website, you should get PPC (pay-per-click).
Also, other benefits of having PPC According to Formstack, PPC ads are one of the top three generators of on-page conversions.
And the top priority for PPC is that 65% of all clicks made by users who intend to make a purchase go to paid ads. (valvet+meter)
So, having PPC for your business can be effective for business to drive business to your website plus Google reports that search ads can boost brand awareness by as much as 80%, making consumers more likely to remember your brand and interact. (valvet+meter)
Related Article: 5 Tips for SEM that Actually Works
6. Create Digital Home – Website
Running inbound marketing is all about building trust with your target audience and showing you are the expert in the industry.
Therefore, creating valuable content is an essential part of inbound marketing.
But in the end, you need to drive profit, and the content itself does not sell but educate.
Therefore, you need to have another tool to sell your products and services.
That’s why creating a website is about selling your products and services to your target audience.
Because once you have educated your buyers, make them confident with all your knowledge, they want to buy from you, but If you do not have a website, how could they?
So, Inbound marketing is about delivering helpful and valuable content to your buyers to address their pains and needs, but you still need to sell and that’s why you should create your website.
Inbound Marketing Tips
Inbound marketing hacks are the quick and dirty tips and tricks to get going and make sure you are on the right path to succeed and drive profit.
As every marketing strategy is about driving profit for your company, therefore I want to give you my top 5 tips and tricks on how to succeed with your Inbound marketing and maximize the profit.
Over the last 5 years, I have been creating content and working with many marketers and I found out what are the biggest struggles for marketers with Inbound marketing.
Therefore, I give you these 5 top Inbound marketing tips for your business to drive better profit for your company.
Also, some of these I already mentioned in this article, but I need to press it more for you to realize the importance of it.
5 Inbound Marketing Tips
- Write longer content has been proven by many marketers it drives better results in terms of organic traffic and conversion rate. The average blog post is now 1142 words. It’s 41% more than the average length of three years ago. Today, to keep your audience engaged, you need to deliver remarkable content. Six times as many bloggers now write 2000+ word articles. (elite copywriter)
- Always delivering value is the top priority, if you can’t create helpful content, then rather not be creating content at all. Because people will never come and do business with you if your content is full of BS. Therefore, first, focus on delivering valuable content.
- Re-use content in other forms because as I said, I know that creating content takes a lot of time, resources, and effort. Therefore, you should maximize your effort. If you have created an article, then it’s easy to just create a video on the same topic. Trust me, it works very well, and you save a ton of time and money.
- BeingBe mobile-friendly is another big part of your inbound marketing as 52% of all traffic is done on the mobile phone. Therefore, if you want to capture this 52%, then you need to make sure, your website and content are available on all devices. It is called responsive design. Look out for it!
- Update your content is the last but not least important inbound marketing hack. As I know that creating consistent content is tough and after a few years, you can start running out of ideas. Therefore, updating old content is a great way to reuse and drive more traffic again. By recent statistics, updated content can drive more than 106% more traffic than before the update. Learn more on historical optimization.
Best Inbound Marketing Tools
Inbound marketing tools are going to help you create better and more effective inbound marketing strategies based on collecting and analyzing data to transform them into insights, so you can make smarter and faster decisions backup with data.
In the modern digital age, data are the most important assets for companies to make decisions and avoid dangerous guessing.
That also applies to inbound marketing and to make it effective, you need to have data to focus your effort only on relevant strategies to your business.
With recent statistics, consumers are expecting organizations to anticipate their needs before them.
And with data, companies can quickly discover trends to pursue them and avoid threats.
So, which tools are the most important?
5 B2B Inbound Marketing Tools
CRM is a great way for your business to store your leads and customer information to quickly pull up information when you need it. With CRM you can create consistency across multiple channels and maximize profit from your effort. CRM has become a must for modern businesses. Check out CRM from HubSpot.
LeadFeeder is a great tool for your business to see, which companies are visiting your website and how they move around. It will give you insights into their behavior and what products or services interest them the most.
3. SE Ranking
SE Ranking is one of the best SEO and Inbound marketing tool for you to analyze and research your website and your competitors. SE Ranking will help you boost your digital presence with quick and useful information which you need to make a better decision related to your SEO and Inbound marketing.
BuzzSumo is a tool that shows you which contents are popular and what trends are important to your readers. Because creating trending topics is hard, BuzzSumo made it super easy to research what content you should produce to get the most engagement.
Last but not least Inbound marketing tool is to a great outsourcing team, which can help you when your department is overwhelmed. As sometimes there is too much work ahead and outsourcing some of your marketing tasks is just a great way how to manage more in less time and cheaply. Websites like Fiverr allow you to hire professionals which can help you with your Inbound marketing.
Effective inbound marketing is a mix of digital marketing strategies that works together to create a seamless customer experience. Nowadays you want to interact with your potential customers across multiple channels.
However, which strategies are the best really comes down to your marketing budget, industry, and your target audience. Based on this you will want to decide where your target audience hangs out and search for your products or services.
Also, check out our SEO hub page to find all our Content Marketing Resources.
Some of my links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase something, I might get some small commission as a reward for reference. Of course, I am actively using all these services and products, and I only affiliate products or services I have full trust in their quality!