If your business has any kind of marketing strategy, it’s likely that you’ve heard of inbound marketing services. Maybe you overlooked the term, thinking it was just another marketing buzzword (and we marketers do love our buzzwords… to a fault). But I’m here to definitively tell you that you should pay attention.
Don’t trust me? That’s fine—we’re complete strangers, after all. Just read the rest of this article and then you can tell me I’m right… I’ll be here waiting.
So, what is inbound marketing (really)?
In the simplest terms, inbound marketing is a way to educate and inform your target market about real questions they have and obstacles they are facing. Instead of approaching people who may never have heard of your business and pressuring them to purchase something (ahem, outbound marketing), you find people who are actively looking for solutions and draw them in.
There are tons of ways to approach inbound marketing services—content creation, social media, email marketing, and SEO are just a few. Before you worry about how you use inbound marketing, though, let’s talk about why you want to in the first place. Buckle up, kids—you’re in for an EDUCATIONAL ADVENTURE (sorry).
Why Inbound Marketing Services Will Change Your Business
Inbound marketing builds trust with your target market
Let’s say your business sells home security systems. You could go door to door, tediously putting flyers on each mailbox, but to what end? Most people aren’t thinking about home security the second they get home from work and they’ll throw your flyer in the trash. (If that person is me, I’m thinking about cuddling my dog and grabbing a beer and binging Netflix, because my life is exciting.)
However, most homeowners do really care about home security. They’re searching online, in their own time, to figure out how to stay safe. With inbound marketing services, you’ll be right there when people actually need you. Maybe you’ve written a blog with helpful tips to keep your home safe while you’re at work. Or you have an eBook helping people decide what features are most important in a home security system. Either way, you’re not selling to them directly. What you ARE doing is letting them know that you care about helping them, and that you have a ton of information to provide.
Now, they trust you as a source of information and thoughtfulness. They may even call you to watch their cat while they’re out of town. And when they are actually ready to pull the trigger on a home security system? You know that you’re the first company they’re going to think of.
Your inbound marketing content doesn’t go on vacation
With traditional outbound marketing, you stop getting leads as soon as you stop making calls, paying for billboards, or taping flyers to people’s mailboxes. But with inbound marketing, your content never stops working for you—you don’t even need to give it PTO! It doesn’t sleep! It’s a lean, mean, marketing machine.
As long as your content stays relevant (you’re updating your content, RIGHT?!), you can continue to use it over and over again. People can find it, even when you’re sleeping or on a beach in California, you lucky duck. And if it’s optimized correctly, people will find it. They may find it through Google searches or your social media or in an AdWords display ad, but they’ll find it one way or another. They’ll think it’s soOooOoO helpful and they’ll trust you (see point #1), and all of a sudden you start your day with new leads!. What could be better?
If the messaging is right, leads qualify themselves
A huge part of inbound marketing services involves creating thoughtful content and messaging that speaks to your buyer personas. Make sure your voice is always authentic, though—you don’t want to alienate portions of your target market while speaking to one specific persona. Don’t have buyer personas? Please excuse me while I go have a heart attack (and in the meantime, read this).
The great thing about this type of messaging is that it qualifies leads for you. Looking for huge corporations? Hint at that in your messaging. Need more Gen Z customers? Speak the way they do in their daily lives. When people land on your website, social media, or other resources, the content they find will either resonate with them, or it won’t. You’ll begin building a lead database of your ideal prospects, not just a ton of random people. This will make your sales team jump with joy! More on that in the next section.
Your sales team doesn’t need to approach cold leads anymore
Speaking of making your sales team happy, this one will practically make them explode. With traditional outbound marketing, salespeople are often stuck calling or emailing people who have never heard of your business, and pray to the sales gods that someone (anyone!) is interested.
With inbound marketing, on the other hand, your marketing team can hand sales hand-picked leads that have already visited your website, downloaded an eBook, and receive a weekly blog digest. They’re armed with tons of data (WE LOVE DATA) about these prospects, and an idea of what type of messaging resonates with them. This shortens the sales cycle and dramatically improves close rates. Talk about great smarketing (it’s a terrible word, we know).
Inbound marketing can work for current customers, too
In marketing, we’re often hyper-focused on generating new leads and sales. But what about the people who have already purchased? Long story short—they’re valuable as heck. Like, really valuable. They’re more likely to spend more per transaction, turn into brand advocates, and provide you with valuable data to draw in new customers (did we mention we love data?). Create content for them, check in on them with emails every once in a while, and maybe even offer them special perks. They’ll thank you with more $$$$.
…sold on inbound marketing yet? We thought so.
(Love the idea of inbound marketing services, but feel overwhelmed? Here’s a guide to choosing the right agency for your business’ marketing needs.)