What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing focuses on creating high-quality content designed to offer value to your potential customers.
Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that attracts customers by creating valuable content and resources specifically tailored to them. Rather than one focused on pushing advertising towards people, inbound marketing is focused on drawing people towards the product or service and providing consumers with information they need during various stages of consideration.
It isn't just about blogging, tweeting, and participating in social media (although these things definitely play a role). Inbound marketing describes an information-oriented approach to generating website traffic and leads. Inbound marketers use content such as blog posts, whitepapers and reports, infographics and videos to attract relevant traffic that will convert into leads and customers. Inbound marketers invest this time and energy into drawing prospects to your website because they understand the importance of education.
In fact, Inbound Marketing is also known as Inbound Sales because it both attracts qualified visitors through awesome content and nurtures them through a lead nurturing sequence to become a qualified lead.
Inbound marketers understand that it takes time to build trust and rapport with prospects, so Inbound Marketers invest the time into building this rapport, earning their trust, and helping them achieve their needs - all before expecting anything from them.
Below are just a few industries that have benefited by inbound marketing:
What’s the difference between Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing?
With inbound marketing, channels are the promotional methods that draw visitors in, contrast to outbound channels which focus on getting the product in front of people who may need it.
Outbound marketing is characterized by advertising in traditional media including TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. It also includes email blasts and other direct forms of marketing aimed at prospects who may not yet be aware of a company's products and services. In contrast, inbound marketing focuses on bringing in people who are already looking for a specific product or service and who may already be familiar with your company brand.
A helpful visual for the two approaches are of magnets and speakerphones. Outbound uses the speakerphone to broadcast their offerings to a wide net of users and sees who responds; whereas, inbound uses a magnet to attract ideal consumers to the company.
How Inbound Marketing Works
Inbound marketing is a method of bringing customers to you by providing relevant, educational resources that establish your company as the voice of authority and build client trust. As opposed to many outbound marketing methods, inbound marketing a sustainable, cost effective approach for businesses because it leverages organic search (Google ranking), lead nurturing campaigns, and valuable resources to attract, convert, and close your target audience.
Ultimately, you’re generating interest in your business leading to increased search engine rankings and eventually more traffic coming to your website from relevant prospects who are looking for what you have to offer.
So how does your content get in front of people? Inbound campaigns leverage the below channels to strategically reach your ideal audience.
Why Inbound Marketing is Important
In today's increasingly digital world with ever-evolving technology, inbound marketing has become crucial for businesses in all industries.
It attracts business that normally might not find a company in any other way. According to Hubspot research, "Today's inbound marketers are seeing more repeat traffic and better SEO results than ever before." This means companies are converting more leads into sales with inbound marketing efforts. In fact, according to Hubspot's report, many inbound marketers reported seeing an increase of 300% or more in website traffic.
Through proactive inbound efforts, companies use different types of content in order to appeal to prospects in different ways and reach even those who don't search online with traditional keywords or phrases. If inbound marketers want to stay on top in today's marketing world, they need inbound strategies that connect with consumers in a way that is both relevant and immediate.
The Benefits of Inbound Marketing
Provides Solutions to Customer Problems
Inbound marketing enables you to create content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customer. By doing this, not only do prospects trust you but also they feel like their problem has been solved by being offered assistance in finding solutions from someone who seems knowledgeable on the subject matter.
Quality Content Pulls (Not Pushes)
Inbound marketing is all about creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product through delivering relevant information when they need it. By aligning your messages with customer’s interests, this naturally attracts qualified prospects who stay loyal over time.
Cost Effective and Sustainable
The cost-effective way to promote your content is inbound marketing. Many advertising platforms such as PPC ads, billboards, commercials and more stop running when you stop paying for them. However, using inbound methods such as Google’s search engine, blogging and social media continue functioning indefinitely regardless of cost.
Inbound Marketing Flywheel vs. Standard Sales Funnel
We’re all familiar with the common sales funnel, which is a multi-step, multistage process of steadily captivating and nurturing prospective buyers with relevant information while moving them progressively closer to a buying decision. This approach is very top down starting with a large net of people filtering down to converted customer, which end of the strategy.
However, many companies are transitioning to the flywheel approach for sales and marketing, which categorizes four main stages in a circle - Attract, Convert, Close & Delight.
These stages flow into each other and work together to “spin the flywheel” creating a consistent strategy that works together to grow. The faster it spins, the more your company grows!
Stages of the Flywheel
Attracting customers is the first step in an Inbound Marketing methodology. This means that you should conduct marketing research to understand your ideal consumer better, which will help ensure they receive content tailored specifically for them.
Once the right visitors have been attracted to your site, it’s time for conversion. You'll obtain their contact information on a landing page and then offer them remarkable content that will catch their attention at this crucial moment in order provide you with valuable leads while also giving marketers like yourself access into new markets of consumers ready-and willing-to buy what you sell.
The closing stage is where leads are transformed into customers. This process includes specific marketing tools such as lead nurturing, social media monitoring and other strategies that help you close the right clients at just the right time with precision.
The goal of delighting customers is both being able to solve their issues and turn them into promoters for your business. In return, building solid relationships with current clients can help maximize the referrals you get.
Types of Inbound Marketing Channels
The goal of inbound content is to provide prospects with valuable information while also establishing a business's expertise in its field. Prospects will use this content when formulating their own thoughts about a company and whether they want to do business with it, so inbound marketers put a lot of thought into how they present their content.
For inbound marketing to be successful, its inbound channels need to be in place and functioning optimally. Inbound marketing channels are the different ways in which people can find or get in touch with a company through inbound marketing initiatives, such as websites, blog posts, SEO efforts and email campaigns.
The most common inbound marketing channels include the below:
Search Engine Optimization
SEO is a powerful tool that you can use to rank higher on Google. It consists of multiple strategies, actions and best practices all with the end goal in mind - improving your website position by search engine rankings!
By strategically leveraging keywords and phrases throughout your content and following SEO best practices, your site can be optimized to Google’s algorithm and have better chances of showing up for search results.
Your website should be your best marketing and sales employee. The importance of an effective website cannot be overstated in today's digital age, where competition for customers is fierce and visibility counts more than ever before with social media platforms changing how we consume information on a daily basis.
Ensure you have a growth driven design website that is leveraging SEO, valuable content, and lead nurture opportunities for prospects to engage with your business.
Chatbots and Forms
Make yourself easily accessible to prospects visiting your website. By creating chatbot for high level conversations (either automated or live chat) and putting forms throughout your website, you’re creating opportunity for prospects to engage with you at the click of button.
Gated Content (ebooks, whitepapers, & webinars)
As mentioned before, provide valuable resources to your prospects. In doing so, you’re establishing your business as a leader in your industry and building trust with your prospects. However, not all content has to be “free.”
By gating highly valuable resource such as ebooks, whitepapers, and webinars, consumers can decide if their contact (lead information) is worth the resource. This gives you the permission as the company to then follow up with them post-downloading with additional resources and lead nurturing workflows.
Once your CRM has accurate contacts coming into it, it’s valuable to follow up with them and personalize their experience with your company by offering new information they might not be aware of.
By creating email workflows, you can set up automated workflows to do the heavy lifting for you and maintain a level of brand awareness in your prospect or customer’s inbox.
Much like the page you’re on, pillar content is any digital page that is the fundamental piece of content that everything else links to – it’s the pillar of your content strategy. By providing relevant information about your content subject matter, you’re establishing your website as an authority in Google’s eyes to associate your website with prospects search queries.
This is probably seen as one of the most standard concepts of inbound marketing. Blogging creates digestible content that consumers are looking for when googling their questions. To effectively blog, be sure to strategically optimize your blog content with SEO best practices incorporating proper keywords, backlinks, titles and meta-descriptions.
Once a prospect is reading your blog, make sure to provide them with additional resources or a conversation with you to learn more. Adding CTAs (call-to-actions) throughout the blog and for sure at the end of each one capitalizes on the content and gives the reader a next step to take.
Now more than ever social media is necessary for every sustainable business to have. The primary value it offers is relevancy and awareness. It’s not often you see a high price value offering you provide get sold directly from social; however, by always promoting content intrigued to your audience and linking them back to your website, you can increase your website impressions aiding in your organic search tactics
Industries who benefit from Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is a great way to build trust and gain new customers, no matter what industry you're in. With so much information available on the internet for effective execution of an Inbound Strategy there's never been better time than now.
Because inbound marketing focuses on what prospective customers are looking for, it allows marketers to connect with people at points in their buying processes when they are most likely to convert.
Below are industries who have benefitted from inbound marketing
Crypto and NFT
The future of money is here and it's decentralized. Cryptocurrencies are a hot topic right now, as well as the world of NFTs, attracting customers with valuable content for their needs on websites that use HubSpot CMS to build an engaging customer experience from start-to-finish!
The growing demand-supply gap in the electricity sector has led to an increase in demand for clean energy. In response, companies are turning towards sustainable mining practices that minimize negative environmental impacts and provide business opportunities while adhering strictly to industry regulations as well as fair trade principles.
A successful marketing strategy should include targeted content designed around your audience’s needs. This way you can become their voice of authority on issues relevant beyond just one corporation or region alone - ensuring they remain informed about what's happening locally at all levels too.
Oil and Gas
The oil and gas industry has relied heavily on generations of relationships. Marketing your services or products to customers in the oil & gas industry once required little effort, but now it's more about building a strategic story that aligns with their needs while also demonstrating how you can solve those problems for them directly.
Technology and Automation
In a time where data has become more valuable than ever, advanced technologies like Power BI and SmartHub can help companies make decisions that will directly impact the bottom line. Advanced technology includes Business Intelligence (BI) and Industry 4.0, which is rapidly changing workflows in factories for efficiency reasons among other innovations we refer to as "smart things." By educating prospects about advanced technology and automation of the future, you’re positioning yourself as the leader to assist in their development efforts.
With a strategy in place, engineering firms offer mechanical and civil solutions to projects that require successful execution. They can build brand awareness of their value by differentiating themselves from competitors in their engineering field through services such as design or drafting for construction companies who want the best quality they have available on hand when bidding out jobs.
The construction and dirt construction industry could not be more crucial to global communities. When disasters strike, it is imperative that these industries are able to provide help quickly in order for residents impacted by them-to get back on their feet as soon possible. The HubSpot CRM provides visibility into who's interested in what services you offer so that when disaster strikes your organization will have an increased number of targeted leads ready willing & able deliver relief efforts at scale-- saving time while spreading fast recovery.
As healthcare is going through changes, it's important to keep up with what's new and innovative. IV infusions and specialty pharmacies are just two ways that make a difference in today’s world of medicine. Educate your prospects by providing them relevant articles on these topics so they can see the benefits firsthand for themselves.
Industrial and Manufacturing
Technology is on the move, and business as a whole is adapting in order to stay competitive. This includes industrial companies, who use new technologies when producing their products for public consumption such as electronics, or tools that help with water conservation devices.
like centrifuges so they can minimize risk while also minimizing waste generation. Inbound marketing helps industrial and manufacturing companies create relevant conversations through email marketing lead magnets, chatbots, forms to convert potential leads into sales opportunities quicker than ever.
HubSpot for Inbound Marketing
HubSpot's platform gives you a centralized place to manage all of your sales CRM contact, marketing campaign and analytics in one place. HubSpot's software works by automating current processes and helps you take your business to the next level. It's also customizable and easy for non-technical marketers to use the system.
Using the Hubspot Marketing Platform can be quite beneficial for entrepreneurs because it allows its users to automate many of their company's marketing tasks, allowing them to focus more on the growth of their business.
As HubSpot Diamond Partners, below are the primary tools we recommend auditing to help customers see the most ROI.
- Data Management
- Customized Deal Flow and Sales Process
- Forms and Chatbot Conversations
- Workflow Automations
- Leveraging Integrations
- SEO Insights
- Dashboard Analytics