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Inbound Marketing in Digital Marketing: A Strategy for Business Sustainability

Inbound marketing in digital marketing is a concept few are familiar with. So much that some of you marketers out here don’t even know that you’re (somehow) practicing it already.

And that’s fair, especially since both terms have become near-synonyms of each other. That’s thanks to inbound marketing’s popularity as an online marketing approach.

Yet, establishing their differences is key to understanding how you can leverage it. So, as a digital marketing agency whose framework is partly inspired by this method, we’d like to help you out.

RELATED READING: Digital Marketing Strategy Framework: 9 Scalable Steps to Success

What is inbound marketing?

You can understand more about inbound marketing by recalling its real name. That is the Inbound Marketing Methodology.

With the word ‘methodology’ attached, everything is clearer and you can expand on it. In that:
The Inbound Marketing Methodology is a specific, customer-oriented digital marketing strategy. It focuses on providing valuable content which you tailor for your target audience. This is preferrable over hard-sell advertising.

How is inbound marketing different from digital marketing?

If inbound marketing is a technique, what then is digital marketing?To answer: Think of digital marketing as an umbrella.

Under this umbrella falls techniques and strategies like inbound marketing. This includes all other technical disciplines like search engine optimization, and pay-per-click advertising.

Note that digital marketing is the how to reach the audience, and does not imply any form of strategy. Its chief goal is to create brand awareness while generating more traffic online.

Inbound marketing, meanwhile, is a specific method. It has a set of clear and precise steps that draw in potential customers and increase web traffic.

audience-centered strategy

Photo courtesy of Melanie Deziel via Unsplash

Benefits of inbound marketing

For many reasons, you could say that inbound focuses first on building audience trust. This trust then eases your audiences downm to a conversion. Hence, it’s great for increasing revenue and, moreover, ensuring sustainability.

Below are some other concrete concrete benefits of inbound marketing for your business.

  • Achieves business sustainability. As mentioned earlier, trust is a great way for fostering sustainability. This is because trust encourages repeat purchases among your audiences. It even makes upselling much easier, because your customers know you live up to your name.
  • Market to and interact with your audience in creative and meaningful ways. Inbound marketing offers a remedy towards increasing distrust towards online ads. It does this by communicating your brand values with impact, and drive prospects to your channels organically.
  • Inbound marketing attracts relevant prospects. Creating content that’s tailored for specific audiences filters your website traffic. This is because content created for a niche attracts only those who are likely to buy – aka, relevant leads.
  • Inbound marketing builds trust and credibility. Giving your professional advice to your customers builds up your reputation. It even does it better than ads do.
  • Inbound marketing is convenient and practical. It may be a long-game, but you won’t need to pay for any advertising space with inbound. Yes, it’s more tedious to do compared to running an ad. But the good side of it is that the leads you attract are relevant and they develop durable trust over time.

Uses and examples of inbound marketing in digital marketing

By now, you may recognize the role of inbound marketing in the digital marketing industry. And you may even be eager to master and leverage it in your strategies.

With that, you can study this list of uses of inbound marketing in digital marketing. And yes, we did include examples from real-life brands for you to learn from.

  1. Build robust websites
  2. Acquaint yourself with your ideal audience
  3. Create meaningful content for your niche
  4. Use marketing automation
  5. Always test and optimize

Let’s discuss each of these below.

1. Build robust websites

As a web development company, we’ve built hundreds of websites from the ground up. So here’s our tip for you: Think of your website as a digital extension of your physical store or business location.

To impress customers, you will provide a space that’s easy to move in, and agents who are ready to address concerns.

So before launching your site, functionalities that offer the digital equivalents are present. Moreover, it’s also important to make the journey frictionless. Otherwise, they will leave your website, never wanting to return.

A few tips for making your website stand out from your competitors are as follows:

  • Consider heuristics analysis for UX design. This is an expert review of your site’s interface with reliable and qualitative insights. So, you’re making every element of your site as user-friendly as possible.
  • Optimize your site’s page speed. If you’re aiming to get a higher page ranking, treat your site’s page speed with importance. Read up on these tips on how we check and optimize our website’s page speed.
  • Integrate agile customer service. One of your tickets to a higher customer satisfaction score is a fast query response time. To help you, artificial intelligence (AI) has done the trick. It has provided solutions to address multiple issues at once.

Here’s a glimpse of a good website by The Hospital at Maayo. Apart from navigational buttons, there is also an AI-powered chatbot. It’s programmed to address queries immediately, and doesn’t need a human operator.

The Hospital At Maayo Website

Photo courtesy of The Hospital at Maayo Cebu

For a seamless web development process, read this guide on creating a web design workflow. It discusses all you need to know from the planning phase until the website deployment.

2. Acquaint yourself with your ideal audience

When it comes to inbound marketing, you’ll have to get a strong familiarity with your audience. This means you must familiarize yourself with pain points they want to solve. Uncover their motivations and preferences, and the best ways to reach them.

Why? Because if you create content that targets ‘anyone’, you’ll end up reaching no one. You’ll be generating content that is most likely incoherent with the audience’s needs. Leading you to fail in addressing their needs.

You can define your ideal audience by crafting a content persona. This persona should be the product of data-backed insights. To develop these, you can use methods like voice of customer research.

RELATED READ: Social Listening vs Social Monitoring: How to Use Both for Content Planning

Some other data-gathering techniques you can use are:

  • Surveys. These can offer a direct and fun way for gathering data. Instead of the usual question-and-answer format, you can try gamifying it. You can even explore deploying them on social media in the form of polls on Instagram or Twitter.
  • Focus group discussions. This is where you gather a small group of people who represent your target audience. They should have some awareness of your service and business, as defined by HubSpot.
  • Social media listening. This helps you in ideation by giving you clues about what audiences like discussing. You can also use this to gauge the nature of online conversations surrounding your brand. Is it negative, or positive?

3. Create meaningful content for your niche

You now know your audience. You now also have a website. It’s time to fill it with the fuel of inbound marketing: content.

Content is the pillar of inbound marketing it’s what spurs the interest of audiences. It also leads them into becoming your customers. If your content is consistent in solving their problems, they will trust your brand more. Hence, they’ll end up purchasing.

The way you deliver your content can vary depending on its nature and the target audience. On which channels could you reach your audiences? Which types of media are they consuming? And, what diverts their attention?

Answering those questions helps in determining your best approach for delivering content. You can choose from many different formats. And, similarly, various channels.

Below is an example of how DMCI Homes Leasing website accomplishes this.

As a background: DMCI is a real estate development company in the Philippines. DMCI Leasing is the company arm handling property leasing, and managing lessor-lessee relations.

To establish their credibility and expertise, their wesbite delivers content about property leasing. To be specific, you can read suggested solutions for owners who want their units rented out. you can also read about their serivces, tips for lessors, and tips for lessees.

dmci leasing blog

Photo courtesy of DMCI Homes

More users are relying on the internet to get solutions to their problems. Leverage this by stepping in with answers and build up their trust towards your brand.

To bolster your efforts, you can use SEO to improve your visibility on Google. Just make sure that the keywords you use match the search intent of your intended audience.

4. Use marketing automation

Isn’t it nice to have a robot assistant to do your emails, social media posts, and even with managing your website? Admit it: You too would want a break from repetitive tasks that come in droves.

Well, thanks to marketing automation, you can now take those breaks. Using these automations helps ease up managing internal processes and multi-channel communications. It also gives you tools for tracking and measuring relevant performance metrics.

Puzzled by how marketing automation works? The example below might help clear things up.

coursera newsletter sample

Screenshot of a Coursera newsletter as it appears in an email inbox

The first thing you’ll want to do when you’ve landed with a new client is to raise that momentum. And this is what Coursera has done to maximize that great first impression.

After subscribing to their newsletter, you automatically receive a welcome email. This email contains auto-generated introductory message and a list of promos.

Indeed, this is a prime example of the benefits of automation. With it you can improve productivity and conversion rate while reducing costs.

5. Always test and optimize

You don’t want to guess the figures of traffic you’re generating on your website. Believe us: Your website figures won’t improve if you leave everything to guess-work. More so if you’re not at least testing your theories.

Data should always back any website improvement, and undergo rigorous testing. At the very least, you should compare the data between two variables through A/B testing.
A/B testing is a method of comparing two prototypes that each have slight differences from the other. This comparison aims to identify which one performs better. Or, simply put, which one you should choose as the final execution.

Note that these differences should be small. This is so you can identify with ease which elements you should tweak or remove. These differences can be in the headline, sub-headline, paragraph, button, call-to-action, or images.

Key takeaways

Let’s face it: Viewers dislike traditional advertisements. Thankfully, inbound marketing steps in as a viable way out of this predicament. In seeking to apply this method in your strategies, keep these in mind:

  • Inbound marketing means advertising without interrupting. Instead of shoving ads in your customer’s face, present value-adding content. This way, you can communicate brand value in an organic and genuine way.
  • Develop strategic methods that improve your customer experience. Your content and strategies must anchor on your audience. Be it through content on your infrastructure. The goal is to please and keep audiences paying attention.
  • Keep testing methods. Especially since inbound makerkting can get routinary. When this happens, make sure to check in with your strategies. Identify what you can further improve on, change, or even remove. Only through testing can you keep scaling your strategies and, similarly, your business.

Does your brand have its own practices on inbound marketing? We’d be glad to hear them and include them on our own too! Drop us a note at our Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts.

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