How To Do Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing involves attracting customers to a company’s products and services by engaging them with content and social media marketing and other forms of branding to create engagement. This type of marketing is contrasted with outbound marketing, such as traditional print and television advertising, which is directed widely to a broad audience with no guarantee that a message will reach a given target customer nor resonate with them when it does.

Inbound marketing reverses the relationship between the company and the customer. Rather than marketing to an undifferentiated mass audience, it instead draws the customer in by creating interest and awareness with content released on a variety of channels (videos, blogs or social media, for example) that the customer seeks out.

To successfully create an inbound marketing campaign a company must first identify their ideal customer and put their needs and wants at the center of their campaign by creating a ‘customer persona’. This helps to create the type of content that will address their needs or solve particular problems they have: understanding the customer is key to inbound marketing.

Once a persona has been established a company creates relevant content and distributes it through the most appropriate channels for that type of customer. The key requirement of inbound marketing is to create valuable content that is aimed at a specific customer persona for a given product or service and that they will be drawn to. This content should addresses their needs by providing information, answering objections and building trust at all points of the buying cycle.

An inbound marketing campaign should be a focused effort that aligns each marketing channel to a specific message or goal through the campaign. Initially this might involve a free offer providing something of value that a customer needs. Once a customer has been attracted it is important to keep them engaged. Unlike outbound marketing where the sale is the goal and no further action is taken, inbound marketing seeks build customer engagement, awareness of all aspects of the company’s brand and values and keep them loyal through exceptional service and by providing a continuing range of content that is relevant to their needs.

Metrics are vital to measure the success of such campaigns. Inbound marketing software is available to manage and distribute content across a range of channels, maintain customer profiles and provide a wide range of data of when and how sales were made and the specific channels that imitated customer contact.

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