Inbound Marketing & Why Your Business Needs It
“Why do we need inbound marketing, we’re trying to sell here, we’re not running a social club”! Wow, so that was my client’s first reaction when I pitched the idea.
First you have to realize that while inbound marketing has been in the market since 2006 when it was first introduced to the world by Hubspot, in 2019 I still didn’t know about it, yeah talk about 1st world problems. But I knew that if I didn’t know about it in an industry that cares only about the number of likes (here in Egypt) then there is no way in hell my clients did either.
Wanting to see how my clients would react, I tried to put myself in their shoes, it didn’t fit, at least at first. So what was the problem you say? The engagement levels were declining on the page, and while sales according to the client weren’t impacted, I felt like I had let him down. That’s when I proposed inbound marketing and I was hit with that ridonkulous reply above.
So What is Inbound Marketing?
Customers now have more information about the product, industry and competition, inbound is a better way to market, a better way to sell and a better way to help your customer. Think of it this way, as a business owner, if your customer grows so will your business.
Still don’t get it? Being an inbound business means you’re building relationships and having conversations with your audience. By giving them value, sharing helpful and relevant content at the right time and drawing them in (it is called inbound marketing after all), it is the method of attracting, engaging and delighting people.
Hubspot divides those 3 steps by the needed content at every stage:
|Videos||Email Marketing||Smart Content|
|Blogs||Marketing Automation||Attribution Reporting|
Now again put yourself in the customer’s shoes
- How would I want to be marketed to
- How would I want to be sold to
- How would I want to get a service from a company
You’ve probably ran into some of your favorite brands actively practicing inbound, maybe it was that blog post that helped you pick your summer vacation, or that video that told you how to cook your all-time favorite butter chicken (it doesn’t work, visit your nearest Indian store) or that delightful email from UBER with the 50% discount because the lord cares about you. By the way it’s debatable whether or not Email marketing is considered a type of inbound marketing but in my opinion it comes down to the type of content you’re sending to your customer.
To better understand why your business needs inbound marketing, you have to understand buying behavior, it’s an active exploration and research process the buyer goes through leading up to the actual purchase. It’s made up into awareness, consideration and decision, depending on the source it might be a bit longer.
When you feel those symptoms of a problem also called pain points, you’re in the awareness stage, that’s when you start to do your research and get bombarded with the many options available, also called consideration, and after a while you make up your decision. Inbound marketing is all about creating relevant content that directly affects each point in the buyer’s journey.
Adopting an inbound marketing strategy will make a considerable impact on brand awareness, lead generation through white papers or e-books, it will also educate your prospect about your service and speed up your sales process.
KPIs of Inbound Marketing
The KPIs vary according to the type of ad you’re using, let’s say it’s email marketing, then you’ll want to measure the CTR, if it’s an e-book, then the number of leads and downloads, if it’s a video, then the number of video views and conversions. Whatever it is just make sure you don’t tell the customer to buy from you because you sell the most wonderful pair of striped pajama pants, that only works with food, where all it takes is one delicious cheese dripping burger and can of soda and you’ll have your customer at hello!