It’s a new month, what a better time to learn new things than now?
In this new blog, I want us to learn about this fairly new way of marketing and why it is the way forward for any business that wants to grow its customer base and retain it.
What is this ‘fairly new way’ of marketing?
But before we dive into it lets look at the traditional way of marketing, Outbound marketing.
Outbound marketing also known as interruption marketing is promoting a product through continued advertising, promotions, and sales. It is considered to be an annoying version of doing marketing whereby companies focus on finding customers through advertising. ( Before you say am vilifying it, that is the description of outbound marketing on Wikipedia. Mine is even more critical)
Outbound marketing techniques include:
- Telemarketing/cold calling
- Email spams
- TV and radio advertisements
- Email blasts
Outbound marketing is getting less and less effective by the day because your potential customer is being bombarded by so many outbound marketing interruptions per day it becomes annoying. This leads to your potential customer using caller ID, Adblockers, and spam filtering to block you out.
The solution to this is inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is Attracting, engaging and delighting potential customers to grow a business that provides value and builds trust
Inbound marketing brings relevant, interested customers to you who are actually willing to spend on your product or service as opposed to you looking for them.
Instead of broadcasting to the customer, as traditional outbound marketing does, inbound marketing focuses on creating reasons for the customer to come to you.
You want to buy plants for your house. So you go to google and search for “House plants in Kenya” the first result is a blog by a plant company X titled Best plants to buy for your house. This interests you so you click on it and start reading. You read the blog until the end because it is interesting and informative.
By then you have knowledge about plants and you are ready to shop for one. Right at the end of the blog, you see a call to action saying “ SHOP FOR HOUSE PLANTS TODAY AND GET A 20% DISCOUNT” You click on it and go to their shop and end up buying a plant for your house. You like their service and their attention to details so you tell your friends about it and they buy too.
Now that, my friends is inbound marketing at it’s best
The advertising is so smooth you don’t even know someone is trying to sell to you up until the moment you are getting your wallet to pay. It is neither disruptive nor annoying. The plant company added value to you and you bought from them.
Inbound marketing is so effective because at the core of it is the value added to the customer.
Inbound marketers change the game.
Instead of interrupting people with television ads, they create videos that potential customers want to see. Instead of buying display ads in print publications, they create their own business blog that people subscribe to and look forward to reading. Instead of cold calling, they create useful content and tools so that prospects contact them looking for more information.
The term Inbound marketing was coined by Hubspot back in 2006 and consists of the following stages
- Attract – You attract your customers by putting out compelling content that captures the interest of your target audience and appearing on search engine results.
- Convert – The next thing you do is convert the visitor into a lead by capturing their contact details. You can use forms, call to actions, and landing pages.
- Close – the next step is converting a lead into a customer.
- Delight – This is the last step and it aims at keeping your customers so happy that they can’t stop talking about you and your business.
Inbound marketing techniques include:
- Video content
- Social media marketing
- Paid search marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Advanced content (infographics. Ebooks, whitepapers.)
Benefits of inbound marketing
- Targeted leads
As you can see from the example I gave with the plant company, your customers come to you. This automatically filters out those who don’t want your product or service. This leaves you with high-quality leads who are ready to spend money on your business. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be calling people who will waste my time and not buy from me.
- Cheaper in the long run
Blogging is an example of inbound marketing. The blog by the plant company will keep bringing customers even 5 years from now. Because 5 years from now people will still be buying house plants. Imagine not spending a dime for 5 years and still getting customers. That is how inbound marketing works.
- Higher customer lifetime value
With inbound marketing, you focus on your customer . You engage and delight them. This results in Satisfied customers. As we had discussed in the previous blog about Customer satisfaction, Satisfied customers spend more money on your business in the long run.
- Free marketing
Inbound marketing results in satisfied customers. And as we all know satisfied customers will tell anyone who cares to listen about your product or service. That is free marketing for you.
Inbound marketing is the way of the future. People are tired of being bombarded by ads they don’t want to see. Be different.
If you have a great product and the skills to communicate with your customers, you can compete with the biggest advertising budgets.
That is exciting, and for small businesses, it’s empowering.
Have a happy and productive week ahead
I hope this piece was eye-opening. Please tell me what you think of inbound marketing in the comment section. Don’t forget to share.