Whether you are in sales or services, you’ve probably heard of the term inbound marketing. But, what exactly does it mean?
Hubspot defines inbound marketing as “a focus in attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey.” It offers the techniques and strategies necessary to create content that will attract the right people, turn those people into leads, and help engage them enough to turn them into paying customers. In short, inbound marketing is all about creating valuable experiences that leave a lasting positive impact on your customers.
With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through various channels including search engines, blogs, and social media. Once they arrive to one of these channels, you are given the opportunity to engage directly with them, using various digital tools such as chat and email.
We’re all too familiar with traditional means of marketing, commonly referred to as outbound marketing. This includes: radio, magazines, newspapers, billboards, direct-mail, etc. In other words, these are the obnoxious and repetitive pieces of jargon we choose to ignore.
The capabilities of the internet have completely revolutionized the way we market to consumers. Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing is oriented around the needs of your potential customers. Instead of seeking out customers, you’re earning their attention.
Once you have identified who your customers are and what their needs consist of, you can develop value-added content that is designed to address their needs. The moment you establish your business as a source of helpful information is the moment you have a huge advantage over competitors. You’ve built trust with your customers, which can simultaneously help your brand build authority and a positive reputation.
Implementing content that is aligned with your customer’s needs and interests helps you attract traffic that you can easily attract, engage, and delight over time. Doing so the Inbound way typically involves the integration of SEO, social media, blogging, live events, webinars, and more.
For information on Inbound and Content Marketing, check out the SMA Blog.
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