Have you been looking for a marketing agency and, as you Google along, have some of your search engine results shown you agencies with something along the lines of “inbound marketing services” on their site menu?
Perhaps you click on that menu button and you read along as the agency explains what inbound marketing is and what it can do for your bottom line.
But the explanation is confusing. And it rambles. And puzzling.
Describing Inbound Marketing. Simply.
Inbound marketing works to attract ideal prospects to you, rather than you reaching out to them (cold calling, advertising, radio and television ads, and so on). The main way you do so is to provide them with information online that they need to solve the problems they are facing or to reach the goals they desire.
Sounds simple, but there is a bit more to it. Below we explain why inbound works, to whom you’re going to provide this information, what type of information you’re going to offer, and where and when you’re going to provide it.
Why Inbound Works (And Proof That it Does)
Your prospects don’t want to be sold to. They want information and then they will make a decision. On their timeline. They also want this information when they want it, and that’s usually not in the form of a television ad in the middle of their favorite program. Provide your prospects with the kind of information they want, do it consistently and only when they ask for it and once they’re ready to buy, chances are they’re going to buy from you – you whose information has been thorough, engaging and extremely helpful.
In a nutshell, inbound works because it attracts, converts, closes, and delights your prospects.
Inbound uses proven, targeted and integrated tactics and strategies that produce solid results for years to come.
- Marketing with content can result in as much as three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, yet costs more than 60 percent less (Demand Metric).
- Companies that use 30-40 landing pages get seven times more leads than those firms that use just one to five landing pages. (HubSpot).
- Companies that blog regularly have 97 percent more inbound links (HubSpot).
- More than 90 percent (93 percent) of companies that use inbound marketing tactics see an increase in their lead generation (HubSpot).
Who Gets Your Information?
Before you start your content producing efforts (and content can include blog posts, e-books, case studies, white papers, infographics, social media posts, and video), you have to know exactly who your ideal prospect is. You know who they are because you’ve researched who your best current customers are and performed extensive market research.
You then create a made-up representation (the persona) of one or more of these ideal customers and you use it to help you figure where and how to concentrate most of your marketing time and efforts.
Everything you do – all the content you create, the free downloads you provide, the types of information you research and publish – is all based on what you’ve ascertained your persona (prospect/buyer) really wants.
The Content You’ll Provide
No matter who your prospect is, she wants information (the aforementioned blog posts, videos, free e-books, etc.) that will make her life easier, solve a problem, or help her achieve a goal. Your job is to provide the thorough information in an engaging and helpful way that will take her one step closer to solving that problem or reaching that goal. It’s something she wants, not what you want to give her. You eventually get what you want – her business – after she’s come to trust your expertise and therefore believes your product or service is a worthwhile solution to her quest.
Where and When You’ll Offer the Information
A lot of inbound marketing content is shared with your prospects via your blog. You’ll also provide the aforementioned white papers, case studies, videos, etc., at the end of these posts, on landing pages, etc. where a prospect enters her name and e-mail address in exchange for the information. You then have received the prospect’s permission to send her additional e-mails with links to your latest blog posts, e-books, white papers, case studies, etc.
This works because the prospect originally found a post or page of your website because you optimized those pages for the keywords your research told you your prospects use when they search for the types of products and services you offer (you attracted them to your website). They then ask for the information freely and they receive it in a manner they prefer (e-mail). They can then read it when and where they want.
Your prospects love to be marketed to in this way because they are in control. They decide if they want your information, how they want to receive it and when they can read it.