Inbound marketing is based on value in content and aims to build brand advocates.
It can be a very effective online marketing methodology because it is customer-focused and encourages brand authenticity. Impact branding defined a simple 6-step inbound marketing process:
- Develop a marketing strategy.
- Maintain an effective website.
- Generate traffic.
- Convert traffic to leads with strategic landing pages.
- Convert leads to sales using email marketing to maintain and enhance the customer connection.
- Measure KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Inbound marketing is a natural online process that helps a brand build its image by delivering content and allowing consumers to find that content. Content helps your brand build industry authority and consumer trust. An inbound marketing strategy utilizes tactics already outlined in your business marketing plan.
- Value proposition: You already defined what your business is, and the benefit to the customer in a compelling business concept statement. Your value proposition highlights your uniqueness and how you solve your customers problems differently or better than your competition, which can improve your operating efficiency, as well as increase qualified leads.
- Buyer persona: Knowing your audience is key to developing valuable content and solving problems for your customers. Using your customer profile, the marketing persona builds onto your ideal customer, identifies their role in the buying cycle, and helps determine content preferences and consumption patterns. This drives content types, topics and channels in your small business marketing campaign.
- Website design: Not only is the content important, so is the backbone of your online business – the user experience should support your value proposition.
- Social media: Having at least one social account allows for additional marketing channels, as well as additional customer service. Both of which build your brand presence.
- Search Marketing: In addition to content marketing and earned inbound links, pay per click offers targeted marketing in many forms. From text ads on search engines to image ads on industry specific portals or blogs to paid content marketing channels, you can increase awareness, remarket to keep your brand fresh in your target audiences mind, and reach new users with more conversion opportunities.
Brand storytelling is part of inbound marketing, and allows you to elaborate more about why you do what you do. It helps you form a connection with your audience, and allows you to help them to solve problems. Its about people, an addition to the 4 P’s of marketing, often used in service marketing models.
- Physical evidence
The people are your business: your employees, the talented people that make your business successful; the socially skilled customer support personnel that instill trust in the consumer; and the dedicated business individuals that support the backbone of the company structure. It can also include the customer, community, distributors – the community that communicates about your brand, which helps your message reach the right people. Be authentic and encouraging and deliver a meaningful message to your market segment.