Inbound marketing can be defined as a blend of techniques to draw customers by creating valuable content through social media management, content marketing management, search engine optimization (SEO), and branding. Inbound marketing management is about bringing customers closer to the product. The strategies of inbound marketing management are primarily based on three premises and they are to:
- Attract: The right people by creating useful content and projecting as a trusted aid with whom customers would like to connect.
- Engage: Providing value proposition to customers by addressing their issues and goals so that they would prefer to make the purchase, and
- Delight: The customers by offering prompt and hassle-free support so that they derive success and worth from their purchase. It helps to nurture a relationship with your customer.
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Table of Contents
- Why is Inbound Marketing Management important?
- Streamlining Inbound Marketing process
- Different Components of Inbound Marketing Management
- How Much Does Inbound Marketing Management Cost?
Why is Inbound Marketing Management Important?
Inbound marketing can be integral to growing your business by attracting customers, and fostering a long-standing relationship and trust through value-added services. Some of the reasons why every enterprise should implement inbound marketing management are:
- Affordability: It is low-cost and affordable for any company.
- Long-term: Inbound marketing strategies are long-term marketing solutions for companies.
- Emboldening customers: It empowers the customers, which is a crucial element for business growth.
- Leads conversion: The strategies of inbound marketing always lead to better conversion. The impact of inbound marketing strategies can be evaluated from time to time.
- Enhances SEO: Inbound marketing management and SEO (search engine optimization) often go hand in hand, as both complement each other.
- Driving more traffic: Strategies of inbound marketing can optimize traffic for a website. Visitors to a website always soar when inbound marketing is done right.
- Drawing in the right customers: It provides great insights into buyer behavior and preferences. Inbound marketing helps brands narrow down to potential customers rather than dealing with a vague audience like in outbound marketing.
- It lends credibility: Inbound marketing techniques result in building credibility for a brand.
So, we can say that inbound marketing management is at the core of building a happy customer base that draws more clients time and again.
Streamlining Inbound Marketing Management Process
We now understand that inbound marketing is all about building a lasting relationship with customers, which is meaningful and financially rewarding for the organization. The bottom line of inbound marketing strategy is to impress your customer so that when the time comes, the prospective consumer buys the product or service. The process to achieve this is by creating and dissipating valuable content that brings the consumer ‘inbound’. We’ll discuss the important steps to launch an effective and successful inbound marketing campaign:
Getting it off the ground:
The initial step is to access the inventory or resources at one’s disposal and allocate a budget, while taking stock of the tools available. The website, CMS, hosting, marketing software, CRM, etc., need to be in place. Establishing coherence among these is crucial at the outset.
Research and narrowing down to target customers
The degree of success of inbound marketing campaigns largely depends on the level of research and closing into the right customers. When the target audience is identified correctly, content creation and publishing on the website will be bang on target. It will directly talk about the potential customers’ pain points. Even search engines will find your content because of its alignment with the consumers’ problems.
SEO and keyword research
Before writing the content, a proper SEO plan would be a prerequisite with in-depth keyword analysis. It is paramount to analyze and research on how the prospects look for solutions to their problems. If your content addresses their issues, the customers will land up at your website from where the inbound journey supposedly begins. The different content platforms you have (such as a blog) will be the primary sources of contact between your customers and your brand. If the content is valuable, it will be easier redirecting them to your website.
A clear marketing strategy and goal setting
Everyone in the organization has to be on the same page while deciding on the target customers. The use of marketing tools, website design, regular changes, and fresh content are all part of a clear marketing strategy based on predefined goals. The strategy should also strive at finding the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). It will help you determine how many customers you’ll need to reach the goals, how many leads, and how many website visitors required converting them into sales.
Regularly updating the website
The website of a brand has to be enticing to draw customers, supported by other components like a blog, infographics, forms, call-to-action tabs, etc. It also calls for tracking users who download the content so that they can be nurtured for conversion in the future. Coming up with an editorial calendar is essential. Also, giving links to the blog and other advanced content on social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., goes a long way.
Evaluation at regular interval
Evaluation of the website and the other inbound strategies keeps pitfalls in check. Rejig anything that doesn’t deliver anymore. All teams should be made accountable so that goals and targets are met without any exception.
Different Components of Inbound Marketing Management
After streamlining, we will need the components of inbound marketing to implement the process for a desired outcome. The following are the key components or tenets that can lay the foundation of a successful inbound marketing management process.
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is an inseparable part of inbound marketing strategy. All the efforts of content delivery would go in vain if they don’t land up at the doorstep of the prospects one is looking for. SEO will ensure that every inbound marketing strategy you have implemented reaches the right audience.
An on-page SEO of the brand website will catapult it to the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) giving it higher exposure and visibility. On the other hand, off-page SEO will drive external links to your website.
It is one of the toughest to achieve, but worth trying. Link building is a very important component for inbound marketing. Getting a link back to your site is what you want and it can fructify with a great piece of content. When there are links to a website, search engines like Google get an indication that it is a bona fide source and deserves organic traffic. When you get adequate organic traffic, business takes place.
Harnessing social media
The social media platforms are fantastic places for brand building. The world is now on social media and what better place to execute your inbound marketing strategies. Social media forms an integral component of inbound marketing management.
People go to social media platforms to mingle with friends and family, but also end up downloading a lot of industry and business information. You directly don’t sell your products on social platforms, but can invite people to your site and products by capitalizing and utilizing social media management.
This is somewhat related to social media. In inbound marketing, brand building and creating the sufficient awareness around a product is crucial so that a prospective customer develops enough interest to purchase it in the future.
Merely pushing a product won’t work. Customers always have a choice of comparing your product with other players in the market. So, the brand building should be such that a high amount of value is created and the prospect is assured of getting the solution to their problem through your product.
Email and automation
According to stats by Adobe, US employees spend almost five hours in a day on email, which makes it a great component for inbound marketing process. Emails are still the reliable source of drawing in consumers to your site and businesses.
This is an unavoidable component for inbound marketing, as emails are still considered authentic by readers. Even automated emails have a higher click-through-rate (CTR).
So, be serious about devising your email campaign and automating them effectively and get the message across to get the maximum CTR. Look out for techniques how to do this process flawlessly and you will also get advice from some of the best in the business.
Not every visitor to your website is a buyer; some drop in to scour information as well. So, inbound marketing should also emphasize on converting the visitors into leads and future customers. Lead capturing is augmented by a proper content strategy and its various forms, which is the next component discussed below.
Content strategy and marketing
In inbound marketing, content is a driving force which will educate, excite and lure your prospective customers. A proper content strategy is the pillar of an inbound marketing management initiative.
The following should be part of your content strategy for better results
A Great Blog
Brands that run a great blog have higher chances of deriving a positive ROI. There should be a minimum number of quality blogs every month that will culminate into certain leads at a regular basis.
A blog often provides the answers to the nagging issues of a customer. It should be educational, informative, and frequently updated. Often, consumers relate to a blog post written in a conversational tone that invokes their emotions. It influences their buying decisions in the future.
A whitepaper is a notch higher than a blog. A whitepaper should look extremely professional and presentable, carrying all the information about the product or service. It should educate the potential customer about the product in a highly engaging manner through its in-depth and well-researched content.
A whitepaper is different than a blog due to its formal tone because a blog post can also be casual in its format.
Another advantage is that a whitepaper calls for the contact information of customers who download it. You can use these contact details in the future for email marketing to get closer to a prospective customer which will eventually lead to conversion.
A case study has a profound impact on the psychology of a customer looking for a product you are selling in the market. If you have a case study of your product about how successfully it solved a consumer’s problem in the past, it will certainly drive the point home for anyone looking to purchase. Incorporating case studies should be a part of the agenda if you want your inbound marketing process to become a success and get the intended results.
Three in ten people engage in reading ebooks in the United States. However, it is almost the same in most countries in the world that have decent internet connectivity. An incredibly written ebook can be another route for customers to discover your product. It’s a veritable tool for inbound marketing.
It is free, carries all information about the product just like a whitepaper, and provides a complete picture of something readers are looking for.
So, for any brand or company, ebooks should be taken seriously, should be well-crafted, and released on the internet that can garner relevant contact information of people who show interest in a particular product.
A webinar is a direct interaction with people having similar interests. There is the human element in webinars. Talking to a select audience who could be your future customers makes webinars a powerful component in the inbound marketing process.
People get apprised about a product directly from those who are involved in creating it. There is a complete human exchange of information related to the product or service during a webinar.
Cross-communication during the sessions also gives the feeling of personal interaction. So, webinars can be used as a platform to pull out the contact details of participants, which can be later used to generate quality leads.
Another exemplary component of an inbound marketing strategy is the podcast that delivers sufficient leads. Podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular medium of content creation and delivery. Podcasts create brand awareness and can attract the desired customers to your product.
An interesting podcast is seen as a personal interaction by viewers. If it showcases the strengths of a product, presented in a very relatable manner, a prospective buyer will have it etched in the memory to take a concrete decision soon.
The best part of making a podcast is that although it can be executed with minimum investment and resources, the outcome is often long-lasting and rewarding. Podcasts cement the relationship with customers who are serious about buying a product.
How Much Does Inbound Marketing Management Service Cost?
As we have understood from the above techniques, inbound marketing management is very cost-effective as opposed to outbound marketing.
Investment in inbound marketing management returns rich dividends for any organization, which has been proven over time. Promotions based on the principles of inbound marketing are always beneficial for the customers and the company.
However, this could be subjective depending on the size and scale of the business. There is website design, purchasing marketing software, employees’ salary, content creation costs, pay-per-click (PPC) costs, running ads, etc.
Whether you do it in-house or outsource the inbound marketing management, an average cost could be worked out.
For example, for content creation, an average cost would come around US$ 75 to US$ 150 for every post. For SEO, one can earmark a budget of around US$ 3,500 per month. A social media professional may charge you around US$ 30-50 per hour. Depending on the software, prices of marketing tools can vary.
However, looking at the ROI, the investment in inbound marketing strategies could be minuscule and should not deter you from implementing it as part of growing your business.
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Inbound marketing management is helpful for brands as well as for consumers and its impact is easy to gauge. It caters to a specific audience and is based on long-term gains. In the age of the internet, inbound marketing strategies make more sense to conduct business while driving sales and profit.