When people think of marketing, outbound tactics are often the first to come to mind. Strategies of this nature are disruptive, as the consumer isn’t actively searching for the product or service being advertised to them. Businesses employing this tactic seek out potential customers and target them through relatively traditional marketing approaches.
Television, print or radio ads, telemarketing calls, paid email lists, video ads and the like are all considered outbound forms of advertising. Such methods are interruptive and, if you don’t pay much attention to them, you aren’t alone.
It’s becoming increasingly easy for consumers to avoid advertisements, which makes generating valuable outcomes from outbound marketing all the more challenging. Viewers are recording television shows so they can skip over the ads at a later time and streaming services, such as Netflix, that have no ads are continuing to grow in popularity. In fact, it’s estimated that 37% of Internet users worldwide are now using Netflix – and it’s only one of the many streaming platforms available to customers.
Email is another common outbound marketing technique but, similarly to ads, this tactic has its downfalls. If the recipients on your email lists aren’t interested in your content, then they can unsubscribe in just a few seconds. Alternatively, they may simply ignore your emails when scanning through their inbox. The average worker has 199 unread emails, so if your message doesn’t grab their attention or appear important, you’ll likely end up being number 200.
So, when consumers are constantly looking for new ways to avoid your advertisements, how are you meant to reach them in meaningful ways that drive conversions? By drawing those who are genuinely interested in, and actively looking for your product or service to your business.
This is a marketing strategy known as inbound marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
When organisations implement inbound marketing strategies, they focus on creating valuable, relevant, high-quality content that attracts their target audience to their brand. Through inbound marketing, businesses can essentially ‘pull’ prospects that are interested in the type of offering they provide towards their company.
Inbound marketing is responsible for 90%+ of clicks online.
By implementing a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy, brands can attract potential consumers to their business naturally. When customers search for certain content, discover your brand and deem what you’re offering as valuable to them, they’re displaying a clear interest in what you have to offer. This is why, often, inbound marketing proves to be far more effective than telling prospects that they should like your offering by using in-your-face tactics.
Actionable Inbound Marketing Strategies
Inbound marketing tactics can be incredibly effective when implemented correctly. If you’re interested in integrating inbound marketing into your current strategy but aren’t sure where to begin, why not give one of the following a try?
1. Focus on Search Engine Optimisation
For any inbound marketing strategy to reach its full potential, prospects need to be able to find your brand’s content online. There are over 1.7 billion websites, and if potential customers can’t find your online domains, they’ll simply look to satisfy their needs elsewhere.
Search Engine Optimisation helps to boost your ranking in Google’s search results, which, in turn improves your accessibility online. It’s an approach that focuses on growing your visibility to drive more relevant, organic traffic to your website.
A strong SEO strategy incorporates high-quality content, internal and external links site-wide and a functional website structure. The inclusion of keywords is also another crucial component of this tactic and it’s important that, when choosing terms to include, you select those that have both high search volume and user intent. This ensures that your online domains are appearing in relevant contexts and, thus, that you’re attracting prospects who are actually interested in your content.
2. Launch a Pay-Per-Click Advertising Campaign
Paid search advertising may seem out of place in an article about inbound marketing, but it can actually be a great technique to use when employing a strategy of this nature.
Your PPC ads will be shown in contexts where potential customers have actively sought out a topic or offering relevant to your brand. This means that rather than being disruptive, like what we see with outbound tactics, you’re essentially paying to boost your search ranking and improve your visibility. By doing this, organisations can compete for the top positions in the search results and, thus, attract a greater volume of highly relevant leads.
Similarly to SEO, Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns focus on keywords that are highly relevant to your brand. However, organisations will often find that PPC delivers quicker results that SEO, which is generally more of a gradual process.
3. Refresh & Revolutionise Your Content Marketing
Content is a crucial component of your inbound marketing strategy. If you aren’t regularly creating fresh content that delivers unique value to consumers, they’ll likely lose interest in your brand.
By building an effective B2B content strategy into your inbound marketing approach, you’ll be able to further differentiate your brand from competitors while also giving prospects a reason to stick around. This, in turn, can help you foster ongoing, meaningful relationships with leads that achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
So, what types of content could your B2B business consider creating?
- A frequently updated blog that covers topics directly related to your offering;
- Downloadable resources such as guides or eBooks;
- Case studies based on customer testimonials;
Want to start enjoying the benefits that come with an effective, comprehensive B2B inbound marketing strategy? For more information, or to find about the B2B marketing 2020 trends your business should be paying attention to, speak with a B2B digital marketing specialist today.