Inbound Marketing Guide for Beginners

Are you ready to build your brand? Enter inbound marketing. Whether you’re familiar with the term or not, chances are you’ve been practicing parts of inbound all along. Unlike traditional marketing plans, inbound marketing focuses solely on customer service and how your content can play a big part in the overall success of your business.

Gone are the days of pushing sales in your marketing plan. To compete in your industry, it’s time to start focusing on your customers. #InboundMarketing Click To Tweet

What is Inbound Marketing?

Originally coined by HubSpot’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan, inbound marketing is a business practice that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. Instead of advertising content customers could care less about, inbound is centered around what will make the customer happy for the long haul. To successfully practice inbound marketing, there are three keys to remember.

  1. Attract Your Target Audience
  2. Engage Your Following
  3. Delight with Relevant Content

1) Attract Your Target Audience

Like traditional marketing campaigns, the first goal of inbound marketing is to attract your target audience. Research who needs your product and how those customers are actually using your product. If a customer uses your product differently than expected, you might need to reevaluate what your purpose actually is. Learn more about identifying your target audience to transform your lead generation.

Pro Tip: Create a buyer persona by collaborating with all of the departments in your business to create an ideal customer. Knowing how that customer relates to marketing, sales, and the service team will be key in your content creation.

2) Engage Your Following

Once a customer hears about your brand, it’s essential for you to share content related to your product or service. Whether you’re using email marketing, social media, or blogs, engaging your potential customers is what will prompt customers to take action. By sharing valuable information with your followers, you can offer something your competition won’t have-engagement.

In the engagement phase, this is where customers are getting ready to make their choice. If you can push that traffic to your website landing page or product catalog, you can become the pilot in your buyer’s journey. With the right wording and placement, a clear call to action could be the final step to turn that lead into profit. Learn more customer engagement strategies to increase your conversion rates.

3) Delight with Relevant Content

Last but certainly not least, inbound marketing is centered around constant delight. It’s the phase that makes your customers buy from you again and tell their friends about their experience. To keep your followers engaged, however, you have to know what they want to talk about.

By using social listening strategies, email list surveys, or in-person interviews, learn what kind of content you should be creating. Once you understand the language and personality of your ideal customer, you’ll be able to create content that matters. Learn more about social listening strategies to find relevant content for your customers.

Sales Funnel vs. Flywheel

Before inbound, the buyer’s journey was described using a sales funnel. With awareness at the top, followed by interest, decision, and action, the end goal was the action or purchase. Today, however, a business can’t thrive solely on one successful purchase. Buyers are faced with countless choices, making it crucial for businesses to not just sell, but to build a brand that customers will share with others.

In contrast, inbound marketing is described as a flywheel, or a circular sphere with the terms attract, engage, and delight turning in a forward motion. Mechanically, a flywheel requires a driving force to keep it turning. In inbound marketing, that force is your customer. Every positive or negative experience will alter your flywheel to create content that will keep attracting, engaging, and delighting for years to come.

Does that mean the sales funnel is dead? No, the truth is they’re both necessary. Where the sales funnel represents a specific process, the flywheel can be used in every sector of your business. With inbound marketing, your business can unite behind a common goal and purpose

Personalized Content Marketing is Key

There’s a difference between marketing a product and marketing for a purpose. With an inbound marketing strategy, you can personalize your content by paying attention to your audience. Once you can speak their language and solve their problems, your efforts will start receiving the credit they deserve.

Does your business use inbound marketing? Connect with one of our digital marketers to learn how to take your business to the next level.

Ashlee Vaughn

Ashlee Vaughn is a Web Content Writer at ITVibes, Inc. After receiving her B.A. in Humanities at Thomas Edison State University, she began sharpening her writing skills by completing a Certificate in Technical Writing. Ashlee’s interest in writing comes from her love for organization and it’s apart of everything she does. When she’s not dotting every i and crossing every t, you might find her playing with her new puppy or enjoying a local Houston event with her friends.