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What Is Inbound Marketing?

Marketing agencies use online tools, such as inbound marketing, to create a reputable company image while building and maintaining strong relationships with their customers. It helps marketers create a customer experience where they don't feel like they weren't manipulated to make a purchase.

One of the core elements of inbound marketing is content. You may have heard the term “content is king” but in the case of inbound marketing, it actually is.
What this means is that quality outweighs quantity and that’s what marketers should prioritize in their inbound marketing strategy. But there’s a lot more to inbound marketing strategies than simply creating great content.

Inbound marketing can benefit industries that are highly regulated and costly since customers require specific guidance. Such industries can include healthcare, financial services, manufacturing, recruitment, and education.
In this blog, we look at what is inbound marketing, how it compares to outbound marketing, how to create an inbound marketing strategy, and what may work for your company.

Inbound vs Outbound marketing

Marketers in various industries may use outbound and inbound marketing strategies to acquire and convert leads. But what are the differences between them? Outbound marketing refers to any type of marketing where a company initiates a conversation and sends that message to an audience. Examples of outbound marketing include more traditional forms of marketing such as a commercial on television, radio advertising, print advertising (newspaper ads, magazine ads, flyers, brochures, catalogs, etc.), trade shows, sales pitches (a.k.a. "cold calls"), spam mail, etc.
Inbound marketing and outbound marketing are opposite strategies; inbound marketing uses online tools to draw customers to companies who are marketing their products and services. Examples of inbound marketing services include content marketing, blogging, SEO, and opt-in email marketing. Paid search advertising is also considered inbound marketing. This is because ads are only shown when clients search for specific products and services that companies offer. Outbound marketing is generally harder to track and less profitable than inbound marketing. However, companies still spend up to 90% of their marketing budgets on outbound marketing.

Companies looking to increase sales and recoup marketing costs are encouraged to allocate a greater percentage of their marketing budget to inbound marketing campaign.
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History of Inbound Marketing

The term "inbound marketing" was coined by HubSpot co-founder Brian Halligan in 2006. But the basic principles of an inbound marketing strategy existed long before HubSpot.

In 1999, Seth Godin Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers, Godin encouraged marketers to respect consumer choice and time. The buyer should start the journey, not the marketer or seller. This is the essence of inbound marketing, but Godin takes the term "permission marketing" a step further.
Godin defines permission marketing as "the privilege (not the right) to deliver expected, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to receive them." He realized early on that he didn't like his inbox flooded with messages he didn't want.

By the time Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah founded HubSpot in 2006, the roots of inbound marketing had already taken root.

We are entering a new era of hyper-personalized, relationship-focused inbound marketing services. And with tools like social media, SEO, and marketing automation, things are only getting better.

Inbound Marketing Methodology

Inbound marketing attracts strangers, converts visitors, closes leads, and delights customers.

Let's take a look at these four activities in more detail.
Attract
Attracting customers sounds simple but it’s not. There's more to drawing in customers than optimizing your on-page SEO and sharing new content.

Before you even plan your digital marketing campaign or invest long hours studying how search engines work, you must decide who your target audience is. Spend some time thinking about a buyer character, an avatar of the ideal customer who will keep coming to your site for information and will think of you first when they're in search for products and services you may offer.

Think about the types of content you can offer that match what your ideal customers are searching for online. That's where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play in your digital marketing strategy. Google isn't limited to keywords when it comes to ranking your pages, but commonly searched keyword phrases offer a great way to increase your reach. That way, you can create unique content that adds value.
Convert
Once you have a visitor landing on your website, you need to convert that visitor into a lead. A prospect is someone who wants to learn more about your brand and provides information (name, email address, content preferences, etc.) on your behalf.

How do website visitors become leads?

Calls to action (also known as CTAs) are a great way to convert visitors into leads. CTAs can be "buy now" buttons. But it could also be a request to be added to a marketing email list, download an e-book, schedule a demo, etc. Quality leads also contain enough information to drive outbound marketing efforts. Visitors who provide their email address and want to be added to your mailing list are interested in what you offer.
Close
The whole idea of ​digital marketing is digital selling, right? Once you've acquired your ideal customer and converted it into a lead, your sales team goes to close the deal.

Remember, you may need to move your prospects down the sales funnel. Many prospects are initially reluctant to become paying customers. But polite persistence pays off. There is usually a back-and-forth process before a prospect closes a deal and becomes a paying customer.

However, you have to keep them happy to encourage them to buy more in the future, so the process never ends after getting sales. Read our digital marketing guide to learn more on how to keep your customers engaged.
Delight
During the Delight stage, the fun part of your inbound marketing campaign begins. We were able to lead our customers through the buyer's journey. Your content marketing team should stay in touch and provide more information about the solutions they might need. Sales teams need to make sure the product meets their expectations.

Benefits of inbound marketing

When done right, an inbound marketing agency can benefit you in the following ways:
Grow your audience
Control your costs
Maintain trust
Generate qualified leads
You can easily grow your audience by keeping your customers happy. Your customers are spreading the word about your website through the digital equivalent of word of mouth. Posting reviews and comments about your expertise, products and services on social media is one of the examples. Read more about digital marketing trends in our recent blog.

A Gen Z customer can post about a product on Instagram, and a millennial and his Gen X can comment on Facebook. Older consumers can support their retention strategy with old-fashioned personal recommendations. Whether you're dealing with blogs, white papers, or infographics, an inbound marketing strategy can help you reach all your marketing and revenue goals.

How to create an inbound marketing strategy

1. Determine your goals. We encourage you to align your business goals with your marketing goals. When setting goals, always use SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

2. Identify marketing triggers. A marketing trigger is a form of advertising when a website visitor behaves in a desired way and triggers an action. For example, when you sign up for a newsletter or provide contact information for a free e-book.

3. Outline the buyer journey. Outline your buyer journey or sales funnel to help you decide when to engage with prospects.

4. Invest in the right tools. The right tools can help your team be more efficient and accelerate your workflow.

5. Create valuable content. Optimized content that delivers value to readers can attract visitors to their website and ultimately convert them into customers.

6. Use different channels. By using different channels, you can distribute your content and maximize your reach.

7. Check and optimize. We encourage you to review and update your content regularly to make sure it's the best.
If you're looking to use inbound marketing for your business, here are some examples of content you can create to get you started:
Blogs
Whitepapers
Videos
Email newsletters
Infographics
Need a digital marketing company to help plan and implement your Inbound Marketing? Feel free to contact YourTeam Marketing for advanced digital marketing services. Our talented team of marketers will offer you the best marketing solutions for your company.

As one of the best inbound marketing companies, we ensure your company's growth through various marketing services we provide. Contact us for more information if you are interested and need a professional team to manage your marketing campaigns!
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Author: Lilith Aivazyan
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