What is Inbound Marketing?
A marketing methodology with the goal of attracting leads to a business through content. This is the opposite of outbound marketing. Rather than reaching out to potential leads via email, for example, inbound marketing encourages leads to come to you. Inbound marketing relies on trust, value, and building relationships.
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Inbound marketing remains one of the most popular B2B marketing methodologies. In fact, around 75% of marketers say that it is an effective strategy for lead generation. In an inbound marketing strategy, content, SEO, and branding all work together to build connections with potential buyers over a period of time.
Inbound marketing remains one of the most cost-effective ways of marketing a business. It’s also particularly popular in the B2B space, as lengthy sales cycles mean that a long-term relationship is key.
It’s worth noting that inbound marketing cannot function on its own. The best marketing strategies include a combination of inbound, outbound, and paid advertising approaches. Together, this provides the best chance of reaching your target customers, and securing their purchase.
The Purpose of Inbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is so popular in the B2B industry because its primary goal is to build lasting relationships based on value, rather than to secure a quick win.
Inbound marketers use a combination of content and SEO strategy to improve the chance of leads discovering their content. By trying to target specific issues that their customers have, and then solving them, they build trust with each lead. This is why having an accurate buyer persona is so critical.
With each interaction with the business and its content, trust in the brand as a resource, and as a solution, grows. Over time, this prepares the lead for a purchase, where strategies like outbound and paid advertising can have an improved effect.
By creating quality content that answers questions, and optimizing it effectively, you allow leads to come to you. This ensures they retain their autonomy over each purchase decision.
Inbound and SEO
As mentioned, one of the primary elements of successful inbound marketing is SEO. This is the optimization of each piece of content, and the website it’s hosted on, to ensure that leads can find what they’re looking for.
For instance, blogs and cornerstones will be optimized according to specific keywords. These keywords will be chosen based on their search popularity, and their relevance to the target audience. Consider what you’re specific buyers are searching on Google, and ensure that your content occupies that space.
The reader retains their autonomy, while still being influenced by the positive effect of your content. Over time, as they return to your site across a variety of keywords, they will subconsciously build trust in your brand. Without SEO, content doesn’t have an audience.
The Benefits of Inbound Marketing
Budget: Inbound marketing remains one of the most cost-effective ways to market a business overall. Essentially, all you need is a website to begin inbound marketing. Depending on the size of your business, you may need to pay content writers. However, in theory, inbound marketing can be done for the cost of website hosting.
Customer Autonomy: Inbound marketing is the least “forceful” form of marketing. There is no pitching required, and content is simply based on addressing problems rather than selling. This means that inbound leads rarely feel sold to. They feel confident in their decision, as they have arrived there on their own. Comparatively, outbound strategies are more sales-driven, and today’s customers are far savvier in identifying this.
Evergreen: As long as your content has somewhere to live on the internet, inbound marketing doesn’t run out. Paid and outbound campaigns often have an end date, which is typically dictated by budget. Inbound marketing can continue working for you, even when budgets are strict. As long as your content is evergreen, your inbound marketing should continue to drive growth.
Lead Quality: Inbound leads have effectively educated themselves before they even get in touch with your team. Over time, visiting your content should have helped them understand their problem, and your solution. If they get in touch, they’re already qualified leads. Often, despite best efforts, outbound marketing techniques reach out to contacts that aren’t ready to buy. Inbound marketing is a great way to optimize your sales teams’ time.
At Nituno, we work with B2B tech businesses to generate inbound marketing strategies for lead generation. We believe that inbound is a critical marketing approach for B2B, but that it works best when combined with winning outbound and paid strategies. Get in touch with us today for help building a holistic marketing strategy for growth.