Gone are the days where outbound marketing ruled the roost. Many organisations have either adopted or in the process of adopting an inbound marketing strategy for their business. Understanding how this fits with your business and how your technology can facilitate it will shape the plan. Inbound marketing strategy and your content marketing strategy go hand in hand.

What is inbound marketing?

Growing your business by fostering lasting customer relationships is the focus of inbound marketing. Provide your customers with value time and time again, and you build loyalty. Your objective is to drive the success of your customers. As an element tied to that success, your brand loyalty grows and you create brand advocates. When developing your inbound marketing strategy, you can design it around three key points.

The first of these is attracting customers. This can be achieved by providing valuable and insightful content. Being able to facilitate helpful conversations for your customers positions your brand as an ongoing resource. Being able to listen to your customers effectively can make or break your ability to attract customers. This ties in nicely with the second key element of inbound marketing, engaging customers.

Develop content, insights and products for your customers that focus on fixing their problems or achieving their goals. With a detailed understanding of their pain points, you can develop an effective way of resolving them. This leads into the third and final part of inbound marketing, delighting your customers. If you can solve their problems and help them succeed, then you’ve played a role in finding success. The customer is left with positive associations with your brand and is inclined to repeat purchase or advocate for your brand. So where do we start with developing an inbound marketing strategy? At step 1!

Using inbound marketing to attract customers

Now that we’ve defined the three steps, we need to understand what a strategy looks like for each. Begin with attraction; content is key here. Having your blog on your website gives you the perfect location to store thought-leadership articles. Blogs also give your brand the ability to provide insightful resources that build trust with the customer.

With this content, take the time to understand the problems or issues your customers might be facing. This way, you will know critical points to cover and make sure your content goes as far as possible to solve their issues. You can also align this content with your SEO Strategy to further boost its value for your company. Common t00ls you’ll find used during the attraction strategy for inbound marketing include paid ads, video productions, blogs and social media. Our team regularly partner with organisations looking to promote content with our pre-existing audience, branded content is a great way to leverage the brand authority of others.

Engaging your customers

During the next phase of your inbound marketing strategy, you’ll need to determine how best to engage your customers. Take a step back, and think of the entire customer purchase journey, think of opportunities to engage with them. Having an understanding of the purchase process as a whole, before and after, will let you analyse where your brand can communicate and add value.

This engagement strategy plays a significant part in relationship building with your customers and converts them to brand advocates. Look where your customers are conducting their product research, review internal processes for customer service and analyse your post-purchase customer service opportunities. Some standard tools you’ll find used as a part of your engagement strategy include email marketing, customer service tools, chatbots and automation.

Delight your customers!

Lastly, but certainly not least is the delight part of inbound marketing. Being able to keep your customers happy comes down to understanding them but also their history. Using tools such as conversations inbox allows you to discover a customer’s previous experiences. This way, you don’t waste their time asking unnecessary questions and can handle their queries appropriately.

Gathering feedback and providing surveys makes sure that your customer feels valued and that their feedback matters. Customer surveys should be timely and delivered shortly after the time of purchase.

Knowing which social media channels your brand is operating on and using them to communicate is also a great way of delighting customers. If customers are commenting or asking questions on social media, delayed responses, or no response significantly detracts from your brand’s image. Social media should always be a two-way street. If you’re constantly just sharing content and not listening, your audience is likely to become bored with your content.

Getting started

You’re probably wondering where to begin now you know inbound marketing is the way forward. Well, depending on your budget, there’s a vast number of platforms like Hubspot, Active Campaign and Salesforce that are at the pricier end of the scale. Their products suit larger brands hoping to make the most of every customer touchpoint. If you’re looking to get started Mailchimp’s basic functionality and affordable pricing make it an excellent alternative for smaller organisations.

To discuss your inbound strategy with our team, we provide consultancy services for organisations of all sizes. Get in touch to find out more and run through a strategy session with our team.

Jono Wade