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There is an inclination for people to refer to inbound marketing as a magnet and outbound as a megaphone. This metaphor refers to inbound’s nature of attracting clientele. As you want to attract the right client at the right stage in their consumer journey, inbound marketing is more specific and speaks directly to a certain audience. By segmenting your audiences and addressing their specific needs, you ensure that your message is relevant to each individual. This makes inbound marketing more of a conversation where your brand or business, offers a solution instead of simply selling a product or service.
In contrast, outbound marketing is essentially a one-way stream of information which is served to people en masse, in the hope that the message will resonate with some of them.
Great content and a killer strategy are the corner stones of attracting the right audience to your brand. As inbound marketing is based on creating a personalised and engaging conversation with your audience, creating enticing and relevant content is non-negotiable.
In much the same way that you communicate with someone you’ve just met and your best friend differently, you need to communicate with people who have varying familiarity with your brand in different ways. People who are just discovering your brand (in the awareness stage) need to be introduced to your business and your offering. In this initial phase, people read about your offerings, they may come into contact with your brand via social media or a blog post etc. However, it’s not simply enough to get noticed, maintaining your position in the market is imperative. To achieve this, you need to constantly create relevant and up-to-date content which continues to serve your audiences’ needs.
If your content is engaging and solves a problem for your audience, your sales pitch will feel more natural and be easily digested. Content helps grease the introduction, it breaks the ice and draws a selective audience toward your brand. So create content specific to your audiences’ needs. To illustrate, the reason we wrote this blog is because we discovered that one of the top searched marketing-related phrases at the moment in South Africa is “Inbound”. Ergo, we write an article which addresses this topic as we know that the majority of our audience are marketers in South Africa.
Ah, “data”, perhaps one of the biggest buzzwords of the decade. But like so many popular things, there is a reason for its popularity. Think of data as your compass, your guiding light through the storm. Without it, your brand is lost in an ocean full of unfamiliar waters. Imagine your brand as a ship, yourself the fisherman, and your audience as the fish. In order to make the correct catch, a fisherman knows where to find the right fish, what they eat, when to fish for them and what lure to use. They know all of this from observing the fishes’ behaviour. In much the same way, as marketers we must observe the behaviour of the audiences that are meaningful to our brand and find out what we need in order to attract them. This information can be found in the mounds of data we collect, both online and offline. Only, we need to understand how to decipher it and put it to use in an impactful way.
This is what we all want in the end, to directly impact our brand’s revenue through our marketing efforts, and to prove it. If your user journey is well designed this part should feel like a natural next step for your clients as you’ve slowly weeded out those who do not need your services and are left with those who do. By this stage, they’re familiar with your offering, they’ve engaged several times with your brand, ideally across several touchpoints. You’re acquainted now. You’ve provided value for them and they trust your brand. Keep in mind that in order to prove your ROI (return on investment) you need to have a trackable and measureable consumer journey to show how your inbound strategy contributed to an increase in revenue.
Following an inbound strategy will create a more personalised relationship between your brand and clients as well as providing trackable metrics. However, if you want to exceed your KPIs why not consider a partner who will help grow your business through digital and social channels? Popimedia partners with brands to help them achieve exceptional results right the way through the marketing funnel. By offering brands industry-specific best practices, we help ensure that potential customers are able to engage with the enticing content they create, starting the conversation. And then, powered by our proprietary ad-tech platform, data is plugged in and Google and Facebook APIs integrated to ensure that digital marketing budgets are optimized for their objectives, and lasting results achieved.
Truly successful marketers understand that an effective marketing strategy is not social media versus email marketing, but rather one integrated strategy that leverages both. Read more about the benefits of implementing a combined strategy as well as tips on how to do so.