What is inbound marketing and should I be doing it?
Digital marketing isn’t new, but it’s an area where advertisers are still catching up with the new opportunities that advances in technology have brought them. The UK is at the forefront of the shift towards greater spending on digital media, with digital accounting for approximately 47.5% of the total UK media spending in 2014. However, an even greater shift is occurring in the ever-increasing use of inbound marketing, as more and more businesses learn the value of this very modern form of marketing.
Digital is an area of marketing that everyone knows they should be doing, and wants to be doing well. However this new medium for marketing is often the area where many lack expertise, especially in terms of what exactly they should be doing differently, inbound marketing is one of those key areas.
So what is inbound marketing, and how can it help my business?
Inbound marketing is a new way for businesses to attract customers and promote a company through the use of blogs, videos, social media and SEO to name but a few. It is different to ‘traditional’ outbound marketing activities, such as cold-calling, direct mail and interruptive advertising on TV, because it doesn’t have to buy a consumers attention. Inbound marketing is all about providing customers with something they enjoy and ultimately when done properly, customers should come to you without being forced. The whole concept of providing customers with something they want, and not something that is forced upon them, is one of the many opportunities that has come with the rise of technology and digital marketing.
54% more leads are generated by inbound than outbound
Although inbound marketing has been made possible by the growth of the internet, and social media more specifically, there isn’t a magic switch that can be turned on to make a company successful in this area. Inbound marketing is all about content. If you aren’t producing content that people want to interact with, whether that’s great photos, infographics, videos or even blogs, then you are already failing at inbound marketing. In order for people to make the transition from stranger to customer, you need to have attracted them in the first place.
The key to success in the digital age is being useful to customers, as the internet has made it easier for us to simply close down unwanted ads, marketeers must therefore adapt to provide customers with something they genuinely want to engage with.
5 Top Tips
- Post blogs regularly around topical and insightful news. Try piggy backing off of what has happened recently in the press. You’ll engage with your audience more and gain their trust more quickly.
- Take the time to write fresh new content on your site for both search engines and for humans. New, well thought out content will target more keywords and will get your site crawled and ranked more quickly. This will help with users finding your website on search engine platforms.
- Social media isn’t just something you do every now and then. You have to be on it at all times. There are 284 million active Twitter users, 15 million which are in the UK. Every tweet and every engagement sent shows signals about the users interest and users intent. Engage with individuals, not mass audiences.
- “Vlogging” is quickly becoming popular. Start looking into ways you can produce weekly video blogs. Video sharing can be very viral and if done correctly, can be a great way to promote your brand positively.
- Life decisions increasingly begin with online search. Many of these searches take place on a mobile. The mobile moment is now. Make sure your website is optimised for all devices, so that all these great inbound marketing tactics you use don’t fall at the last hurdle because your site isn’t equipped for mobile.