Inbound advertising entails what exactly? How do you implement inbound strategies if you are a business-to-business company? In the article below, we will take a deeper look at Weapon Agency to learn more about inbound marketing and why service sectors should transition from old approaches to inbound marketing before it is too late.
First, let us get down to the nitty-gritty of the topic: what inbound marketing is.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing draws consumers to a product or service in an organic way.
- Effective content is made just for the people it’s meant for. It leads people to the answers they need to their problems and also to the choices that will help the brand succeed.
- Customer loyalty is built on trust, so when consumers have an issue in a similar area, they think of the brand first.
- If you provide excellent service to your customers throughout their experience, they will not mind if the brand deal you offer is slightly lower than that of your competitor.
Inbound marketing, in other words, is a strategy wherein businesses actively seek out and interact with potential consumers rather than forcing themselves onto them. This strategy relies on providing prospective clients with thorough information and instructions to assist them in overcoming their problems. As a result, they commit to becoming returning buyers and advocates for your company to their peers.
If you know someone in the medical field, they can help you put things into perspective. When you see anything out of the ordinary, all it takes is a phone call to the doctor to get a “diagnosis.” Nevertheless, most of the time, we will listen because they are experts in your ‘blind spot.’
Once a company has established itself as skilled and knowledgeable in its industry via inbound marketing, every suggestion made by that company has some degree of influence on the buyer’s ultimate choice with intended representation. Essentially, the same point of view comes from a credible figure like a professor or famous person.
Okay, that is the idea behind inbound marketing, but how does it work in practice?
These are the main activities when a brand implements inbound marketing.
Even if inbound marketing is only a new approach, it is still mainly used on many channels such as content marketing, social marketing, email marketing, and SEO. However, the customer relationship management (CRM) system binds these operations cohesively, and the CRM system gathers and analyzes customer data.
At their core, inbound marketing activities will consist of:
Content marketing means making helpful content for each target group.
Customers see a brand naturally by carefully analyzing the search needs of each potential customer group.
Social marketing is a way to reach potential customers through social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Email marketing: Nurture leads with highly personalized content to “lead” them to decisions that are good for the brand.
Marketing automation uses automated methods to send email marketing or remarketing on social networks based on user behavior and pre-built scenarios based on historical data.
CRM integration means connecting data from many different platforms, such as social media, analytics, and email marketing software, so that a scoring system can determine how likely it is that a customer will become a paying customer. From there, get rid of the items that are not likely to sell and send the rest to sales leads who can call for help immediately.
Moreover, much more depends on the business sector’s specificity or the business model’s complexity!
So, what is the difference between outbound marketing and inbound marketing?
To the extent that customer relationship management (CRM) systems facilitate the “pulling” of a target audience, outbound marketing may be thought of as the “pushing” of that same population. ‘s crowds are likely to include the target demographic while communicating with them. Conversion rates for outbound marketing campaigns improve as their target audience narrows and becomes more specific.
Outbound and inbound marketing are distinct approaches, each with its own “toolkits,” but with a high degree of overlap (about 80%). For example, if you compare inbound and outbound marketing to oil changes and tire rotations, respectively,
- Marketers focusing on outbound strategies are experts who fix broken things themselves using whatever means are available.
- Inbound marketing uses the same automated repair equipment, which is a network of devices that talk to each other and look at the vehicle’s history and performance to figure out what the best thing to do is.
However, inbound marketing is no better than outbound. Two methods have emerged as the most popular among companies:
- Inbound marketing: 75% claim inbound marketing works for their business, but 25% have not seen it yet.
- Outbound marketing: Although 38% of organizations do not agree, 62% are still sure it is a good idea.
There is no universally best approach since different techniques have different strengths. However, the following are six key distinctions between inbound and outbound marketing strategies. Next, we will examine these two approaches’ pros and cons.
For a more detailed look at the above differences, refer to the article ‘comparing inbound marketing and outbound marketing.’
What are the advantages and disadvantages of inbound marketing?
Long-term success is a vital benefit of the Inbound Marketing approach. Inbound marketing approaches customers in a way that makes selling products or services the beginning of a lasting partnership rather than just sales. Inbound marketing wants customers to “come back” or “refer” their businesses.
By giving excellent service all the way through the buying process and continuing to show that they care even after the sale has been made, companies can turn their customers from faceless consumers into true fans who are loyal to the brand and passionate about promoting it.
In particular, inbound marketing will provide a method for organizations to “harvest” their efforts once and reap the benefits for a long time in sectors where goods and services are highly valued, have distinct qualities, and demand a significant amount of trust.
Consider fields where careful deliberation is required, such as education, study abroad, real estate, aesthetics, and business-to-business interactions. What about these fields causes you to nod your head in agreement? Is it as simple as “pressing the payment button” to buy anything, like a new pair of shoes or a new bag? These industries are “as hard as heaven” to alter when they have not yet established a name for themselves in the eyes of consumers.
Despite its many benefits, inbound marketing does have its drawbacks, such as the fact that it takes time to build trust on both ends, something that cannot be accomplished in a single day. Because of this, companies may need to do more outbound marketing soon, even if they do not see the results immediately.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of outbound marketing?
The key benefit of outbound marketing is its immediate impact in a short amount of time, particularly when paired with other offline activities like incentives and promotions. As a result, branding initiatives, rebranding efforts, and parallel campaign implementation often include outbound marketing. Outbound is a high-converting strategy for time-sensitive categories, limited-edition products, exclusives, and simple purchase choices.
With purely outbound marketing, however, firms will have to “fight” and constantly sell since the number of leads they get might drop from dozens or hundreds per day to zero if they cease promoting. Nevertheless, outbound marketing can help businesses break into new markets, increase sales, and stand out from the digital “noise.”
Instead, established businesses could benefit from reorienting their marketing efforts away from a focus on external customers. If the company no longer needs sales to “survive,” it can start thinking seriously about investing in growth and development. A change in how people act because of a pandemic could also make the wonder of traditional export operations useless overnight.
So, should businesses use Inbound Marketing or Outbound Marketing to meet the challenges of the times?
The answer is summed up in two words: “it depends” (on the field, business strategy, and available resources). While inbound and outbound marketing is distinct, they may work well together. In some situations, the best way to make up for the flaws of each approach is to use a well-balanced mix of the two.
Therefore, from the Weapon Agency’s viewpoint, here are a few recommendations:
If inbound is being used, outbound marketing will be the engine that speeds up the first phases of data collection.
Because companies need clients before they can execute SEO or establish an “expert” image in the eyes of those consumers, inbound marketing may be slow. Customers may be attracted via outbound marketing, while retention and behavior change can be achieved through inbound operations. If inbound marketing is like a spinning wheel that slowly winds the threads, then outbound marketing is the motor that will assist in speeding up the process.
If you are doing well with outbound marketing, try inbound to develop customer ties and encourage them to support your business.
Due to the effects of the COVID epidemic, inbound marketing has taken on greater significance due to the increased emphasis on customer satisfaction. PwC conducted a poll and found that:
- Whenever they negatively interact with a brand, one in three consumers is ready to switch to another option.
- After being let down twice, 92% of consumers say they would never buy from that company again.
- They even tell their friends about uncomfortable things, not only with one person but up to 15 more!
It bears repeating, however, that a company’s inability to strike a healthy balance between its sales and marketing efforts may significantly impact a number of strategic choices. Also, it’s important to remember that cuts in outbound marketing don’t happen all at once but over time.
To what extent can companies pivot from outbound to inbound marketing? In the digital age, it is hard for businesses to figure out how to combine inbound and outbound marketing efforts to make a winning marketing mix.
Effective Inbound Marketing Implementation Methodology for B2B Companies
Inbound marketing is a process consisting of four main stages: attract, convert, close, and delight!
Attract: Take your interactions with your target audience seriously.It is tough to get into customers’ heads when the advertising matrix constantly barrages them. As a result, companies need to share their understanding of the information their consumers seek to ‘catch’ them amid the hundreds of thousands of communications. This shows that we are good at branding and brings us closer to our ideal customers.
Convert is getting people to submit their information so they may get valuable “offers” after they have been “fascinated” by beneficial experiences. Informational materials, in-depth studies, product demonstrations, seminar enrollment, and freebies are all examples.
Take the prospect leads via various channels, including email, remarketing, and consultation calls, until they pay.
Give customers a reason to come back and treat you as a place to provide advice and suggestions when needed. This action strengthens the relationship and sets the stage for future deals.
At each stage of implementation, the tools and platforms used will have differences in focus:
The process of implementing Inbound Marketing in the Attract phase
First, launching an inbound marketing strategy means increasing your internet visibility through channels like Google and social media to attract new consumers. Attracting clients at first glance requires the following from businesses:
Build a persona:
A prospect’s portrait is a sketch of their concerns, hopes, and wishes, as well as any unfulfilled demands, which, if “touched correctly,” can propel the brand directly into the hearts of its intended consumers. First, customers will be put into broad groups, and then a wide range of experiences that are specifically designed for each group will be made.
Consider the customer’s decision-making process and the obstacles that hinder them from moving further along the customer journey. Because of this, companies can bring customers closer to their brand by helping them get over these problems.
In order to generate possibilities for “first encounters,” you must first develop a profile of your target audience and get an understanding of their behavior before deciding which channels to use. At this point, the brand’s primary considerations should focus on:
To start a successful blog, you must first provide your readers with relevant and helpful information.
- 71% of B2B buyers say they use a company’s website to gather information before purchasing.
- Blog content production is a crucial area of concentration for many successful B2B companies, and those who do so have an ROI that is 13 times greater than average.
- 84% of consumers say they look to companies for advice on how to solve an issue (Meaningful Brands).
SEO: bringing useful content to the front page of Google
- 93% of online experiences stem from a search.
- Organic search brings in 51% of website visitors.
- 57% of B2B businesses say that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing channel (Junto).
- SEO is 5.66 times more effective than SEM and other advertising activities (New Media Campaigns).
- HubSpot says that SEO is one of the top priorities for 61% of marketers who use inbound marketing.
Social media: spread the written content to the existing community.
- Facebook is the channel that brings the highest ROI, but only 18% of brands use Facebook groups effectively (Hubspot).
- 61 million LinkedIn users are management level, 40 million of whom have a voice and decision power in the business (Marketing Solutions). 44% of LinkedIn users still visit every day. (Sourcecon)
Therefore, sharing the right content with the right people through the proper channels will help brands achieve unexpected effects.
How to Implement Inbound Marketing in the Converting Stage
How can a brand entice ‘lost’ prospective consumers to leave their personal information?
The brand should plant a seed of interest in the product/advantages service in readers’ minds so they cannot stop reading, learning, and calling the consultant. Businesses may “close sales” quickly with proactive themes.
With “passive” prospective clients, the business should consider “give to get” — supplying solutions and information so beneficial that they are eager to exchange information. Documents, research, papers, and courses cannot be found anywhere else: webinars, free sample trials, etc.
In general, during this period, businesses should:
- Improve the call to action (CTA) by making it more attractive, easy to understand, and beneficial. Previous efforts will be useless if the CTA is weak. In addition, guarantee that the advantages offered are communicated to the correct personas at the correct stages of the customer experience and are relevant to the material being studied. Not everyone responds to calls to action (CTAs) for discounts (often used to close sales) while they are still in the research phase. So, to get it right with CTA, you need to test and try again and again!
- Optimize your landing page and signup process. They were sent to the landing page once they clicked the call to action and the registration form. Companies should thus include UX elements that facilitate a smooth, user-friendly, easy-to-use, and easy-to-fill experience. For example, keep the registration form short while still getting the information you need, such as the user’s name, email address, phone number, and answers to questions that will help the brand put the user into a particular persona or recognize him or her in some other way.
Instructions for implementing Inbound marketing in the Closed phase
After gathering critical data, the next step is to determine how to best convert leads into paying clients. Again, the procedure might be quick, lengthy, easy, or challenging.
At this step, businesses need a wide variety of resources, including but not limited to:
CRM — “customer relationship management” refers to any computerized method of managing and interacting with a
- By integrating marketing, sales, and customer support into a unified data platform, we can provide our customers with consistent interactions across all touchpoints.
- Think of lead scoring possibilities based on how consumers behave while reading and responding to articles, emails, adverts, etc.
Marketing automation system
Marketing automation systems often automate processes from email to remarketing according to pre-existing scenarios. These scenarios are set up based on analytical data from the CRM system about their persona, customer journey, and interaction trends and continuously optimized through testing.
The 4 types of automated scenarios in this phase are usually:
- Contact-based: is a scenario built based on customer information (Age, occupation, marriage…), notes from sales (concerns, needs, financial…), or interactive behaviors. (Hosted by CRM)
- Company-based: is a scenario that targets the characteristics of the business where the target audience works, such as field, geographical location, size.
- Deal-based: Scenarios for predictable scenarios along the shopping journey/conversion funnel.
- Ticket-based: is a script focusing on data mining on product types, priority groups, production dates, etc.
Implement effective Inbound marketing during the Delight period
After a lead is converted into a client, you should not stop there but rather become a friend who assists them in overcoming future obstacles.
A true friend is always there for you, no matter the circumstances, and does not do favors for others only to get what they want in return. Therefore, to retain consumers and transform them into advertising “ambassadors,” brands should keep providing helpful material and ideas on problems that may continue to interest them.
Here, enterprises will continue to engage in the same primary activities as in Stage 3, but with more broad, Stage 1–style material. For instance:
- Continue posting helpful content based on initial interest, or expand on related topics that may not have been recognized by customers themselves to create new opportunities.
- Send e-newsletters to each relevant customer group about significant trends and events in the industry or announce the launch of new products and services to maintain and affirm their position in the industry.
- Take care with incentives when referring friends or particular policies for old customers – such as attending events, receiving documents…
Start implementing Inbound marketing right away with this free tool.
So how to start an inbound marketing campaign? What things is the business already doing well, and what pieces of the puzzle need to be added to make the transition smooth?
If you are in need of some suggestions, let Weapon Agency help you:
- Consulting on building digital infrastructure – building and connecting digital platforms into a ‘skeleton’ for inbound marketing campaigns
- Consult the suitable CRM systems for business goals and budgets
- Advice and support to experience some CRM systems for free