It’s Monday morning. You are rushing the catch the train to get to the office on time. It’s one of those morning when NOTHING is going well.
Your alarm never went off.
You stubbed your toe after rushing to get out of the shower.
Where the heck did you put your purse, wallet or keys?
In a rush to catch the train, you accidentally get on the outbound train instead of the inbound train.
You just rushed around, tried to avoid being late to work (again), and now you have spent your hard-earned money, only to get on the wrong train.
Now it’s going to cost you more to get on the right train—and after all your efforts, you are still going to be late.
This frustration and embarrassment is what many businesses experience when they rush to content marketing with a goal to generate leads and customers without a plan, and spend money on the wrong marketing train.
Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing: What is the Difference?
Inbound marketing has taken the world of digital marketing by storm. Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot first coined the phrase “inbound marketing” back in 2006. In the last decade, businesses all over the globe have adopted the “inbound” marketing methodology, reshaped their marketing strategies, and watched their businesses soar.
So, if you were wondering if inbound marketing is just a fad, think again.
Even a little over a decade later, inbound marketing has proven to work wonders for businesses—and then some.
So, what’s the big deal with inbound anyway? Do you really need it? Does it really work?
Yes and yes—and here’s why.
Read on for the most important components of inbound marketing.
Outbound Marketing is Interruptive.
Outbound marketing (or traditional marketing) pushes products, services, and/or goods into customers’ faces. For example, TV/radio commercials and cold calling are two prime examples of interruptive advertising.
Inbound Marketing Attracts.
On the other hand, by utilizing content marketing (AKA inbound marketing) you attract customers by providing them with content that is valuable in some way. It solves a problem, creates awareness, and also provides useful information.
Through inbound marketing methods, businesses can increase brand recognition and awareness, generate leads, and increase sales and keep their loyal customers coming back. The key is to execute your content marketing strategy the right way.
1. Creative Content
First and foremost, content makes up a large part of any effective and successful inbound marketing strategy. However, creating compelling, relevant, and creative content is often overwhelming for businesses. But, it’s important to remember that businesses can leverage different types of content, depending on what works best for them. Some examples of content can include:
- Blog posts
- eBooks or White papers
- Newsletters & email campaigns
- Social media posts
As you can see, the content possibilities are truly endless. Businesses shouldn’t feel limited to just having a blog. Although a blog can help keep content fresh and relevant for target audiences and customers, it’s not the only form of content out there. Additionally, businesses and brands can also use a mix of multiple types of content in their inbound strategies.
2. Search and SocialSearch comes in two forms today: paid search (also known as “paid advertising” or “PPC” via Google or social media) and search engine optimization (SEO). So, what is the major difference between the two? Paid advertising (Google ads, Facebook ads, etc.) allow your business and brand to appear on the first page of Google almost immediately.
If you do not have the budget for paid ads or paid social, then you can rely on search engine optimization (SEO), but this may take a little longer to see results (sometimes up to six months).
The good news is there are a number of tools that can help you, such as Moz, or BuzzSumo, or Keyword.io to help you research the keywords that are most relevant to your business. Once you know your keywords, you can then work to add them in your website content, on your blog, in your social media posts, YouTube video descriptions and everywhere you can think of.
You can also work with an experienced digital marketing firm to help you navigate the world of SEO, and help your business and brand stand out in search results among the rest.
3. DesignYes, your website design matter. Today, customers are looking for the best possible unique and personal experience with businesses and brands. And your brand’s website is your chance to attract customers and start them off with the experience they are looking for.
Responsive design is in. With the majority of customers surfing websites and making purchases with their phones, your brand’s website must be responsive and optimized for a mobile device. This means that it must look appealing, attractive, and load in a short amount of time. So, if you are thinking about a new website design or redesigning an existing site, don’t forget about your mobile site.
Furthermore, marketing design experts are constantly looking for constant parallels or consistent trends regarding which designs work better than others. For example, does simplistic designs convert better than enhanced or super fancy websites? Some businesses claim that their “ugly” website design has worked for them for years.
All in all, if you are unsure of the type of design you are looking for—or if your design is really working for you, keep these things in mind:
- Make sure that your value proposition is clear
- Use call-to-actions (CTAs) throughout your site
- Pay attention to your headlines (Are they “sexy”?)
- Use contact forms
2. If you combine great content, clear and “sexy” headlines, and contact forms to capture email addresses or phone numbers and have a decent design, then you are on your way to combining all the key components of a solid inbound marketing strategy.
3. Regardless of what many experts think, inbound marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Yes, it does require a commitment from you. Yes, it requires tweaking and testing. Yes, it requires trial and error. But once you are able to figure out your audience and what works and what doesn’t, watch your business take off!
Get On the Inbound Train with Moda Partners
Need help navigating inbound marketing or putting together a digital marketing campaign? Download this FREE ebook and start transforming your marketing efforts.