The marketing world has evolved dramatically over time. The Mad Man era of traditional marketing is considered too old school now.
Try to remember the last time you purchased a product or service. Did you actually wait for a particular ad to pop up on TV? Did you call a salesperson to ask about their service? Nope, you probably did what most people do nowadays: you went online and you did your own research.
You may not be aware of it, but you're already part of this modern revolutionary marketing process. It's a fundamental shift in the way we do business in this high-tech, super-connected world we live in today. It's called inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that is all about educating, attracting, and empowering consumers through relevant content that helps and guides them until they're ready to buy your product or service.
However, to understand inbound marketing, you need to first understand the Buyer's Journey.
So what is the Buyer's Journey?
The Buyer's Journey is a research process or an active exploration that a buyer goes to before and that leads up to the actual purchase. This journey consists of three stages.
1. Awareness. When they feel those first symptoms of a problem, also called "pain points," the buyer is in the awareness stage. They tend to do some high-level research to understand or identify whatever it is they need or they're going through.
2. Consideration. The research bug really kicks in after the awareness stage. The buyer will find that they're now researching their options, discovering various solutions, and analyzing all of them simultaneously. This is the consideration stage.
3. Decision. Finally, when they've googled and rack their brains enough, they'll reach the decision stage. This is when they've ultimately decided on a solution and now they can compare vendors to make their final choice.
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Inbound marketing is focused on creating relevant and amazing content customized to the audience at each stage of the Buyer's Journey. Therefore, you'll help the buyer by understanding their issues and figuring out how your business can truly fit their needs. It's the inbound way of building brand love and trust.
Implementing an inbound marketing campaign will make a considerable impact on brand awareness, lead generation and nurturing, and cost reduction.
It will also educate your prospects on your products or service and speed up the sales process overall.
Inbound marketing campaigns can be a bit complex because they require an entire process that goes from creating content to attracting, generating, and retaining leads. This is why it's very important to have a clear path that will help you plan and execute a successful campaign.
Here’s how to implement an inbound marketing campaign
1. Set goals and objectives
Take into consideration both the specific objectives of your campaigns and the business goals of your organization. Make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
2. Identify your audience
Define who your target audience is in the clearest way possible. Consider including things like behavior, demographics, motivation, and even challenges. Everything that can help you to deliver the right content.
If you need help to create a complete buyer profile we recommend the Hubspot Buyer Persona Generator. So you will attract the most valuable visitors, leads and customers to your business.
3. Start creating some great content
Since 2018 statistics show that 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers are planning to use content marketing in their campaigns. Content can take any form such as blogs, eBooks, infographics, landing pages, whitepapers, videos, and some guest posts on other websites.
You can also curate content, which means sharing content that you've come across and you know will be valuable to your audience. Hence, they won't have to search all over the internet to find relevant content; you'll deliver it to them.
So this is the perfect time to create valuable content that aims at prospects at each stage. Remember that inbound marketing is about the content within context.
4. Prepare your channel distribution plan
Emails, blogs, social media, pay-per-click - you have plenty to choose from. Find the most effective channels that can help you reach your audience. Choose the platforms that are the most appropriate for the type of content that you're producing.
Next, make a schedule. Figure out the dates and the frequency of when you're going to post your content. Think about how often you're going to post. Our recommendation is to be perseverant, but not unrealistic.
5. Launch and monitor your campaign
Once your campaign is underway, you should definitely not let everything run on its own. Monitor constantly and optimize if needed.
6. Analyze the results
You must always rely on the data. Gather all the results and insights and evaluate your performance. This information will be very helpful when you're ready to launch your next successful inbound marketing campaign.
In conclusion, unlike other more invasive advertising methods, inbound marketing is based on attracting your ideal customer and accompanying them all the way from the first time they hear about you until they become loyal to your brand.