“Inbound marketing” gets repeated on a regular basis in marketing news and blogs. But what exactly is “Inbound marketing”?
We asked local marketing expert Julie Mitchell-Mehta of inbound marketing agency Red Evolution, to explain.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing, also known as content marketing, is marketing communication which involves getting the right information to the right people at the right time. Your business appears when people are searching for help on a related subject and you provide them with valuable (and that is the key), useful, helpful content.
Because your content is valuable, useful and helpful they respect your knowledge and want to find out more. So you provide them with more valuable, useful, helpful content which is relevant to the next stage of their decision-making process. You do this step by step until they are ready to try your product, get a quote or have a meeting. By this stage they are very warm to the idea of buying from you because the connection and trust is already established. In summary, it’s providing a variety of content to enable potential customers to move through the buying process at their own pace.
It’s different from many traditional forms of marketing communications as you are providing information when potential customers are looking for it, rather than interrupting what they are looking at (think TV adverts).
How does Inbound Marketing Work?
Inbound Marketing uses the internet and your own website to serve up your content to the people who need it.
In essence, you first need to be found, usually in Google searches or using social media. You then need to host content on your website so that your audience can find out more about you. Next you need the means of capturing their contact details and finally, you need to follow up - usually by email, which can be automated. Inbound marketing is the whole process, starting from researching what your audience needs though to creating the content, making sure it is found, measuring success and adjusting accordingly.
What’s the Catch?
No catch, it really is very simple. But, be warned, it’s hard work and it takes time. You need to generate lots of valuable, useful and helpful content and get it out to the world.You also need to be patient. But it’s worth the effort if you want to get leads from your website.
Julie Mitchell-Mehta is a Chartered Marketer at Red Evolution, an Aberdeen based Inbound Marketing Agency that uses marketing, design, development, content and SEO skills to help businesses thrive online.