No matter what kind of online business you have, as an entrepreneur, your priority always is to attract more customers to your business. In this, you use all the tools and techniques you can find. There is one such technique called inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is not a new concept, but not many businesses use it in their marketing strategies. In this article, I will explain what exactly inbound marketing is, how it differs from other marketing methods and how you can use it to attract more customers.
Without further delay, let’s hop on the first thing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a business term assigned to a process in which you create content to attract leads to your website and convert them into customers.
The term was coined by the HubSpot team, and since then, everyone has used the same name for this process.
In inbound marketing, you create tailored, customer-centric content, which becomes the key to attracting leads that are genuinely interested in what you have to say – and to buy from you.
Example of Inbound Marketing
Let’s understand this by my own example.
I offer SEO services. So how do I attract clients?
Here is what I do. I write content around SEO, digital marketing and other related topics and then try to rank those articles high on search results.
Once prospective readers visit my website, and if they find my expertise relevant, they book me for my services. There are no active lead magnets involved here.
This is inbound marketing.
This is exactly the opposite of reaching out to leads and asking if they want to hire me.
Reaching out to leads is a traditional approach in which you throw pitch at leads, using paid or other marketing methods and simply hope they like your work and hire you. This traditional approach is now called outbound marketing.
Outbound Marketing vs. Inbound Marketing
In outbound marketing, probability, persuasion, and the law of attraction are the key factors in onboarding clients. On the other hand, inbound marketing is a more organic approach and offers a greater chance of success.
The key to inbound marketing is to provide value to your audience by understanding what they need. By providing exactly what your key demographics have been searching for, you can increase conversion rates and take your online business to a better level.
How to Attract Customers Using Inbound Marketing?
Any marketing tactic, inbound or outbound, is targeted obviously with a single aim of growing your business and online presence. But there are several factors involved. In inbound marketing, the key is to educate, inform and give your prospects something they need. In this, you build a customer-first approach and create content that makes your prospects attracted, engaged and delighted.
If all is done right, they get attracted to your products and services and then convert as customers.
But all these are not possible without a great content marketing strategy, proper SEO, optimizing landing pages and understanding of what your customers need.
Remember that inbound marketing is not a simple linear process but instead is a continuous cycle that doesn’t end when your lead becomes a customer.
With the right strategies, you can pump up the conversion process and attract customers more quicker.
Here are some tips that can help you attract customers using inbound marketing.
Work on SEO
SEO is an all-inclusive process that you need to work on first. It is the cornerstone of your success in any types of online marketing. In inbound marketing, it opens new opportunities to generate additional leads.
When you work on SEO for inbound marketing, you will have to approach the strategies from a customer-focused perspective. Try to cover content that solves issues that your demographic may be facing.
You can use keyword research tools to find the opportunities and related keywords that can bring you high quality leads. I have written a detailed article on keyword research here. Be sure to check it out in a new tab.
Once you have the keywords and the opportunities, create an SEO strategy around those related to your products and services.
Write good content and create resources relevant to your niche and offer those for free. By offering free content and resources to improve their lives, you build customer loyalty and generate positive word-of-mouth.
Additionally, build backlinks and use proper SEO techniques to rank higher on search results. If all is done well, you will see new customers and better growth, and that is why SEO is called the heart & soul of inbound marketing.
Create a Great Content Marketing Plan
As I have been saying, content is the key here. Inbound marketing is all about providing value in the form of content. Thus, creating a great content marketing plan is of utmost importance.
If you cannot create a content marketing plan on your own or if your existing strategies aren’t working, hire a content marketer to help you.
By now, you would have understood that value-added content is what keeps your audience engaged and delighted. So try to plan blog articles, courses ebooks, case studies etc., which are relevant to your audience.
Write engaging and informative content that matches your audience’s needs and reaches where they live.
Once you finish writing a piece of content, be sure to interlink it with your SEO strategy.
The efficiency of Content Marketing ✕ The efficiency of SEO Strategy = Efficiency of Inbound Marketing
Check out: 45+ best content marketing tools in 2023
Make Use of Social Media
Social media is a great way to attract inbound customers for businesses with higher social reach. You can use social networks as an online hub where your most loyal fans can gather. And no, I am not talking about Twitter and Facebook exclusively. There are several other social channels that you can make use of.
For example, if you are a design agency, you have more growth opportunities on Behance and Dribbble than that on Twitter or Facebook. Similarly, Reddit offers a better community for niche businesses, Quora/Stackexchange for education-related products, Pinterest for fashion & visual-based products and so on.
The choices can differ based on your business needs. So don’t restrict yourself to one social network. You can go for all social media channels possible. Build an audience on every social media platform you can find. Create social media automation and syndicate content by using tools like Buffer and SocialPilot — and enjoy the ease and reach.
Once you have your fair share of the audience (even 10 followers may work), be sure to engage with them. What is stopping you from doing so? They are real people and if they are following you, you mean something to them.
Social media is not at all hard if you know what you need to do. If you already have a content plan in place, you can repurpose your existing content and share that on social media to engage with your audience.
If possible, don’t just share the text content. Hire a graphic designer or use an easy-to-use graphic design tool like Canva to create graphics or videos from text content, and then share those graphics & videos to different social networks.
Utilize PPC Ads
Okay. SEO is good. Content is great. Social Media is fine as well.
But. There is a but.
You don’t start getting leads to your website all of sudden. Everything takes time. Sometimes a lot longer than you may think.
Even a perfectly laid plan can take months or even years to work. So, if you need quick results, pay-per-click advertising (PPC Ads) can help.
In inbound marketing, you can use display ads (on Facebook, Google, and Twitter), search result ads (a.k.a., Search Engine Marketing Ads) and retargeting ads to capture quick leads.
Out of these, retargeting ads work the best for inbound marketing. In retargeting, as the name suggests, you target someone who has been on your site once before and showed some interest in your product or service.
Google Analytics has a remarketing feature that you can activate to track your incoming lead based on cookies and then you can run a Google Ads campaign that retargets the lead.
Facebook has a similar thing and uses Facebook Pixel to track inbound and outbound traffic from and to Facebook.
For your lead to convert, you will have to create an offer that they cannot resist. Use great graphics, CTAs and offer some discounts so that they visit on your site intending to make a purchase.
Even after all your tries, if your lead doesn’t convert, you must be doing something wrong. Mine into the analytics and see what pages your leads have been on and where they bounce off.
By understanding an individual buyer’s journey and that of all, you can conclude what needs to be done.
Maybe optimizing landing pages may help!
Optimize Landing Pages
A landing page isn’t always what you think. It can be your homepage, a product page or even a blog post too. But there is a specific characteristic of a landing page — it persuades the visitor to click on something.
You must first optimize landing pages for SEO, visuals and, offcourse to your customer’s needs.
You should try to streamline the landing page as much as possible.
Use neverseen graphics, strong color combinations, and great CTAs.
The trick is to tick the interest of visitors and lead them to conversion without overwhelming them.
And don’t forget to make your landing page mobile-friendly. Most of your leads will come from smartphones unless you are a special case.
Need more help?
Every business is a special case. If you want to grow your own business using inbound marketing, feel free to connect with me. Just drop me a message from my contact form, and I will get back to you with all the details. (I am available on Twitter as well.)