If you’re a business looking to improve your accessibility and visibility for audiences online, then inbound marketing is an excellent approach. If you want to find out more about what inbound marketing actually is and what are inbound marketing channels you can use, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a tactile and effective form of marketing methodology that, when done correctly, offers a high ROI. It’s the opposite of outbound marketing, which in turn does offer its own benefits. Whereas outbound marketing is brand-driven and consists of generic content that can be pushed out to a mass market in one go, inbound marketing is the form of marketing wherein content is created for a specific audience with the intention of converting their interest into sales and customer retention.
Another huge difference between inbound and outbound marketing is that inbound marketing is largely a two-way effort in which you establish and maintain a conversation with your target audiences to learn more about them and gain their loyalty; contrasting this, outbound marketing is simply a one-way effort in which content is pushed out.
Inbound marketing can be achieved through various channels, which we’ll be exploring in more detail soon. It’s crucial that you take the time to learn more about each of these channels and decide which one – or combination of – channel(s) will reap the most benefits for your brand.
What are inbound marketing channels?
As mentioned previously, inbound marketing is an incredibly practical marketing methodology – not least because of the various channels that you can utilise in order to effectively reach your audiences. An inbound marketing channel is a route through which you can reach your audience and engage with them; each channel has its own advantages, and not all channels will be successful for every company. It’s important that you decide which channel(s) are right for your brand and commit time and resources to making sure these marketing endeavours are fruitful.
Examples of inbound marketing channels
Blogs are a tried-and-tested method when it comes to reaching new audiences. After all – you’ve come to our blog because our services and expertise are of interest to you! Blogs offer a personal touch that makes your consumers feel valued and listened to; this is invaluable due to the fact that consumer behaviour is changing, with more and more customers offering their patronage to those businesses or brands that offer a tailored service. By starting a blog and posting regularly, you increase the pool of content that your audience can engage with, building an invaluable rapport that can convert to sales.
Social media should never be underestimated as an inbound marketing channel. Spanning platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, webinars, and more, social media is used for hours by billions of people every day. This is an increasingly tapped opportunity to reach huge audiences and is the one channel that savvy businesses are taking advantage of. If you want to impress your audiences and make them feel like they can relate to your brand on both a personal and business level, make sure you use your social media presence broadly and frequently.
Granted, email as a form of inbound marketing channel can be hit-and-miss sometimes. All it takes is for someone’s email provider to judge your content as spam and it’ll likely be deleted and never seen again. However, emails are an incredibly useful and efficient way to reach hundreds of people – if not more. When your emails are well-formatted, include engaging content, and are sent to the right people, you could find your ROI increase dramatically. Whether you’re a B2B or a B2C marketer, email has consistently ranked as one of the top 3 forms of inbound marketing as it directly contacts your audience.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is one of the most effective tools you could have at your disposal as a marketer. It’s a term you’ve likely heard of before but, if not, SEO in a nutshell is essentially employing good practices on your website, blog, and other online presences to ensure that your search engine results page (SERP) rankings are as great as they can be. Such good SEO practices include optimising your meta descriptions and title tags with keywords so that they align with the search intentions of your audiences. SEO is an incredibly important channel for any inbound marketing – studies show that 75% of web browsers won’t scroll past the first page of results. This means that, unless your website ranks in the first 10 results, you’re unlikely to get very much site traffic at all.
How to start inbound marketing
Starting your first inbound marketing campaign is simple once you get over that initial concern of not making the landing stick. First of all, you need to establish what inbound marketing channels will appeal to your audiences the best. For better chances, you want to start releasing content over a selection of channels. To determine what channels are the best choices for your target consumers, take a look at who is currently engaging with that channel. For instance, Instagram may be a better choice for younger audiences, as it’s a current, trendy social media platform. Contrast that to Facebook and some blog styles, which are more traditionally used by older consumers.
Once you’ve identified which inbound marketing channels are the best choices to reach your target customers, you want to create consistent branding across all of them. This will make your brand recognisable – and if a user sees your brand on one channel and recognises it from another, the chances of gaining the interest of that user increase. This also helps to solidify your brand identity, which not only lets a user know if you’re compatible with their interests but also gives you a sturdier framework to create your content within.
Above all, ensure you publish content consistently and reliably – customers want to know that you’re a brand they can rely on.