Online Marketing

Ryne Baerlocher Posted by Ryne Baerlocher on March 11, 2020

What is Inbound Marketing and Is It Right for Your Business?

What is Inbound Marketing and Is It Right for Your Business?

What is an inbound marketing strategy? 

If you’re at all surrounded by the world of digital marketing, you’ve probably heard the term “inbound marketing” by now. But without digging deeper, it may be difficult to understand what exactly inbound marketing is, and more importantly if it’s a good fit for your business. 

Let’s walk through what inbound marketing is, what are some of the tools and platforms you can use, and then talk through the businesses that tend to be the best fits for these types of services. 

What is inbound marketing? 

Inbound marketing was a term first coined by HubSpot founder and CEO, Brian Halligan. The idea, in a nutshell, is using SEO, SEM, content creation, email marketing, and social media engagement to find and engage with your potential customers. Rather than reaching out cold and casting a wide net, you’re casting your net to people who have in some way shown some sort of interest in the product or service that you provide. 

Rather than the traditional sales funnel, inbound marketing asks you to consider a flywheel consisting of attracting, converting, and delighting your potential customers. Your goal is to provide relevant and valuable content to your potential customers throughout any stage. Essentially, you are optimizing your leads by qualifying them earlier, providing them knowledge throughout the process, and making sure they are happy throughout the process. 


What services or platforms can you use for inbound marketing? 

There are a plethora of platforms out there that you can use for inbound marketing, and it depends on the services you’re looking for and how robust you want to get. The mother of all inbound marketing platforms is HubSpot - they provide everything from CRMs to blog modules to form builders to email sequences to help you get started. There are also platforms like SEMRush and Google Analytics which can help you in terms of both SEO and keyword research when writing content. 

In terms of services for inbound marketing, there’s a wide range depending on what agency you go to or which ones you think may work best for you. There are one-time and ongoing services you can consider. For one-time options, it’s important to take a look at your current strategy and see where you may need some guidance. These one time services can help you find our buyer personas, understand your brand voice, and much more.
Here are a few examples of one-time inbound marketing services:

  •     Content strategy 
  •     Buyer Persona Development
  •     CRM integration
  •     Deal-Stage Set up in CRMs
  •     Customer Journey Map Development
  •     Email Template Builds

Ongoing inbound marketing services can range from daily check-ins to monthly blogging, all depending on how aggressive you’d like to be with your campaigns. A few examples of ongoing inbound marketing services:

  •     Lead Nurturing
  •     Blog Content Creation 
  •     Creating Customer Case Studies
  •     SEO
  •     Social Media Publishing and Engagement
  •     Landing Page Build Out

Is inbound marketing applicable in my industry? 

When deciding if inbound marketing is right for you, it’s important to consider your buyer personas and target audience. As with any type of marketing, it’s important to put yourself where your buyers are looking. The great thing about inbound marketing is the concept of attracting, converting, and delighting customers works for every business out there - the different tactics help you reach your target audience.

The best way to start out is by considering the questions you are most often asked. From there, consider what content you could be writing around that subject. For direct to consumer companies that sell products, you can provide more topical information to bring in users, while services companies can answer questions they're often asked, share about their process, and more.

Let’s go ahead and walk through a hypothetical company - a luggage brand called Suitcases, Etc. - to see how they could be utilizing inbound marketing throughout all of their customer interactions. 

Example of Inbound Marketing Strategy

To start out, Suitcases, Etc. should perform a buyer persona audit to decide who their target market is. Once they run through that exercise, they understand that their luggage appeals to a majority of millennials, especially middle to upper-class females.

At the top of the funnel, we'd recommend that they post heavily on platforms such as Instagram and begin user engagement. We also recommend SEO and PPC for their specific keywords. 

For the middle of the funnel, we'd rely heavily on content. As a travel company, we also recommend that they begin pushing out content that may be relevant to their users. eCommerce companies can have a lot of fun with this - for Suitcases, Etc. we’d recommend topics like: “Best places to travel in the Spring,” “In-Flight Essentials to Make Traveling Easier,” and “5 Best Outfits for a Long Plane Ride.” This type of content can be beneficial to both users already in the funnel, as well as new users who may have not discovered the brand yet and builds a level of trust around the brand through the helpful content.

To convert and delight users and the end of the funnel, we’d build out a number of email drip campaigns. For a customer who hasn’t purchased from Suitcases etc. yet, we’d build out educational drip campaigns that share the features and benefits of their products, client testimonials, as well as include some of the fun relevant content we mentioned earlier.

For customers who haven't purchased but put an item in their cart, we'd create an abandoned cart email sequence to try and get them to make the purchase. For clients who have already made a purchase, we’d recommend a less aggressive email drip campaign that would provide helpful post-purchase information like caring for your bag, as well as contact information for the customer service team. These subscribers would also be included on marketing for any future products. 

Again, this is just an example but can give you a great idea of how you can use inbound marketing throughout your marketing and sales funnel. Inbound marketing can be a valuable tool for you to grow your business in a more targeted way. 

Ready to implement inbound marketing to grow your business? 

We're happy to help. Let our team of strategists form a custom inbound marketing plan around your business to help you achieve your goals. Fill out our contact form here or reach out to [email protected] with the subject line "Inbound Marketing!" and someone will reach out shortly!