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What is an Inbound Marketing Strategy?

Maria Grimm

August 10, 2021

Did you know “Content Marketing Strategy” is the most searched phrase online related to content marketing? We would guess that’s probably because the thought of coming up with a marketing strategy out of thin air as a new business owner is … overwhelming to say the least. Much like, well, just about everything else you’re tackling at the moment.  

But don’t worry! We’re here to hold your hand every step of the way on the path to a killer strategy that’s sure to help you reach your business goals. 

First thing’s first – if you’re new to the world of marketing, you should know that there are two main methodologies when it comes to strategizing: inbound and outbound marketing. 

Inbound marketing is a non-invasive strategy, meaning you aren’t actively interrupting your audience with information they might not necessarily want. It works to attract new customers organically through educational content customized to their demographic, interests, and lifestyle.   

HINT: This is where your buyer persona comes in!

Outbound marketing is an invasive strategy, meaning you are actively interrupting your audience with tactics like cold calls, radio ads, or TV commercials. It’s a little more old school and typically a lot more expensive. 

That’s why we love inbound marketing! Providing valuable content related to your business or industry fosters trust, authority, and connection with your audience without coming off too salesy or annoying. 

An effective inbound marketing strategy typically involves 3 stages:

  • Attract
  • Engage
  • Delight

Attract

The attract stage is where you get to do your thing!

This is where you get to bottle up all of your industry knowledge and expertise in the form of digestible social media posts, insightful blog articles, and free downloadable resources with the simple goal of educating your audience on what it is you do and why you do it. 

Before you start creating content, it’s super important to understand who you’re creating it for. Defining your target audience, and more specifically your ideal client, helps direct your messaging and provide a more personalized experience for your current customers and prospects alike. Think about your ideal client’s demographics, how they spend their free time, where they hang out online, and common pain points related to your product or service when brainstorming content ideas. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what they might be searching for as it relates to your business. 

Once you have your ideal client persona nailed down, it’s time to start creating content! Here are a few of our favorite ways to provide valuable content and establish your brand as a trusted resource: 

Blog Posts

Blog posts are the holy grail of inbound marketing. 

The benefits of blogging are endless. It’s the best way to share long-form content with your audience that they can easily refer back to, it helps improve your search rankings by addressing common questions and concerns, and serves as great inspiration for social media posts just to name a few! 

If you haven’t started a blog yet, this is your sign to put your copywriting hat on and get going! 

Free Webinars

Whether you offer a free Zoom class, go live on Instagram, or produce exclusive videos for your website, free webinars of any kind are the perfect inbound marketing tactic to attract your ideal client.

Showing up on camera provides an authentic look at who you are as a business owner, and oftentimes gives people the chance to interact with you in real-time. The more face time you have with your audience the better when it comes to creating emotional connections and building lasting relationships!

Free webinars can even help you generate new leads if you choose to require an email address to gain access to your video. 

Instagram Carousels

There are a million different social media platforms and a million different posting formats, but we’re highlighting Instagram carousels in particular because they were basically made for sharing educational content.

Break down more complex information into individual slides in the form of a how-to, tutorial, or step-by-step guide.  

Use the free resource Canva to easily create your own customizable graphics!

Engage

This is where you get to interact with your audience! 

By this time, you’ve proven that you understand their wants and needs by addressing common pain points, and now you’re bringing a solution-oriented perspective to their comments and concerns – as opposed to a sales-oriented approach where you’re pushing your product or service.  

A CTA, or call-to-action, is a great catalyst for engagement. Whether you encourage your followers to save your Instagram post for future reference, sign up for your email newsletter, or share your most recent blog article with friends and family, you’re putting the ball in their court to reach their own conclusions about your product or service and inviting them to take action as they see fit. 

Another easy and fun way to increase engagement is through questionnaires like polls, quizzes, and surveys! Post an Instagram Story using the question sticker to ask your followers for opinions on your new product or service. Use the quiz sticker to test and educate them on industry trends. Take a poll on Facebook asking where and how they most like to consume content. Any opportunity you can promote one-on-one communication gives you the ability to build rapport with prospects and get to them on a more intimate level.   

You’ll most likely find yourself executing this stage through channels such as email, your social media comments section, direct messages, and review websites like Yelp or Google My Business.    

Delight

This is probably the most overlooked and undervalued aspect of inbound marketing. 

After landing a sale, you might feel like patting yourself on the back and moving on to the next. However, nurturing your new customer even after the sale is key to building loyal, long-lasting relationships.

Additionally, showing up for the customers you DO have is the #1 strategy for attracting more. Your current customers are walking billboards for you and your company, and there is no marketing strategy or tool more valuable than a referral. 

Examples of ways to delight your customers after the point of purchase might include sending them a personalized thank you note in the mail, offering a discount or freebie with their next purchase, or reaching out with a survey to gauge their level of satisfaction with your product or service. 

Providing timely and thoughtful customer service goes without saying. Keep a close eye on your social media comments, direct messages, and email inbox to ensure your customers’ questions are answered as quickly as possible.          

The delight stage is where you get the opportunity to really set yourself apart from the rest, and prove that you care more about solving a problem and serving your customers than cutting a check.

Want to stay in the know on all things marketing and get help with tactics, like your inbound marketing strategy? Sign up for BYB—“the Bib.” We scout the latest marketing trends, creative ideas, and platform changes, trim them down to what really matters, and deliver it all to your inbox once a month. For FREE. It’ll save you time and headaches, so you can get back to the other 962 things on your to-do list.

 

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