What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a journey where customer experience your brand in an ever-green way. You don’t have hire agents to bombard them cold-calls. You don’t have to spam your contacts with piles of unwanted emails. It’s a new strategy where marketers are developing new content centered around creating valuable content that people care about.

You want to show them that you care about their experience in your brand. Whether it’s going through blog posts, videos, or webinars, don’t lose out on these marketing channels. Because you can easily get defeated by companies who are doing these interactive content, when you aren’t.

The benefit of inbound marketing is it offers a natural advertising experience by drawing in organic traffic. Viewers who are interested in your content will seek out your brand. What’s the most essential at this stage is brand exposure. More often the best approach to start marketing for your brand is to care and be generous to your customers. Offer plenty of quality content that reflects who you are as a brand. Many case studies from Inbound Marketing strategist reflects that your potential customers are more likely to buy or refer a friend on brands that have more detail-oriented and interactive content than those without. Essentially you are promoting your brand in an non-intrusive way, drawing your audience in with relevant content. And in the long run, organic traffic sustains as long as you keep your content up-to-date. This is a good way to have brand touch points to attract who you define as good potential buyers and build a lasting relationship with them.

Yes, in contrary to the old model, inbound marketing is not just about quantity. Your customers or prospects are not just a number in the CRM. They are personas that marketers should understand in a detail. Treat them as persons, and they will treat your sales reps as humans. This is a two-way interaction that drives the buying journey of your customers.

We are not saying outbound marketing is obsoleted. It is the next part of your marketing plan. Once your organic content becomes more mature, with regular traffic then start with outbound initiatives like email marketing, adwords, and social media marketing.

The one aspect that everyone needs to think about is who the inbound marketing is targeting to. It should not be applied to everyone, otherwise the content would be generic and unfocused.  Rather marketers should centered around one specific persona and address their pain-points. If there are multiple personas they want to target, divide the content and write in different tones and topics.

If you received a prospect that is not suitable, don’t waste your time. The biggest mistake is obsess over quantity than quality. If the profile is not what you are looking for in a persona. DO NOT spend time engaging.

Here are some of the key trends that industry experts expect for inbound marketers to implement in 2018

1. Interactive Content

Customers are constantly exposed to info online. Many still consider blogs and long-form content as their go-to resources.While blogs and articles are important for websites, interactive content attracts many more customers to the table. Consider using polls, infographics, webinars, calculators, chat bots, and other rich content to gain more traction in your month-to-month engagement with your visitors.

2. Mobile Friendly Is Key

By now, no doubt that responsive websites are more reputable and appealing than those that aren’t. Your audience is more likely to trust a more modernized site and buy from it on the go. Any website ranging from ecommerce, consulting, banking should be tailored to both mobile and desktop users. And you should make your video dimensions right for mobile devices.

3. Create Buyer Personas

In 2018, knowing your audience will be the most critical part in terms of being strategic in the marketing plan. Focus on the most relevant personas! This means you should find out who are your key customers and make them into detailed personas to reflect who your customers are.

A buyer persona is a profile description of your audience: age, interests, spending pattern, and special quirks/personality. The more comprehensive, the better your company understands them. This will help you create content that speaks to their needs and wants directly. And the more you focus on targeting specific buying persona, the more you can attract similar personas with similar traits.

4. Nurture Your Leads

Marketers should always improve and innovate on their strategy. They should always be prepared to answer this question: Once we have an engaged audience, what is our plan to keep them more interested than the previous year?

Inbound marketing is the way to provide quality content and keep your audience engaged. Whether it is create newsletter content or use e-books to convert, your goals should be stepping up with your nurturing. Don’t stop the content flow! Because on-going communication with your leads is key to make them remember and believe in you.

5. Social Media Prescence

If you have already got your social media strategy for inbound marketing, now it’s time to re-evaluate your social media tools. But if you don’t, you can create a new account.

Strategically you don’t have to get involved in every social media platform in the market. Your time is better spent on those that brings in the best, qualified traffic. Cut back on social media converts the least and leave it on the back burner for now.

To plan out your social media interactions, you don’t just mark on your calendar: tweet four times a month. Think about the substance of your tweets. What kinds of videos, bog posts you are going to share. Are they well-curated? Does it mean anything to your followers?

6. Keep Email Alive

Yes, in general, working professionals, baby boomers, and elderly check their emails. This has become a daily ritual whether it’s at work or outside. You can say everyone likes videos and it has been popular for some time now, but email marketing is still one of the most lucrative channels in inbound marketing.

If you have the right ideas, and schedule to send emails to the right audience, email marketing can generate an excellent ROI. It never gets old as long as the content is renewed. And you can use similar strategies overtime.

Marketing gets more dynamic and persona-driven. You should never stand still in your strategy. A astute marketer can tell you, always keep an eye on emerging trends. Be ready to try new things and update your marketing plan as you go forward.

Now’s the time to refocus, renew your goals and make adjustments to reap the benefits from inbound marketing.