As the global need for effective marketing strategies increases, new marketing techniques arise. The traditional methods of marketing that included cold calling, newspaper marketing, etc. are no longer sufficient. Instead, businesses need to rely on other methods like inbound marketing.
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is easy to understand: A marketing technique that centers around creating and distributing content that directs potential customers to your business website is called inbound marketing. These techniques focus on creating brand awareness and promoting the business’s unique selling points while pitching the product.
Inbound marketing techniques often pitch the product to customers long before they realize they require the product. SEO is a popular inbound marketing example. This technique involves finding the niche or gap in the customer requirement and finding an organic method of directing the customer to the business’ website. Other inbound marketing tools like CRMs, keyword planners, Google Analytics are often used to determine the success of inbound marketing strategies.
Most marketers often confuse inbound marketing with outbound marketing. While both involve developing unique strategies, there is an inherent difference between them. Now that you understand what is meant by inbound marketing, let’s understand the difference between the two.
Fact Note: Global digital advertising expenditure has increased from USD 335 billion in 2019 to USD 445 billion in 2021.
Differences between inbound and outbound marketing
The differences between inbound marketing vs outbound marketing can be understood by dividing them into several categories.
While the business aims to sell its products and services, both these marketing techniques are used for different purposes. Outbound marketing techniques and campaigns are written with the specific purpose of making sales. On the other hand, inbound marketing is used to engage the customer. This type of marketing is therefore used to create brand awareness and improve brand identity.
Common inbound marketing techniques include SEO, SERP optimization, publishing blogs, articles, guest posts, etc. These techniques involve directing the user to the website indirectly. However, outbound marketing techniques usually involve cold calling, advertisements on media, pop-up ads, etc. These techniques involve taking the pitch directly to the customer rather than generating any type of organic growth.
This is the most noticeable difference between the two – and what has made inbound marketing success. In the above-given outbound marketing techniques, the user has to passively view the pitch and make a decision. Therefore, the answer for the user is clear. If the pitch interests them, they will buy the product, if it doesn’t they won’t.
However, in inbound marketing, communication is a two-way street. Therefore, the customer can leave comments, share, or like the post. This allows businesses to have an interactive method of making a pitch.
These are the three primary differences in inbound vs outbound marketing. Let’s understand how inbound marketing works.
How does inbound marketing work?
Inbound marketing can be understood by understanding a buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the path any customer or user takes to purchase a product. In simple terms, buyers don’t randomly decide to buy a product. Instead, there are several micro-decision steps.
The Buyer’s journey in inbound marketing
The inbound marketing funnel includes only three steps.
Step 1: Awareness
This first step in the journey is about becoming aware of the product. The buyer initially does not know the business or its products therefore, awareness needs to be created. In the current world, this usually happens digitally. When a buyer searches for products or services online, they become aware of your product. It can be through blogs, articles, reports, social media, etc.
Step 2: Consideration
In this step, the buyer usually articulates his need. This stage involves reading in-depth articles and reports and comparing multiple products. Even though the buyer is still interested in buying the product, he opts to pit it against several others to determine which is best.
Step 3: Decision
This bottom-of-the-funnel step is the final effort the buyer makes. This usually includes going through various testimonials, customer reviews, and videos to determine the real-life quality of the product. This is the final step in buying the service.
In a technologically advanced world, these stages happen in a matter of minutes. This makes the strategy you choose all the more important. Therefore to optimize your conversion rates, we’ve found the best 7 inbound marketing strategies for B2B.
7 strategies for B2B inbound marketing
Create high-quality relevant content.
There is no shortage of reading material online. Therefore, to shine out, your website needs to have relevant, high-quality, and well-curated content. You should opt to publish only the content that is relevant to your services and products instead of any ‘filler’ posts.
Craft a good headline for all articles.
Your content’s headline is the first step to catching any user’s attention. Therefore, extra attention should be paid to the headline you choose. Boring, long headlines with too many details may result in customers skipping your posts entirely.
Define your customer base.
Instead of creating generic content, create content that targets a customer base. Define the customer base you wish to convert and incorporate the appropriate SEO for this group. Creating generic content will result in random traffic that can’t be analyzed.
Design and user-friendliness deserve the first spot.
With your well-curated content, you should also focus on the UX design of your website. Website incompatibility is the primary reason why many customers leave. Therefore user-friendliness and website compatibility should be focused on at all times.
Use data and visuals in your content.
Graphics are much easier to read and simpler to understand, and most people love them. Include at least one graphic or visual in your content. Display any data, statistics, or numeric’s in graphical forms instead of long paragraphs or bullet points.
Focus on Search Engine Optimization.
To stay relevant and rank higher on SERP, SEO is a must. Keep your website updated with the latest SEO requirements to ensure your website can stay relevant. Avoid keyword stuffing and instead, use both long and short-tail keywords to generate traffic.
Nurture leads with new content.
Once you’ve captured the attention of a customer, it is just as important to keep them interested. This lead nurturing phase involves publishing informative content so you can stay relevant in your customer’s mind.
These are the top 7 inbound marketing strategies for B2B that can help you improve your conversion rates. As with any type of marketing, your campaign should be dynamic and not static. Adapting and optimizing is the key to getting better conversion rates.