Digital marketing plays a significant role for every marketing strategy of any business regardless of size, sector or even the country of the country of. This means that now more than ever to stay competitive businesses must make use of this method of marketing that could yield huge advantages at cost-effective prices. The primary kind that is used in digital marketing is inbound marketing which is an organic marketing model, which is built on the relationship between the business and its customers or prospects who have shown their enthusiasm for the company\’s offerings freely (based on the subscription to newsletters, blogs and social networks, for example.) and have been enticed and enthused by the high standard of content marketing.
Since the beginning of its existence up to now, the importance paid to the customer is one of the pillars of its success. Thus, the entire marketing strategy has always been designed at educating the consumer, to entice him to learn more about the brand as well as its offerings, in order to aid him in making purchase decisions and to keep him loyal to the brand.
In the context of traditional marketing the focus given to the consumer has occasionally been replaced by the importance paid to the product\’s role in the business\’s marketing strategy when it comes to digital marketing the focus is still on the customer in order to identify him correctly and needs so that we can lay the foundation for effective communications strategies for him.
In this case in this context, an marketing strategy that focuses on content marketing to increase sales of products is not efficient since there is a \”golden rule\” practiced by firms is that content marketing should focus 80percent on the customer\’s knowledge and education, and only 20% on sales growth.
So, digital marketing primarily involves the development of a relationship of trust and loyality with the customer . Inbound marketing is the most important element of digital marketing.
Inbound marketing allows an open and \”smart\” communication towards the customers who have turned their attention to the business\’s products or services and builds a personal connection with them through the promotion of content customized to the needs of their customers.
As per hubspot \”Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward the company and product, where they naturally want to be\”.
In essence what is the essence of inbound marketing involves adapting the content in a way that is tailored to what is known as the \”buyer persona\” who came naturally and freely to the business. In this scenario the definition of \”buyer persona\” plays a important role. If it isn\’t properly defined the entire marketing strategy could be an unintentional mess.
Inbound marketing is a form of marketing which requires meticulous targeting of the target audience and a customized communication with them through high-quality content. Thus, \”inbound marketing is the strategy of connecting with potential customers through materials and experiences they find useful. Using media like blogs and social networking, marketers hope to entertain and inform viewers with content they seek by themselves\” (Marketing-Schools.org, 2016).
As per Hubspot, (an inbound marketing software platform that assists companies to draw visitors in to convert leads into leads and convert leads into customers) is a reference to: \”Content Creation and Distribution Create specific content that responds to customers\’ and prospects fundamental questions and requirements then share the content all over the world.
Lifecycle Marketing – Promoters do not just appear out of thin air. they begin as visitors, strangers contacts and customers. Certain marketing strategies and methods assist to transform these people who are strangers to promoters.
Personalization – adapt the content to the preferences and requirements of the viewers who are watching it. As you gain more information about your prospects over time, you will be able to tailor your messages to suit their particular requirements.
Multi-channel Multi-channel Inbound marketing is multi-channel by its very nature, since it connects with customers where they are, in the channel they would like to communicate with you.
Integration Publishing, content creation and analytics tools are an efficient machine that allows you to concentrate on publishing the correct content at the right time at the right moment\” (Hubspot 2016).
In the end, \”inbound marketing turns strangers into customers and then promoters of your business\” (Huify 2016, 2016).
3. Inbound marketing forms
Inbound marketing forms are: relevant blogs as well as social media-based campaigns, mailing campaigns and search engine Optimization (SEO) and videos that are viral, web-based seminars (Webinars) and more. (Marketing-Schools.org, 2016).
3.1. Custom emails
Most people prefer to open emails from an individual instead of emails sent by an automatic \”no-reply\” address. In this scenario the most effective Newsletter content will never be fully utilized, when it\’s not being sent out by an actual name of a prominent person within the company. Furthermore, this technique lets those who have were sent the newsletter to write to the sender with comments.
They also read emails with titles that catch their attention and click on a link which will take them to a website that has information they found valuable. If the email\’s content isn\’t tailored according to your \”buyer persona\” and it is not appealing to the buyer the subscriber will opt out of the Newsletter and will lose faith in the ability of the business to meet and understand his or her needs ends in this moment.
In the case of outbound marketing the recipients of an inbound marketing campaign should be uniform and properly configured and the content should be tailored to their needs to allow the mailer to be successful.
3.2. Blog posts
According to HubSpot marketers who invest in quality blogging are likely to achieve positive ROI 13X times. Articles posted on the blog of the company are a major factor in establishing the image of the company in relation to potential customers and market, and the quality of their writing will either attract or repel customers.
The high-quality content that is relevant to a subject of significance to the customer will boost their trust and loyalty to the business. If, on the other hand, the content is poor and unproductive this will impact the image of the company, which can appear unprofessional in communications with customers.
Thus, content must be written in a way that is in accordance with SEO analyses and must be in line with the needs and interests of the readers in order to provide the most relevant information that will influence their buying decision.
Therefore, \”89% of consumers turn to Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases\” (Brafton, 2012) and \”81% research online before making big purchases\” (RetailingToday 2013).
Additionally, \”61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision\”, (Charlton the year 2015) as well as \”67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews\” (Hinckley 2015).).
3.3. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO plays a significant part in the digital marketing strategy since it affects the position of digital channels that are available to organizations, including blogs, websites, social networks and more. Thus, websites could be made to be optimized in order to be \”the most attractive\” for the search engines to be the first to show when searching with browsers.
It is important to note that SEO requires the creation of high-quality, unique content that adheres to certain content rules to be properly indexed by search engines.
\”Positioning on the first page of the search engines is vital given that 80% of those who perform a search using Google (the most used search engine in the world) access only the links listed in the first page of Google. More the page is listed above, more it will attract a higher number of users.\” (Optimizare Plus, 2016).
SEO involves using the top keywords searched by users , which are then identified by Google Analytics tool.
3.4. Display Advertising
\”As advertisers gather data from several websites on the online activities of a user and interests, they can build an exact image of the user\’s preferences in order to offer more relevant advertisements. This type of aggregation is known as behavioral targeting.
Advertisers may also target their customers by using semantic and contextual advertising to display ads that are related to content of the website page on which the ads are displayed\” (InfoSolution 2016,).
\”Advertisers may also deliver advertisements based on a user\’s suspected geography through geotargeting. A user\’s IP address communicates some geographic information (at minimum, the user\’s country or general region). The geographic information from an IP can be supplemented and refined with other proxies or information to narrow the range of possible locations. With mobile devices, advertisers can sometimes use a phone\’s GPS receiver or the location of nearby mobile towers. Cookies and other persistent data on a user\’s machine may provide help for narrowing a user\’s location further\” (Srinivas, 2015).
\”The Display network offers advertisers the option of placing visual banner- style advertisements on websites that are part of the Display network. The Google Display Network reaches approximately 90% of global internet users, a vast potential audience\” (Wordstream 2016, 2016).
As amazing as written content could be, the majority of people do not always have the time (or the motivation) to read more than 2,000 words of long-tail keywords, like. Sometimes, your customer needs a brief overview of valuable information, which is best presented in an appealing layout.
Additionally, if the information you\’re sharing is particularly valuable, there\’s an excellent chance that it\’ll create a significant buzz on the web. A good audience analysis will enable you to create valuable content.
3.6. Social networks
The social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and others.) provide a unique setting for inbound marketing due to the fact that with them prospects are identified by the company , and the message is adapted based on the kind of network being used as well as the type of audience.
In this scenario the content created within the \”inbound\” marketing strategy plays a crucial part, as any success of the marketing strategy is based on the quality of the content.
Additionally, \”according to Fleishman-Hillard, 79% of consumers said they Like or Follow brands on social networks to get more information about the company and its products and services\”.
3.7 Webinar and Podcasts
A webinar is an internet seminar–lecture-style content presented to an exclusive web audience. In this way the participant (or some participants) or a few members of your content team will have the chance to share the valuable information we\’ve been discussing and deliver it in a very engaging and personable manner.
Similar to the webinar format similar to the webinar format, the podcast format lets you to give a personal touch in your company\’s image. This way when your customers are making their final decision they\’ll be able to remember you as an important and accessible source.
Podcasting doesn\’t have to be labor-intensive either. If you have an laptop, a few microphones, and at most one person at work who sounds nothing like Steve Buscemi, then you\’re on the right track.
4. Benefits and drawbacks of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing allows several advantages like:
It allows for the customer to establish a direct, permanent, and long-term relationship with the client;
It defines speedily and precisely it provides a fast and precise \”buyer persona\” profile;
It allows you to get greater results from the cost / benefits report
When compared with traditional marketing;
It allows you to create the content strategy that is based on certain subjects (keywords) associated with SEO as well as Google Adwords, for which there is an actual demand from potential customers;
It\’s an advanced method of marketing which is based on creation and distribution of top quality content.
While the benefits from inbound marketing are important however, this type of marketing has its own drawbacks like:
It\’s more demanding and complex than traditional marketing;
It is a requirement to make usage of Internet in order that users who do not use it can\’t become the target people;
It is a way to allow separated communication, it is not a universal system.
5. Inbound marketing versus outbound marketing
Traditional marketing is usually associated with outbound marketing this implies it is a marketing strategy promotes the product towards the consumers, while digital marketing is associated with inbound marketing that is mainly designed to sway the target customers\’ attention.
In actual fact inbound marketing is designed to market products and services to the public directly and indirectly, while inbound marketing assists in highlighting goods and services indirectly in the context where consumers are their company\’s target.
Inbound Marketing is mostly an aspect of content marketing since it\’s the component that is able to grab the attention of the consumer, driving them towards making a purchase. The whole method of marketing is now an content marketing strategy. The absence of high-quality content is the main reason for the demise of a company\’s digital marketing approach.
Thus, in the case of inbound marketing, it is crucial to identify who is the target as well as adapting your marketing to meet its expectations, needs and preferences play a crucial part. Furthermore that, marketing that is outbound marketing is an intruding kind of marketing however, inbound marketing is an acceptable one because the customer is willing to be targeted and identified and is not concerned by the message that the company sends to him.
Newsletters and Social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn ,…), webinars, etc.
are based on the involve the voluntary subscription. Inbound marketing efficiency is superior to outbound marketing effectiveness because it permits the better targeting of the target audience and an improved adapting of the communication of the company to its. For instance, if a person who have signed up for this newsletter rate of conversion is higher by 750% than the newsletter that is targeted to those who haven\’t expressed any interest for the business or its products/services (Gregg in 2015).).
In the end, \”thanks to the Internet, consumer behavior has changed drastically over the past decade. People have become adept at tuning out traditional marketing messages. Research shows that 86% of people skip television ads, and 44% of direct mail is never opened. In addition, 84% of 25-to-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising\” (Bigshot Inbound 2016,).
Additionally, \”the total democratization of media, the total addressability of marketing communications have made it possible for individuals to express their own free choice for every product and service they want to buy. The control over the consumption of media is an empowering of a new world, where is possible the transition from TV to online, from mass media to micro media, from mass marketing to permission marketing\” (Duguleana 2008 31).
In this sense the significance for inbound marketing has increased with changes in the behavior of customers who, to find reviews and information regarding the products they are planning to purchase, and also to conserve time and cash, opt to buy products on the internet.
Thus, businesses that are able to are able to use search engine optimization and content strategy to be ranked at the top of search engines, and provide the necessary details to their customers as well as providing relevant information to their customers, will be in the category of \”winners\” of the \”digital war\” making use of online marketing tools. Furthermore, the benefits of inbound marketing is not just evident within the business world, but also in other areas like politics or public sector generally. in that it is appealing to the tools of this personalised as well as direct marketing form public figures, politicians and NGOs are able to reach their audiences, cutting down on physical distances between them and simplifying their communication with their audience.
In a globalized and competitive environment like the internet Inbound marketing is the most efficient method of marketing employed by companies.
This type of non-intrusive marketing which focuses on the promotion of quality content in a carefully planned and designed marketing plans, can be more effective over traditional marketing that is beginning to diminish in a rapidly changing and deeply personalized sector like the internet environment.
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