Inbound marketing was used in the 20th century to refer to leads being generated from all forms of mainstream advertising.
In this new millennium as the internet has become progressively more synonymous with human behaviour and people’s desire to search for relevant content, this term has been reinvented.
With the birth of the sharing economy through social digital channels, inbound marketing now refers to permission based marketing or community spirited information sharing via company sponsored newsletters, blogs and other social digital comments.
The ability of influencers to create an emotional experience in which people wish to make comment or participate, builds trust and a positive consumer experience by offering these potential customers information they value on social media platforms.
Inbound marketing allows marketers to gradually influence consumer’s decisions over time by connecting a positive image of their organisation in alignment with causes and interests the individual may have. This gentle increase in consumer's awareness earns enduring profits by ultimately creating new customers, rather than invading consumer’s awareness through paid advertisements.
Inbound Marketing has had the effect of reversing the relationship between company and customer. Inbound marketing creates brand awareness, attracts and helps new customers with channels like blogs, social media, direct mail etc. to feel emotionally aligned with a brand who shares the same values. The customers become the advocate!
4 Tips for effective inbound marketing
"Getting found" is the first step to start your inbound cycle. Your company's content must be visible to the right audience at the right time. This is a very long process that implies a long research and planning of contents.
The second step is the conversions of fans into prospects. It may seem a very easy process but it is not easy at all. This process is long and implies energies and time from the company.
Now that you have some traction with customers already aligned to your offerings, you have the opportunity to re-engage with them to find out their experience with your company, future interest and buying habits and if they can be an influence in their circle of contacts.
The final step of the inbound cycle is "analyse". After letting the customer be aware of the product/service and after converting the fan into a prospect/lead, the company must analyse the data to understand what they have to change in the process to improve their results.