An Introduction to Inbound Marketing

Four people working on their laptops on a table

So, what’s this inbound marketing thing?

Inbound marketing was pioneered by Hubspot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. It is a marketing technique where instead of just telling customers what offers you have, you provide them with help and, more importantly, a reason to be loyal to your company. This works as an effective tool to draw customers in and lead to faster business growth, which is always a good thing. Oh, and did we mention it’s going to be cheaper than running ads?

The inbound methodology is the method of growing your organisation by building meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers, prospects and customers. It’s about valuing and empowering these people to reach their goals at any stage in their journey with you. (Hubspot, ‘What is Inbound Marketing?’)

Inbound marketing is about considering how buyers think and then helping them in their daily lives without the interruptions associated with outbound marketing (adverts during TV or radio, spam emails, cold calling).

It’s about building a client-centred relationship and opening up a discussion by sharing helpful and relevant content. It’s not about what you’re selling, rather how you’re selling it.

You need to pull people in by being helpful, by caring about what their problems are and how you can help solve them, this will create a positive customer experience. This technique makes business more personal and human centred. You put yourself in the customers shoes and ask, “how would I want to be marketed to?” then create a targeted approach that will entice the customer.

Someone looking at an image board with notes on

But like… why?

Well, it’s simple, this technique creates a higher level of trust compared to outbound marketing. Instead of your advertising being imposed upon potential clients they’ll likely find you

organically through their own searches. Customers will view your company as trustworthy, and will feel happy and empowered, meaning they’ll be more likely to buy your product and share their positive experience with others. This will of course lead to more customers and provide your company with fresh possibilities.

Okay, but how?

The best place to start is by creating and publishing content. This could be through blogs, uploading photos and utilising social media to it’s full extent, anything that will provide value! Be sure to use relevant hashtags as this will direct more traffic towards your content and help new customers find you.

Examples of Inbound Marketing Content:

  • Hosting Q&A’s and providing useful tips
  • Asking customers to provide product reviews
  • Short videos and blog posts
  • Social media campaigns
  • Photos with bitesize information
  • Webinars

The most important thing is that the content is engaging and empowering to potential customers, it has to make them want to build a continuing relationship with you. The customer always has to be happy, and even if they don’t end up buying anything, every interaction matters. If you aren’t helping – it’s probably not inbound. Add value at every opportunity.

So, to summarise:

  • Inbound marketing is a useful tool that draws customers in through producing valuable content that will improve their lives
  •  It’s useful as happy customers will create a positive brand image and leads to company growth
  • The most important thing is that the content is engaging and empowering

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