Inbound Marketing – The contemporary marketing-instrument
Imagine you’re at an elegant reception in the evening. After animated conversations and a snack you stand at a table by the side and enjoy a cool drink. You look around and see the people around you. The other guests are mostly unknown to you and you are faced with the challenge of meeting new people and getting in touch with them.
There are two types of guests at the party:
Guest type Nr.1: The phrase mongers
He comes over to your table without you taking any active steps and starts talking to you directly. He only talks about himself, does not ask questions about what interests or moves you. The encounter is based on constant irrigation by your conversational partner, telling you how great the person himself is and how happy you can be to have met him.
Guest Type No.2: The Understanding One
He may be located at your neighbour’s table, but he is not actively approaching you. Nevertheless, your interest is awakened: the person is wearing a tie in a very eye-catching colour. You have a reference point, can even identify with the other person and take the initiative yourself to start a conversation. This is very different from the first one: You are asked about your interests and wishes, what motivates you and makes you happy. He responds to you and seems to be happy to have met you.
Now ask yourself: Which meeting do you prefer? Who do you want to meet again? A person whom you don’t have to approach yourself, but who builds an impersonal and one-sided relationship with you? Or the person who received your attention through a unique feature and whom you approach yourself, who is interested in you, addresses suitable topics and has a mutual conversation with you?
Dialogue instead of monologue
The scenario shown is an example of inbound and outbound marketing. The first dialogue partner symbolizes classic and outdated outbound marketing, based on quantitative advertising through mass e-mails and active, permanent and impersonal advertising. Today, most people are aware of the problems of outbound marketing: According to a study conducted in 2017, more than half of outbound marketers state that their marketing strategy is inefficient.
The second encounter represents inbound marketing: In contrast to outbound marketing, inbound marketing focuses on drawing the attention of potential customers to the company through relevant content and on maintaining a two-way relationship, a dialogue instead of a monologue, with the customer. The aim is to establish a basis of trust and to create value for the customer at every stage of the “customer journey”. The aim is to establish a long-term relationship and generate market loyalty. The initiative comes from the customer, who is looking for a suitable company. The company’s task is to make it as easy as possible to find.
Inbound marketing is based on the principles of attracting, interacting and closing the deal. Within the first phase, attracting, it is essential to create compelling content at the right time for the right audience. You do not want to attract anyone and make as many people as possible aware of your business, but people and companies that match you and have a high potential to become your customers. A study carried out in 2013 confirmed the relevance of content: 40% of respondents stated that they had already gained a customer from their activities on Facebook or LinkedIn, 39% directly from their own company blog and 38% from Twitter.
An attractive company knows its target group precisely
Achieve your goal through personalized advertising, corporate blogs, an appealing and modern web presence and social media. Wherever your target audience might be located, you should be present. Through the usage of SEO (search engine optimization) and the implementation of keywords, which for example are regionally relevant, you will appear at the top of the search engines and can be accessed quickly. Adapt to the constant changes on the Internet and in society, provide content that reflects the spirit of the times and is regularly updated. A marketing audit enables our customers to clearly define their target group; a marketing strategy based on this strategy achieves exact adaptation. A broad portfolio of social media is mandatory.
In the beginning there is entertainment, in the end there is a successful deal
If a potential customer has taken a step towards you, the interest has been awakened and a lead has been established, then the next step is on the agenda: interacting. Use the preferred channels and establish a connection to your customer through active and reciprocal communication, such as chats, e-mails and social media contributions. If the customer feels noticed and appreciated, this ideally creates a long-term relationship with your company and a resulting loyalty of the customer. Use the contact simultaneously to develop and optimize yourself. Recognize which content works and adapt to it: This way you not only get a customer, but also learn something new at the same time.
People buy through emotions
In order to complete the process of inbound marketing, you should not only satisfy, but convince completely. The key to this is content resulting from conversation and interaction that is memorable and triggers emotions. Videos with clear messages and company values linked to current topics have the potential to go viral and quickly raise your company’s visibility. Your content should create the urge to be shared with friends and family and to be recommended through Word-of-Mouth. The people who are fascinated will become customers, and even more important, they will become representatives and unconscious advertisers who will increase and solidify your popularity. If a person is completely convinced, he or she will recommend you to others and thus arouse the interest of others, who will too take a step towards your company: The inbound marketing process starts all over again.
Conclusion: the bottom line!
Inbound marketing is the up-to-date concept that works more efficiently than classic outbound marketing and yields cost savings. Successful inbound marketing includes:
- A clearly defined target group through a marketing audit
- target-group relevant content published on the essential channels
- Communication and interaction with customers
- continuous adjustment and actualization
- clear and consistent corporate image and brand values