At Be Bold, we take a different approach to marketing, which works according to the inbound marketing model.
But how does that work exactly? What does “inbound marketing” mean? And what does using the inbound model mean for your marketing automation and your email campaigns?
Keep reading for an introduction to inbound marketing, which will be the first in a series about the bold marketing method.
Introduction: What is inbound marketing?
You may have heard it mentioned before, but what is inbound marketing exactly? And how is it different from more traditional marketing methods?
To give you a clue: traditional marketing is often nicknamed “push marketing”, whereas inbound is called “pull marketing”. Even knowing nothing about it, that should give you some idea as to how they differ.
But let’s use an example: say you sell jewelry online and in-store and you’ve opted for traditional marketing strategies. How would that work exactly?
1. Traditional Targeting
Traditional marketing would have you create ads and run them absolutely anywhere you think your target consumer may come across them. It doesn’t matter if your target consumer is keen on buying jewelry at this time, because traditional marketing has no great way of incorporating “current interest in buying jewelry” in its targeting strategy.
Ads will still be based on customer personas as much as possible, which will help define channels & messaging. But then it will be blasted across those channels, without knowing whether consumers are actually interested in buying jewelry.
2. Traditional Channels
In addition, traditional marketing channels are still mainly offline, like radio, television or magazines etc. Such channels are very pricey and unfortunately, you’re never quite sure who’ll be seeing those pricey ads!
Because of this, they’re not very measurable either, because you’ll often have no clue whether it was your radio ad that helped increase your jewelry sales, or whether it was the promo you were running.
How can you expect to learn from your mistakes, if you can’t track them?
Traditional marketing still has a purpose, but over the years its share has been decreasing exponentially. And who can blame marketeers? There’s quite a few downsides to contend with when choosing a more conservative approach:
- not much measurability,
- a high cost,
- and no certain targeting towards actual interested parties!
Kinda feels like it’s not the greatest way to spend your budget, amiright?
Instead of that traditional approach, the inbound strategy will look into behavioural data in order to define whether a target consumer is interested in your particular product or service.
Let’s use the same jewelry example: but this time using the inbound method.
1. Inbound Targeting
An important part of using the inbound method, is that you’ll think about what someone is looking for, before spamming them endlessly with messages they don’t care for. So, in our example about jewelry, after assessing your customer personas, you might then choose to create a Google Search Ad.
Why? Well, an ad like that will only be shown to people who are actively looking for jewelry, meaning they are already interested in buying it. If they weren’t interested, they wouldn’t be looking for it, now would they? And thàt is a crucial piece of behaviour that’s near-impossible to incorporate with traditional marketing!
In addition, because you’re only putting budget towards potential customers with an active interest in your product or service, the likelihood of your website visitors being engaged is so much higher! Your offering and your content will match what they’re looking for, which ensures that the step to making a purchase is that much higher.
2. Inbound Channels
Inbound marketing can work across multiple channels, but especially digital channels will offer very clear and measurable results.
Google Ads, Facebook ads, email campaigns, but also text messages etc. are great tools to connect with your target consumer and act upon their own interests and behaviours, while keeping a transparent overview of your budget.
Of course, offline channels can still play a role here and there’s nifty little tricks to try and connect them to online behaviours, thus having a full customer experience that’s still possible to track and measure its success. I mean, do you really need more convincing as to why this method is pretty epic?
As you can see from the above image, the inbound methodology doesn’t necessarily mean “digital channels” only. The most important aspect of inbound marketing is that you will only look to target those consumers who are actively interested in your product or service.
And by offering them relevant content, at the right time, in the right place in the right format… they will slowly but surely turn into loyal brand ambassadors!
But more on that later, as we continue the series about our Bold Marketing Method.
Tune in next week to read about the first step in inbound marketing: lead generation!