A Rookie’s Guide to Inbound Marketing

We’ve all heard the term inbound marketing. But do you really get it? And even if you do, are you even doing it right?

These are the questions we’re addressing today.

Table of Contents

Before going into inbound marketing, let’s look at something basic first,

What is a Buyer Persona?

According to HubSpot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Here’s a short snippet of how we conducted our Buyer Persona workshops for Daikin, one of the leading air conditioning experts in UAE.

It is absolutely necessary to understand your buyers, their pains and challenges, online behaviour, and how they make a purchase. Getting your buyer persona right is the first step to a good inbound marketing strategy.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Simply put, inbound marketing is a method by which you are pulling your customers towards you rather than pushing your brand onto them. This is usually done via a combination of SEO, content marketing, and social media efforts, to name a few.

“By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.”

Being a B2B business here in the UAE, what you’ve probably been doing so far is Outbound Marketing.

What is the Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Marketing?

The difference? Well, that’s easy. Outbound marketing methods use paid media, such as traditional advertising and PPC while Inbound Marketing uses Owned Media (such as your website, blog, and social media platforms) and Earned Media (such as PR coverage and word of mouth).

The difference between outbound marketing and inbound marketing

Coming back to inbound marketing,

Why Should you do Inbound Marketing?

I mean come on, why shouldn’t you? If the concept of more customers at a lower cost isn’t compelling enough, then here are some stats that’ll hopefully help:

importance of inbound marketing to b2b businesses

Hence, inbound marketing CLEARLY WORKS!!

Now comes the biggest question of all,

How do you do Inbound Marketing?

Hubspot proposes a ‘flywheel approach’ that includes three types of strategies that can be followed for successful inbound marketing. Why flywheel? That’s because each stage is heavy and is used to increase and maintain momentum.

Flywheel approach to inbound marketing
(Source: Hubspot)

#1 Attract - Turning Strangers into Visitors

The first step is to attract your audience and buyer personas by publishing quality content that is highly specific and relevant to them. It is not so much about you or your brand. It is about understanding your customer’s problems and pains and giving them solutions.

At this stage, the right inbound content is problem-centric, objective, and offers perspective. This helps build the audience’s trust in your brand and position you as an industry expert.

#2 Engage - Converting Visitors into Leads and then into Customers

Okay, so your buyer personas are listening to what you have to say. Now what? This is where your brand comes in. The whole idea in this stage is to convince your audience to consider your product or service as a possible solution to their pain. They already trust you, and your knowledge about the industry. They know that you understand their problems. This is where you show them that you can solve it as well.

The right inbound content would be one that is solution-centric and aims to deepen trust and open up a two-way communication between you and your audience. It is meant to show your audience that others like them have found a solution with your company.

#3 Delight - Shaping Customers into Promoters

They finally made a purchase! Congratulations!!

Before you forget all about this one customer and move on to more conversions, here is where the final stage comes in. A purchase is never the end of the chain. It is also necessary to make sure that your solution was successful in solving the customer’s problem. Did it help? Did they make a mistake purchasing your product? How are they doing now? Are they still happy with your product? These are all questions you must ask.

The right inbound content at this point is relationship-centric. It will focus on building long-lasting relationships with your customers and offering new perspectives of your brand. This is where all your efforts converge to produce results. Customer delight converts into word of mouth recommendations, and we all know it’s the most effective marketing method. So WIN-WIN!

That’s a wrap, ladies and gentlemen. Although inbound marketing is a much larger topic, this should give you an idea of what it is, and how your brand can approach this opportunity. For more information on how to come up with an inbound marketing strategy, click here.

Eager for more? Get a complete Digital Marketing Strategy to scale your business despite the challenges! We’re launching our Digital 20 Pilot Program, and we’d love for you to be a part of it. Click on the link to know more!