How often have you heard marketers talk of inbound marketing and content marketing in the same breath? Yes, those same cool dudes who seem to know all about the secret magic potion to get you relevant traffic and leads – is inbound marketing really the same as content marketing? Read on.
Inbound marketing and content marketing, while similar concepts, have clear lines of distinction. The only similarity that they hold is the fact that they are both focused on attracting and engaging their target audience. Inbound marketing is a non-interruptive method adopted by marketers to attract and retain customers through relevant interaction.
You would think it is just content marketing but let me tell you it is much more than that..
Content marketing is simply the marketing technique adopted by brands to inform and engage their prospects and customers through blogs, website content, questionnaire, surveys, e-books, whitepapers etc. They need to be relevant and valuable to your audience so that there is improved brand awareness, brand loyalty and ultimately increase in number of leads leading to increased revenues.
It is basically creating content which helps your target audience to find you and about your product/service through online searches. You will have to research on their buying trends, what they like to search or read online etc and create relevant custom-fit content with a “human” or “emotional” element so that your audience can connect with you and it will lay the foundation for a long-lasting relationship based on trust.
Inbound Marketing is the same… only with just a step further...
Inbound marketing is a subset of the wider perspective called content marketing. Everything that applies to the content marketing applies here as well, but the only difference is that it is more result-oriented. It combines provides a holistic direction your marketing which is more in sync with your sales efforts to take you one step closer to that holy grail – targeted traffic and qualified leads.
Inbound marketing begins with mapping your ideal buyer (ever heard of a buyer persona), understanding the buying process and leading them through this buying cycle without being intrusive and by providing genuinely helpful information at every step of the process.
Lets take this further...
First you need to identify your target audience & come up with two or three buyer personas that represent your customer perfectly. Buyer persona is a semi fictional representation of an ideal customer for your brand. This will help you to create the content plan and framework which is relevant to your audience. Once you have created the buyer personas, you can set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals for your content strategy. This will help you breakdown your content plan to relevant activities/offers which will generate leads and finally convert into revenue.
Once the goals and buyer personas are set, you can start by writing some great content pieces which will resonate with the audience. Once your prospects start interacting with your content you will get information about them through landing pages. Now that you have some insight about your leads, you can provide specific content comprising of answers to their queries, facts about your brand and other details which will build up the trust. This will be taken care of by your sales team who will hand hold your leads through buying process further.
By offering relevant and valuable content during every interaction, you become a trusted advisor to your buyers.
The Inbound Marketing process works best for B2B companies primarily because the buying cycles are lengthy and it takes a lot more time to make a purchase decision. As a result, inbound marketing is an investment, one that if done right, can reap in dividends in the long term.
If you are considering Inbound Marketing for your business and need some questions answered, reach out to us and we will help you make a decision. No obligations. You can just walk away with advice and do your own thing. There’s no sales pitch. Promise.