The inbound marketing approach is being used by a wide number of businesses. Marketers have realized that inbound methodology can be more beneficial compared to other traditional forms of marketing. According to 99Firms, inbound marketing is the primary marketing approach used by 74% of marketers worldwide. Inbound methodology focuses on building relevant and useful content to attract, engage, and convert the target audience. Unlike the outbound approach, inbound marketing is not interruptive. It markets to the target audience who are already interested.
Inbound marketing helps attract quality leads to your website. Along with attracting leads it also helps nurture them so that they can convert. Leads are not immediately ready to convert, they need to be nurtured. Inbound marketing can help you nurture leads through various channels. In this article, we will discuss various inbound marketing channels that can help attract, nurture, and convert leads so that they become long-term customers. If you are planning to implement your inbound marketing strategy, then here are some key channels you can leverage.
What are inbound marketing channels?
Inbound marketing channels are the various mediums through which your target customers can be reached. These channels help attract target leads, nurture, and finally convert them. Different channels serve different purposes in your inbound marketing campaigns. The use of these channels depends on the buyer’s journey.
The inbound methodology breaks down a buyer’s journey into three stages:
Attract: attracting new leads to your business by providing valuable and relevant content.
Engage: providing prospects with solutions and answers that can influence their buying decisions.
Delight: assisting customers with all the support and help they need after the purchase to provide customer satisfaction.
Let’s look at all the key inbound marketing channels you can leverage in your strategy.
A website is an important part of your inbound marketing strategy. With a website you can provide users with relevant and informative content about your products or services. It is a great channel to create brand awareness and inform people about your brand. Websites include various pages that offer information to the users. These pages are product pages, blogs, testimonials, pillar pages and more. Product or services pages give you the audience all the knowledge they need about your products. They describe all the benefits and features of products that help solve the problems of your audience. Websites can also be used to offer content like eBooks, checklists, templates, whitepapers, etc. in exchange for a visitor’s contact information. These types of content are called lead magnets that help you gain a lead’s email address and build your email list.
Pillar pages broadly cover a specific topic that target audiences frequently look for. Keyword research helps you determine what type of topics your audiences are looking for. Based on these keywords you can create pillar pages and topic clusters. This helps your business establish itself as a thought leader in the industry. When search engines crawl your website, they determine whether your website content matches the search queries of the searchers. When your website content is relevant to your target audience and matches their search queries, your website gains better ranking. With the help of relevant content your business can be easily discovered by your audience. Website is an important channel to generate leads and create brand awareness. It is also useful in influencing the audience's decision to invest in your business.
Blog is crucial to your inbound marketing efforts. This is a way to generate more quality leads to your website and make your website visible to your target audience. As mentioned above keyword research is needed to determine what type of search queries your audience is looking for. The search queries you select must have enough volume, otherwise there will be no traffic coming to the website. Ensure that you select search terms that are more specific. Long-tailed keywords can be used as blog topics, they are specific and tell you about the search intent of your audience.
Choose these keywords and create various blogs giving the audience all the information they need. The purpose of a blog is to educate the audience. Don’t write a blog from an advertising perspective. If the audience sees that your blog is all about promoting your product or service, they may not engage with it. Audiences look for informative content that solves their problems and educates them. Hence, ensure that you write form the perspective of providing relevant and valuable information to your target audience. Blogs help your website become more visible on the search engine results page. It is a channel that is useful at the beginning of a buyer’s journey as it attracts potential customers. Blogs are a great way to generate more inbound leads.
Another important channel to attract leads is social media. Social media can help you target leads by sharing valuable content. It helps you reach your target audience, communicate, and build relationships with them. This channel can be used in all stages of the buyer’s journey. Even though it is very useful in attracting new leads, it can also be used to engage them by sharing relevant content or communicating with them through messages. You can also communicate with them after they have purchased your product or service. If they reach out to you through social media for any queries, you can get in touch with them to resolve their problems.
Share relevant and interesting content on your social media platforms. Ensure that your messaging is consistent through all the platforms you are using. Content can be in the form of blog topics, videos, images, and other visuals. Share your blog articles regularly on social media. Analyze how your audience is engaging with your posts. Along with these organic efforts, you can also invest in sponsored posts or PPC advertising. Social media platforms can be used as advertising tools to generate more traffic. These ads include various targeting options you can use to reach the right people. PPC ads are a great tool to attract new followers and create brand awareness.
PPC or pay-per-click ads is another channel you can leverage to attract new leads. Along with capturing leads organically through content, you can also invest in online ads to reach a wider range of audiences. Google ads offer various ad types like search and display ads that can be used depending on your business. Ads can help you generate quality leads faster. It gives you an opportunity to display your ads across Google’s wide network. Optimize your ads with relevant keywords so that they are visible to your audience.
Create relevant landing pages for your ads to improve ad quality. Landing pages are important for your ad campaigns. These are the pages that give users the information they are looking for and influence them to convert. With the various targeting options, you can ensure that you are reaching out to people who are looking for you. It ensures that you are gaining quality leads who have the potential to convert.
Marketers use email marketing to reach their customers and maintain communication with them. People welcome emails from businesses they are interested in. Most of them prefer this form of communication over others. Hence, email marketing can be used as a channel to engage your leads further. This channel can be used both in the engage and delight stages. You can build your email contact list, by collecting contact information through lead magnets. As discussed above you can create a landing page on your website that offers valuable content to your audience in exchange for their contact information.
Once you build your email list you can segment your audiences and start sending them informative content through emails. This is a good way to nurture your leads and encourage them to invest in your products or services. To engage them you can send them useful content related to your products and industry to educate them. Content like case studies can be sent to your leads to highlight how your products or services have proved useful for other customers. When your leads see how you successfully helped solve the problems of many customers, news, or information about various promotions. Emails are a great way to stay in touch with your customers, nurture them and influence their decisions.
Chatbots and live chats
Live chats and chatbots are great channels for businesses to interact and engage with potential customers when they land on the website. These channels help create a seamless experience for the users by helping them easily find what they are looking for. If a user cannot find certain information on your website, they can quickly access the chatbots and use keywords to find the relevant page. Also, if the user has a certain query, they can get in touch with a sales rep through live chat rather than calls or emails. These channels are extremely convenient for the users and they are great to communicate or engage with them.
It depends on your business whether you want to use a chatbot or live chat for your website. Chatbots are automated messages that assist users to find relevant pages and information on your website. They are used to enhance customer experience. In live chat, users can speak to your sales reps directly in case of any issues. Both these channels enable users to engage better with your business and form long-term relationships.
Inbound sales calls
An inbound call is a phone call initiated by a lead or customer to the company’s support team. Sometimes leads may call you directly after they have visited your website or engaged with your content. When the leads feel ready to talk to your sales reps, they will contact your company directly. When leads make these calls, they usually have some questions about your products or services. For B2B businesses, lead may also want to schedule a meeting to discuss your services and products in detail.
Sales reps need to be ready to answer these calls and engage leads so that it can help build business relationships. They need to be prepared with various questions that leads tend to ask. Prepare content that can be sent to these leads to provide additional information. Phone calls are a great way to interact with customers by answering their questions and encouraging them to further engage with your business.
Customer service calls
Just like leads call initially to inquire about your products or services, after purchase they will call if they face any difficulties. When a customer has already purchased from you, it is important to show them that they are not forgotten. If customers have any queries or issues, sales reps must be fully equipped to provide them with the support and assistance they need. This helps customers trust your business more and be loyal to you. To build long-term business relationships with customers, you need to provide them with great customer service when they need assistance.
As discussed above email marketing is a great channel for both engaging and delighting customers. When a customer is in the engage stage, you send them emails with valuable content to nurture them. In the delight stage, emails help maintain communication with your customers. You can continue to send them content, updates, or news so that you keep in touch. Sending them any business or product updates can encourage them to invest more in your business.
Asking for reviews and feedback is a great way to delight customers, as they feel that their opinions are appreciated. Through emails you can send your customers questionnaires or surveys where they can share their experience with your business. This helps you gain valuable insights about how customers view your business. Moreover, when customers feel appreciated, they want to continue their business relationship with you.
We discussed above how social media can be used to attract customers. Social media also has an important role to play in the delight stage. You need to know what your customers are talking about on these social platforms. Social listening is an important strategy to delight your customers. Followers on your social media platform can ask questions, provide feedback, or mention you in any posts or comments. It’s important to keep monitoring your social media profiles to see what your customers are saying about your business. Then replying is also important as that can delight them. This is a great way to build a good reputation for your business among your social media community.
Customers can also use social media to get in touch with you for any queries or assistance. This channel can be used to provide good customer service and provide customer satisfaction. Keep listening to what your customers are saying on your social platforms as this can help strengthen your business relationship with them.
Different inbound marketing channels serve different purposes. Inbound marketing focuses on creating personalized content and experiences for your audience. Not all your target audiences are going to be on the same stage in your inbound methodology. Use specific channels to attract, engage and delight your customers. This can help you build meaningful and long-term relationships with your customers.
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