Gone are the days when marketers shouted out their messages at customers.
Before the invention of the internet, marketers would create advertising campaigns and put them out there for all to see.
Most customers would wait to meet a sales representative in stores or through door-to-door sales to make their final purchase.
However, the invention of the internet has changed the customer buying experience entirely, creating a multitude of marketing messages that potential customers see each day.
The overload of marketing information created by the internet instilled a sense of customer confusion and the ultimate rejection of overtly selling messages.
To be heard and noticed in this attention-scarcity environment, business needs to attract customers by reaching out to them, fostering a trusting relationship, and encouraging customer loyalty.
So, how do you know when is the right time to reach out to a customer, and how do you do that tactfully without bombarding your clients with selling messages? The answer lies in the power of inbound marketing.
This CMO guide to inbound marketing can help not only chief marketing officers but also other marketing managers to invest in better customer buying experiences, increase sales, and so much more.
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What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a way of doing marketing differently.
Instead of flooding your clients with thousands of emails, pamphlets, images, social media spam posts, and other unnecessary advertising, you help them find you by creating engaging content that aims at building relationships rather than selling.
These inbound marketing strategies can help your company make money while creating an enjoyable customer experience and fostering loyalty.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
Okay, so inbound marketing is vital to reaching out to customers and letting them find you. But is it the perfect solution?
That depends on how much time and energy you will invest into your inbound marketing strategy. Also, if you truly understand how to capture your audience’s attention.
It also depends on your chosen strategy and how effectively you use inbound marketing to raise brand awareness.
Overall, looking at statistics, inbound marketing is one of the most successful campaign strategies businesses can use.
With 41% of marketers saying inbound marketing leads to a considerable increase in the return on investment (ROI).
Some of the many benefits of inbound marketing include the following:
Better brand awareness
One of the best things about inbound marketing is the ability to raise brand awareness organically.
Most people who want to buy from a brand do so because they’ve already seen and recognized it online or become aware of it through following influencers and pop culture.
For instance, the new Stanley insulated drinkware is all the rage among nurses, caseworkers, and college students.
Why did they purchase Stanley drinkware? Because a representative called them? Because they were spammed with constant television or email advertisements? Probably none of them.
That’s because, through an inbound marketing campaign, Stanley company has created a reputation for being a solid and reliable option for insulated beverage containers.
They’ve created their brand in the minds of their customers without lifting a finger to email an ad campaign.
For inbound marketing to work, you must know how to place your brand in influencers’ mouths to get the ball rolling on brand awareness, and of course, booming sales.
Let’s go back to our Stanley drinkware example.
Stanley’s insulated drinkware is so successful that they have become the preferred brand for many in the healthcare industry and others.
That’s because they created a marketing message of being stylish, reliable, sturdy, and easy to transport around.
The influencers agreed that Stanley’s drinkware is a great product and promoted it through their channels. Now, every one of their followers wants Stanley drinkware above all others.
Although other brands might have similar products with similar features, customers prefer Stanley.
As a CMO consistently pushing out marketing content, you must consider how your inbound marketing strategies can influence brand preference.
You can incentivize your content team to produce blog posts discussing the features of your product and why it’s better than competing brands.
Or you could invest in influencer marketing, where celebrities and tastemakers use and talk positively about your products.
Your imagination is the limit when it comes to choosing ways to teach your prospective buyers about your brand without it necessarily being a sales message.
Whatever method you choose to foster a community, which is the goal of inbound marketing, you will assemble a steady customer presence without feeling you’re begging for their attention.
Inbound marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing solutions, saving an average of 62% of your budget and generating three times as many leads as other forms of marketing.
Why the big savings? Instead of investing in advertisements, be it online, on the TV, or on the radio, you’ll only need to spend money on one thing – content creation.
Creating content can seem daunting, but you don’t have to keep it in-house. Various agencies can help you create content that positively impacts your audience without breaking the bank.
From creating blog posts to making videos, social media posts, informative articles, whitepapers, webinars, and more, there are plenty of types of content that can attract customers at a fraction of the cost it would take to run a paid advert campaign.
And, while your ad time might run out, a blog post, for example, can last forever.
Incorporating Inbound Marketing Into Current Strategies
CMOs should know that inbound marketing is the perfect strategy and can be done in a jiffy.
However, before you get started on your first inbound marketing campaign, it’s vital to understand its weaknesses and how to maximize your campaigns for lead generation.
Just like you pay attention to customer pain points when running your business, you’ll want to know how to incorporate inbound marketing properly to benefit your customers.
Have a strong call to action
Inbound marketing strategies cannot “force” your customers to act and purchase your product.
That’s why CMOs should always encourage their team to develop strong and creative calls to action. CTAs guide customers through the next steps after reading a blog post, watching a video, or skimming through an article.
You can also turn leads into sales by implementing strategies such as drip campaigns, surveys, and retargeting ads to help build lasting relationships with customers and increase sales.
It’s not a perfect science, but creating better CTAs and harnessing your leads go a long way in using the full potential of inbound marketing.
Focus on fostering customer relationships
As a CMO, it’s vital to focus on encouraging your marketing and sales team to work together to build lasting customer relationships.
Using CRM (customer relationship management) software to foster a personal connection with customers is essential for inbound marketing.
It helps build credibility and direct your marketing efforts to customers who are interested in your product and can progress to purchasing it.
Unfortunately, one of the major weaknesses of inbound marketing is the difficulty in targeting specific audiences.
Even if your current audience consists of some interested people, you may need to focus on turning the lukewarm individuals into loyal customers.
How to Get Started With Inbound Marketing
How can you get started with your inbound marketing campaign?
It all starts with creating relevant content that can help attract and engage prospective customers.
WriterAccess has a team of talented writers, editors, and designers who are experts in their field and can help you save time and money while creating targeted, relevant, engaging, and persuasive content.
By outsourcing content creation, your team can free up resources to handle other aspects of your inbound marketing campaign.
From measuring success through data analytics to bridging the gap between marketing and sales teams, CMOs should dedicate time, staffing, and resources to inbound marketing endeavors as soon as possible.
You can start by signing up for WriterAccess’s 14-day free trial today!