Table of Contents
- Basics of Inbound Marketing
- Inbound Marketing Vs. Outbound Marketing
- Top 25 Inbound Marketing Tactics
- Inbound Marketing Trends 2021
- Key Takeaways
Marketers have deployed a wide range of inbound marketing strategies during 2021, and the trends are bound to develop further and continue in 2022. Every business measures metrics regularly and plans its next steps based on data-driven analyses. Inbound marketing tactics include monitoring the conversions gained from the increased website traffic and finding ways and means to enhance them further.
Based on some of the best inbound marketing strategies you can determine that robust planning leads to better inbound marketing results. And such encouraging results always reflect a healthy return on investment (ROI), which surpasses the returns so far gained from traditional (outbound) marketing methods. It is no wonder then that 75% of the marketers paid heed to inbound marketing tips that they used in their marketing activities.
Inbound marketing can guarantee excellent leads that will ultimately become conversions, provided you use relevant content, offering a solution to the buyers. A survey, conducted as early as 2018, indicated that the leads acquired using inbound marketing tactics are 61% less expensive when compared to traditional methods (outbound). The present-day customers wish to exercise more control over the way they connect with brands. Did you know that over 70% of consumers prefer to learn more about brands through content rather than advertisements?
Winning the trust of the customers
Today’s buyers are an educated lot, and they believe ads can be, at times, pretty misleading. They would be happy to learn more about your brand by either searching on Google or watching vivid images or videos. Once they are convinced about the quality of your content, they evince more interest and start interacting by asking questions. The trick lies in using the best inbound marketing strategies to make your customer like your brand first, learn more about it, and develop trust before they can become your customer.
Forms are passé
Your inbound marketing strategies are so appealing that the customer hits the call-to-action (CTA) button expecting an instant solution. However, if they are required to fill out a form with their personal information, they feel somewhat offended. You need to create engaging content that directs your customers directly to the checkout section without any delay.
However, a lead is a lead, so, you may need to use inbound marketing tactics like initiating a chatbots conversation. Interactive conversations are slowly replacing the cumbersome forms as people prefer to interact and readily respond to personalized messages, although they know they are automated.
Everything is remote today
COVID has driven everyone indoors. Zoom meetings are tiresome, and people feel they have had enough of Zoom calls and webinars. However, they are still willing to connect remotely to learn more about a brand. Not just the marketing team, but also your customers will benefit from such inbound marketing initiatives. Such convenience is highly regarded by discerning customers and is expected to remain a trend in 2022.
Hosting a webinar can be accomplished quickly and easily. And using such inbound marketing strategies helps capture precious leads right at the outset, during the registration process itself. What’s more is, one member of the marketing team can interact with several leads simultaneously. In 2021, more companies relied on using event technology than they did earlier. You also have the liberty of sharing lengthy PDFs and other content during the presentation, which are never considered an intrusion if timed correctly.
Seasoned marketing gurus advocate using such inbound marketing techniques to form online communities and indulge them in real-time discussions, which have the potential to become interactive sessions to promote brand awareness. Such interactive sessions prompt instant feedback from customers, leading to faster conversions.
Images, videos, and live stream
Before the end of 2021, over 80% of global internet traffic will be videos, according to a 2017 Cisco study. And as per the same study, by the end of 2022, online video consumption will increase a whopping 15 fold. Zoom is one great example of the increase in live streaming technologies, and every third internet user has used Zoom sometime or the other. It’s not just Zoom, social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn feature videos, some of which often go viral.
Facebook has witnessed a sudden spurt in live-streaming, besides regular messaging, which is attributable to the social distancing norms in practice today. It is not surprising that over 80% of the marketing teams rely on videos to capture and convert leads because three-fourths of all Internet users prefer to watch short videos to learn more about a product or service. Text cannot be ignored as FAQs are still a brilliant way to interact with customers. Most of these questions are framed from the feedback given by customers as queries.
Informal marketing and chatbots
Chatbots have emerged as one of the preferred modes to communicate, and this is certainly one of the best inbound marketing tips worth using gainfully. Today’s customers are always in a hurry and look for instant answers. Leads need to be converted while they are still hot, and chatbots are one of the best means to achieve better conversions. Chatbots reduce response time, which is crucial for conversions. Assume five companies are providing similar services, the one providing instant solutions bags the order. Customers tend to always come back to companies that respond instantly.
What’s more is, most chatbots have a feature allowing you to automate messages, especially for standard questions, giving the liberty to customers to schedule calls at will. Chatbots can be programmed to deliver personalized messages by getting the users’ names from Facebook profiles, often leaving customers wondering if it is a chatbot they are interacting with. When compared to emails, chatbots messages are viewed and read faster. For every 20 emails that are opened and read, 85 chatbot messages are viewed. Even SMS messages have a better response than emails.
Machine learning is one of the best inbound marketing strategies you can rely on in today’s fast-paced world of technology. You can guarantee a better user experience with AI and machine learning, which help you personalize it. According to a Gartner survey, technology companies, particularly SaaS companies, reported increased sales, and better revenues, thanks to AI and machine learning that helped keep the costs low. You can even personalize your website’s pages based on the users’ demographics.
Machine learning is already used to personalize websites and to initiate live chats. Artificial Intelligence can be used to curate content and suggestions from customers. Your website’s user experience can be enhanced using Ai and machine learning. The technology is also helpful for marketing automation, and scheduling email and social media campaigns. Search engine optimization (SEO) analyses and social conversations and monitoring are rendered easily using such technologies.
Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing
Inbound marketing is quite different when compared to outbound marketing. While the former dwells on creating content for a target audience and distributing it directly, outbound marketing involves proactively pitching to customers to create an interest in your brand. While outbound marketing is an extroverted approach, bordering on being aggressive. It is more a fishing expedition where volume is involved, with the hope of a good catch. On the contrary, inbound marketing dwells on subtlety and concentrates all efforts on a niche group with specific interests and likes.
The difference between inbound and outbound marketing at a glance:
- Creative content deployed to target a specific group, focusing on solving specific issues
- Various forms of content are used, including forms, social media posts, blog posts, webinars, etc.
- Chatbots and other forms of messaging designed for a target audience
- A broad-spectrum strategy covering several channels simultaneously
- Measurable metrics enable you to track progress at every stage
- Contact is established using non-digital methods, including content that is targeted at a general mass
- Content is distributed by mail, media (TV) ads, newspapers, magazines, billboards, generally non-interactive
- Metrics cannot be measured easily while using outbound marketing strategies
- Limitation of channels that have minimum scope
How inbound marketing works
The strength of deploying inbound marketing strategies lies in drawing targeted customers to your brand rather than reaching out to the general masses. Most of them have a problem and are searching for solutions online. Almost 65% of the consumers may already have commenced their search online before a marketing company targets them. The trick lies in creating content to explain the benefits that match customers’ demands.
You can use a variety of inbound marketing tactics, including images, videos, blog posts, e-books, and guides This type of specialized content helps portray your product in a different light to keep it distinct from the competition. Product comparisons online work wonders with customers, as do testimonials, which sound like from the horse’s mouth. Podcast reviews convince customers faster than billboards, as do social media posts. Thought-provoking content helps win over the customer, leading to faster conversions.
Typically, a blog post ends with a strategically placed call to action (CTA) button, coaxing the customer to sign up for an upcoming webinar or to even directly proceed to the website to discover exciting offers on display. Generally, such CTAs are designed to first capture contact details like name and email address, which are saved in the database.
Benefits of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing has many benefits that include:
- Allows enough time for the customers to read the blog or attend a webinar at leisure before taking action
- Content that is highly educative and designed to cover all stages of the sales funnel
- Inbound marketing has measurable metrics to monitor and alter the approach as required
- It is easy to update your website with content featuring the latest to keep the audience engaged throughout
How outbound marketing works
Outbound marketing involves a process that targets the general mass, hoping for a stray sale here and there. The plain logic behind this approach is like a fishing expedition, where a large audience is addressed but not targeted. Outbound marketing relies on using print media, billboards, direct mail, TV, and radio. Mass emails also come under this category.
The drawback with outbound marketing is that it is not targeted at a specific group. For instance, a huge billboard may be visible, but you can never measure and monitor the number of views, nor can conversions be attributed to a particular mode in outbound marketing. However, outbound marketing often involves one-time efforts, unlike inbound marketing, which requires consistent efforts to hold the attention of the consumers.
Outbound marketing benefits
- The approach may help promote better brand awareness with a larger group who may be hearing about the brand for the first time
- The results are achieved faster when compared to inbound marketing, which is a slow process
- Most consumers are aware of outbound marketing as people are used to seeing ads in the newspapers, TV, etc., and trust them.
Top 25 Inbound Marketing Tactics
1. Define your target audience
One of the best inbound marketing tactics you can use is identifying your target audience. If you wish to draw customers to your website en masse, you must first determine the buyer’s persona. It is essential to understand the needs of your target audience, what goals they have in mind, and the challenges they are facing to achieve those goals. Your inbound marketing strategies should include the knack of conducting intense research to establish the perfect customer profile. Most people searching online have a problem and are looking for solutions. The inbound marketing company that offers the best solutions first bags the customer.
2. Have a perfectly designed website
Inbound marketing tips from experts opine that your website is your online calling card. Unless you have an appealing and attractive website, chances are slim for you to attract customers. Besides having eye-catching web pages, your website should be easily navigable. Ensure that you have web pages that load within seconds because an average visitor doesn’t linger for more than a few seconds. Your website must be attractive enough to draw customers, and fast enough to delight them. A tested inbound marketing methodology emphasizes the essential need for your website to be SEO-friendly to rank high.
3. Responsive web designing
While designing your website, make sure it is also mobile-friendly, because over 80% of the users are on mobile devices, and expect a pleasing experience. Have a separate blog section on an easily scrollable page to enable mobile users easy access to your blog. Did you know that a whopping 95% of Facebook users access their accounts from mobile devices? Remember that responsive web designing is the order of the day, and have your website designed accordingly. A mobile-friendly website ensures a smooth buying journey, and leaves the users delighted, ensuring repeat visits.
4. Create engaging content
Some of the best inbound marketing strategies include creating compelling content. Using appealing content as your cornerstone strategy pays rich dividends. Not only must your content be of impeccable quality, more importantly, but it should also be relevant, and keep up with the times. The trick lies in maintaining a high level of quality continuously as average content often goes unnoticed.
It is not just the users you need to keep content, you need to fulfill the search parameters set by search engines like Google as well. Your content should highlight the benefits and outline the value proposition to ensure that your inbound marketing strategies work in your favor. Unless your content is clear, concise, and compelling, it is unlikely that it is noticed or read. Focusing on persona-driven content in the form of blogs or white papers is still one of the best inbound marketing tips you can rely on for better results.
5. Role of the content on pillar pages
High-level content on a web page is called a pillar page, which talks about the main topic in a nutshell with links to detailed content under subheadings. It is more like a table of contents that serves as a ready reckoner, that helps the reader zero in on what they are looking for. Such pillar pages help gain quick conversions as the readers get convinced of the accruing benefits. It is essential to refresh old content with fresh content as that is what Google looks for and likes. Remember while conversing with a prospective customer online that they have already learned a lot about you and your brand from your content, and will ask you appropriate questions.
6. Appropriate guest blog posts
Guest blogging forms one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies that produce guaranteed results. Guest blogging helps increase traffic through valuable backlinks. With each guest post, you reach a new audience, increasing your visibility and spreading brand awareness. Guest blogging helps your target niche audiences and helps draw more traffic towards your website. Also, updating old blog posts can help increase web traffic, thanks to better ranking. 2022 should witness guest blogging emerging as one of the primary inbound marketing tactics, fortifying your marketing plans. The backlinks you leave in your blogs make one of the most effective CTAs that produce instant results.
7. The significance of headlines
The time you spend on crafting a headline is well worth your while because it accomplishes half the task of the entire content when it comes to inbound marketing tips given by industry experts. More often than not, it is the killer headline that draws a reader to content, and if you back the subsequent sentences with enough appeal the readers read on. An effective headline will feature the primary keyword. If your headline says “a never-before offer”, instead of “one of the best offers”, the former is more likely to be a hit. This is one occasion where negation works positively.
Content that is not SEO-friendly cannot serve any purpose. Tried and tested inbound marketing methodology focuses on optimizing your content for best results. Content that uses appropriate keywords and phrases attains better ranking, resulting in improved traffic. Although it may take a while for the results to show, it is a sure-shot method that works invariably.
Marketers need to divide the time they spend equally on researching the topics and fortifying the content by optimizing it to make it search engine-ready. Selecting the appropriate SEO keywords and inserting them in the text is a great way to start. Remember that SEO alone does not contribute to better revenues; it has to match the buyer’s expectations with well-researched keywords.
9. The role of influencers
There’s no denying the fact that influencers play a significant role in inbound marketing strategies, and using influencers in your marketing activities helps achieve better results. The influencers should match your target audience’s expectations. You need to consider your target audience’s age, gender, location, and other such demographics. One of the best inbound marketing strategies extols influencer campaigns as being highly successful with fans and followers who make a niche audience. The same fans and followers love reading influencers’ blogs that highlight their pain points and feature CTAs offering solutions.
10. The significance of landing pages
When you witness a deluge of visitors, one front door cannot manage the traffic. One of the most brilliant inbound marketing strategies involves creating landing pages that serve as entry points. It pays to have more than one landing page, where one can be devoted to convincing the visitors to take action by clicking the CTA button. You may want your visitor to sign up for a specific program or newsletter, download an eBook, or go straight to the checkout page. A landing page that is action-ready always convinces people to act.
11. Why you must have call-to-action buttons
As a marketing professional, you need to understand the significance of a give and take policy. You must have call to action (CTA) buttons that promise something to induce customers to click. Once they know there is some value, they will willingly part with information that is vital for your organization, like personal info. Ensure that the CTA button is colorful and visible, regardless of whether it is on the landing page, or at the end of your blog. You could offer a free E-book, an informative white paper, gainful tutorials, or a free membership, among others in return for a phone number and an email address.
12. Email is an effective inbound marketing tool
Using emails for marketing is a time-tested method that is used in outbound marketing. However, you can also use an email as an effective inbound marketing tool. You need to ensure that you don’t send mass emails. You have to select your target audience, preferably the customers who have already shared their email addresses. Sending marketing emails to such select customers ensures that they are read, and if they feature a CTA button, chances are bright that the customers will take action immediately. You can also use an A/B testing tool to monitor the emails and find out which text is most appealing.
13. Long-form content is the order of the day
Did you know that long-form articles rank better on Google? Typically, a long-form blog or article runs for 2000 to 2500 words and features the trending topics, which adds value to the content. Popular long-form content is presented as E-books, case studies, or white papers. Readers share long-form content more often than short-form blogs or articles, and that’s probably why long-form content generates more leads, resulting in higher conversions.
However, whether long-form or short, the trick lies in selecting topics that are dear to your buyer’s persona, and addressing their pain points, and offering solutions. Readers believe that long-form articles are written by experts in the particular domain, and look forward to informative text.
14. Use images and videos in your content
Did you know that 85% of the people searching on the Internet prefer to watch videos rather than reading text? The opportunities for engaging users through your videos are tremendous. It makes sense to understand your buyer’s personal preferences before creating videos to ensure that they provide value to the users. Inbound marketing tips emphasize the need to create videos that connect with the needs of the users and offer solutions. You could create sequential videos that first dwell on the customers’ pain points. Follow up with videos featuring a call to action button offering solutions.
15. Keep track of the competition
Constantly researching what your successful competitors are doing helps you keep up with the times. Keep monitoring the type of content they use most, what delivery tactics they adopt, and which niche group they target with such content. The idea is to not just replicate what your competitors are doing but to go a step further and excel at it. While one competitor may be adept at using text content, another may be an expert in visual content. Making a mix and match of video and text content is one of the inbound marketing tactics you should perfect.
16. Using infographics
You may have to convey some complicated information, which is boring more often than not. Such information, if not presented properly, will put off the users and contribute to an increased bounce rate. Instead, if you presented the same information as catchy infographics, not only will it be viewed and appreciated, it will also be shared by happy users. It is a proven fact that infographics can tell it better than words. What’s more, is, infographics are seldom long, and the chances of anyone skipping them are rare.
17. Use podcasts as an inbound marketing strategy
Statistica reports that 78% of Americans listen to podcasts regularly. Podcasting has emerged as one of the most popular pastimes in the country. Podcasts are a great inbound marketing tool that every marketer should use. India is not far behind; according to moneycontrol.com, there are 57 million podcast listeners in the country, making it the third-largest podcast listening nation in the world. You may want to explore the possibilities of hosting your own branded podcast to increase brand awareness. Moreover, podcasts cost little and the rewards are excellent.
18. Paid search ads provide results
Paid search ads are a sure-shot way to increase revenues through your inbound marketing activities. Users search for a specific product or service, and you are bound to rank high on such searches if you use the right keywords. Inbound marketing tips from experts emphasize the need to create pay-per-click (PPC) ads that offer solutions and address the customers’ pain points. Your ads can be crafted in a way that helps cement relationships with the users.
19. Repurpose your content to boost inbound marketing
Your old blogs may have been read many times, and your old videos may have had several views. People always come back for more if the content is engaging. Repurposing content updated with new information is a great way to boost inbound marketing to increase sales. The users may not have taken action during their previous visits (old content), and now is the time to cajole them to take action by adding a call to action button in your old blogs and videos.
20. Use your landing pages to boost revenues
Landing pages are quite different from the other pages on your website. One of the best inbound marketing strategies is to create landing pages with a specific purpose in mind. Even your blog could serve as a landing page, provided the content is engaging enough. You have to add relevant content to your landing pages and ensure it matches what your target audience is searching for. Don’t forget to include a call to action button on the page, which can invite users to download an E-book or any useful PDF, or feature a link to interesting content.
21. Have opt-in options in your web pages
One of the most effective inbound marketing tactics to use is adding opt-ins to any of your web pages. Once users are willing to opt-in you can coax them to sign-up for your newsletters. However, pestering the users with too many questions can scare them away. Allow them to settle in comfortably and get to know them better before asking for more information. You need to first offer something before you can ask for anything in return.
22. Utilize social media platforms
Almost every third person is either on Facebook or LinkedIn or on both. Posting exciting content on these platforms is one of the best inbound marketing tips you can follow. Your posts can have links coming back to your blogs or videos to engage your customers and keep them engaged. Needless to mention that you should have Call to Action opt-in buttons on the blogs you link your customers back to, which helps with conversions.
23. The other platforms
Did you know that Instagram has over 1 billion users at last count? Of these, over 500 million users are regulars who view Instagram stories, and 62% of these users have opted for a brand after viewing an Instagram story. Similarly, Snapchat too features stories that are popular with its users. If your target audience is made up of Gen Z or millennials, Snapchat is the platform you should be active on. Quora is a forum designed for question and answer sessions. Quora is probably one of the best inbound marketing tools. You can command respect by answering tricky questions to make the questioners happy.
24. Introduce loyalty programs to boost revenues
Your inbound marketing tactics should include loyalty programs because studies show that 79% of customers crave recognition, and expect benefits for becoming your customers. Loyalty programs give your customers a sense of belonging, and they love to be pampered. Such programs can ensure repeat orders regardless of your current prices.
25. Set clear goals
Last but not the least; you must set goals for your inbound marketing activity. Even before you start creating content for your inbound marketing, be sure to fix specific goals. You may want to set a target for the number of views you plan to achieve and go about arriving at the target. It is not just the number of views, you can also set targets for the number of leads you plan to generate, and the number of PDFs you want to be downloaded.
Inbound Marketing Trends in 2021
While there are several strategies you can adopt for your inbound marketing. However, here are three trends that top the list:
Content is still king, and blogging is one of the best inbound marketing tactics to adopt to increase revenues. Consistent blogging can contribute to a steady increase in your ROI. According to first site guide, 7 million blog posts are published per day. Blogging is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website.
2. Long-form content
While blogging does part of the trick, short blogs are not of much use. Backlinko says that the average length of a top-ranking blog post on Google is 1447 words. Google has a passage
3. Try not to use forms
As mentioned earlier, forms are passé. Most people feel filling out forms is a cumbersome process, and give up midway. You’ll have to keep up with the changes in consumer behavior and find new means of gaining info. You may want to use chatbots instead, as it is interactive and holds the attention of the users until they part with the information you seek.
- Content still plays a major role in enhancing your inbound marketing activities.
- Use images and videos liberally, as more people prefer videos to text. Also, it is crucial to determine your target audience by researching your buyer’s persona, and targeting the niche group always guarantees results.
- form online communities and indulge them in real-time discussions, which have the potential to become interactive sessions to promote brand awareness.
- Artificial Intelligence can be used to curate content and suggestions from customers. Your website’s user experience can be enhanced using Ai and machine learning.
- The strength of deploying inbound marketing strategies lies in drawing targeted customers to your brand rather than reaching out to the general masses.
With these 25 inbound marketing strategies, we are confident that you will be able to drive more traffic to your website along with sales for your business. Remember to understand the fundamentals of inbound marketing and you will be on the right track.
Most of the leading brands today have a clear purpose, which serves as one of their chief inbound marketing strategies. They also use other inbound marketing tactics like leveraging user-generated content. One of the most successful inbound marketing tips includes using content with a conversational tone to win over customers. Inbound content marketing strategies also include interactive sessions in which customers ask questions online, which are answered online.
An expert uses bundled inbound marketing tactics to ensure that their marketing efforts are effective. The strategies include search engine optimization (SEO), blogs, online events, social media posts, and content marketing, all of which work together to create brand awareness, which leads to an increase in revenue and profits.
One of the best inbound marketing strategies emphasizes the need to use a multipronged strategy with a mixture of organic and paid campaigns. While Pay-Per-Click (PPC) can produce guaranteed results, you need to consider the costs involved. You can’t ignore social media ads, which have emerged as one of the best inbound marketing strategies. In addition, inbound marketing tactics include email marketing, word of mouth (referrals), and influencer marketing. Besides these, one of the most effective inbound marketing tips entails using images and videos in your advertising campaigns.
While paid media advertising is still the conventional method that guarantees results, viral marketing, and social networking also produce equally good results. Many online companies resort to email marketing and direct selling to reach more customers. Co-branding is a relatively new strategy that yields excellent results, though you need to be cautious while associating with other brands. Another proven, winning strategy is conversational marketing since you focus on dialogues with the customer to be more engaging.
Identifying your target audience by determining the buyer’s persona is still one of the best inbound marketing strategies you can follow to achieve success. Contacts in business, employee referrals, partner contacts, and several other customer contacts are essentially some of the best inbound marketing tactics you can adopt to develop your inbound marketing activities. Creating awareness in the buyers, and having them consider your product or service before making the decision is all part of the buyer’s journey.
Content is still king, whether delivered as blogs, emails campaigns, chats, or infographics. Content is one of the basics of inbound marketing that all organizations should focus their efforts upon.
The world is fast-paced, and 2021 is witnessing unprecedented social media presence due to the continued existence of COVID. Social media not only provides an opportunity to reconnect with existing customers but also to identify new audiences that can be converted. Some of the best inbound marketing strategies focus on the need for marketers to constantly monitor the latest trends on social media and utilize them for their benefit.