Content Marketing as a part of Inbound Strategy
This is a continuation of our previous article — Introduction to Content Marketing. Today, we will explain the differences between outbound and inbound marketing, and explain the main assumptions of the latter. Inbound marketing is a vital part of Internet Marketing — it is being used by marketers all around the globe, as the methods it proposes are great to establish and strengthen contact with the customers.
Below, you can read about these methods!
Sell it at any cost!
Outbound marketing is used to transfer the content in one way. It simply informs without making any contact with a potential client. Although it is a form of promotion most often used in traditional media, its traces are also visible on the Internet. These include, above all, sending advertising e-mails without creating a specific target group — because they are considered by the network users and e-mail algorithms as SPAM. This also applies to placing on websites ads that have no connection with the subject of a specific site, for example, a promotion of an auto parts store on the food blog.
The most common wrong assumption of outbound marketing is directing an identical advertising message to the widest possible audience, even if it is not in any way desired and expected. In this model, information is being shouted out, but in many cases goes unnoticed, leaving only considerable costs.
Feel your customers’ emotions
The opposite of outbound marketing is inbound marketing. Unlike its predecessor, this model assumes that today’s Internet users seek out interesting content without waiting until it reaches them from the outside –they use search engines, like Google, read the opinions at online forums and social media platforms and thus their choices are well thought out, not accidental. Inbound marketing activities are a response to the needs of potential customers — they are supposed to help users reach the desired content.
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Inbound marketing is based on permission marketing strategy. Permission marketing assumes that each advertising message should reach the recipients not in an intrusive way, but with their full consent. In the modern marketing consumers find the desirable content themselves, so when visiting websites, they agree to watch the advertising messages embedded in their content. In this way, a thread of understanding between the marketer and the recipient is established — marketer provides information corresponding to the current need of the consumer, and the consumer assimilates them, satisfying the thirst for knowledge without getting irritated by a too intrusive message.
It’s time to talk
One of the basic assumptions of this model is the two-way communication. The activities carried out within the framework of inbound marketing facilitate a dialogue between a potential customer and a company, which brings mutual benefits. From the company’s point of view, it is a chance to gain a new client, who is interested in the brand. The customers get the desired product or service and the sense that they have been treated as an exceptional partner.
The product itself is not the most important in this strategy, but they way it is presented. Equally important is the attitude of the brand towards the customer. Marketers should abandon the insistent selling techniques and try to empathize with the needs of the consumers to create a message, which will awake in consumer only positive emotions.
Inbound marketing, in contrast to the outbound strategy, generates much smaller costs.
This is mainly thanks to the fact that its use precisely determines the audience. We can see it well on the example of contextual ads, the content of which is adjusted to the theme of the page. Such ads are less invasive — through them, the marketer suggests and draws attention to the message in a gentle way, unobtrusively convincing internet users that the product will meet their expectations.
The inbound marketing has three main areas of action:
- search engines,
- social networks.
These are sectors in which the activity of Internet users is now the biggest. Through these sources, the Internet users are looking for inspiration and gaining knowledge about the products that interest them. These days, if something cannot be found on the Internet, it does not exist in the real world, and thus potential customer won’t notice it. In 2015, marketers were already aware of the fact that a simple website filled with random information is not enough to mark its presence in the consciousness of the recipient.
The communication between the company and the consumer should operate on many channels, basing on interactive forms — frequently updated blog, active participation in various social networking sites, as well as the ease in finding the company through the search engine.
Content is the king
In inbound marketing, content strategy is one of the most methods. Its quality determines how a web user will see the brand –either establishing an emotional bond with it or moving to another page in the search for more valuable content (which results in a loss of a potential client, and thus — the possibility of profit). Nowadays, the ability to read is decreasing — ironically, because the level of illiteracy is decreasing as well. However, people find it more and more difficult to focus on the long and more complex texts.
If consumers are looking for information, they would rather choose a version, in a nutshell, the summary, than a complex explanation. Most web users quickly scan through the page without reading all information located on it and scroll down until they realize that this is not the content they were looking for. Also, more and more people when browsing the Internet does not go beyond the so-called level of immersion, which is what they see immediately after entering the web page. Too much text is a deterrent to a potential customer, who assumes that the website’s main purpose is to be scanned casually, not read from cover to cover. Internet users are attracted to all interactive and multimedia forms that engage multiple senses in a creative way, as well as evoke positive emotions.
The inbound marketing strategy responsible for creating content is, obviously, a content marketing.
Modern marketing is built on much more subtle forms of promotion — the messages of the advertisement is not the most important, what matters, is its “package” — the way in which the brand awareness will be presented to potential clients. Advertising alone can only slightly affect the consumers’ minds, while proper content marketing is the process of building a lasting relationship with the consumer, based on the valuable content that generates trust.
Effective content marketing
The Internet’s content is understood in different ways depending on the place of occurrence. For example — the descriptions of products in the online shop, the characteristics of the company’s activities or the guide-like articles. It is a mistake, however, to assume that the content is only a text. The Internet is, in fact, the media through which we can send not only written communications — we can present our message both in words, images, short video or via podcast. The form must be adapted to the target group and the nature of the problem so that the recipient does not have a problem with understanding the meaning of the message.
Content marketing is gaining popularity because it can transmit a lot of information, without generating high costs. The Internet, however, is saturated with content. Its resources are full of valuable information, as well as completely useless materials. For the content to be found on the Web, it must as much as possible meet the needs of customers, to “let itself be found” among the thousands of texts and multimedia dealing with similar themes.
Creativity is what counts in content marketing — the better the idea to present content, the faster the brand arises in the minds of consumers.
For the content marketing to be effective, we must take care not to engage in a short, temporarily initiatives. Content Marketing is the philosophy of action, consistent set of comprehensive measures that enable the achievement of long-term success in the form of a consumer relationship with the brand. It is not a single advertising campaign built on valuable content, but a continuous transmission, which enables the customer to believe in the authenticity of the company or marketer.