Over the years, marketing has evolved to accommodate online retail and digital services. When it comes to the two types of marketing known as inbound and outbound, one has proven to be more successful with online shoppers. In this blog, you’ll learn more about these different types of marketing and how you can create a foolproof inbound marketing strategy that works to boost both brand awareness and sales.

Inbound Marketing Strategy vs. Outbound

When it comes to comparisons between inbound marketing and outbound marketing, there is one main factor that differentiates the two marketing styles; one is invasive and the other isn’t.

Outbound marketing is a form of advertising that is considered invasive and disruptive to the consumer’s lifestyle. This form of marketing is designed to snatch the audience’s attention, whether they are open to looking at an ad or not. A few examples of outbound marketing include radio ads, television commercials, flyers, billboards, YouTube ads and other attention-grabbing advertising tactics.

On the flip-side, inbound marketing is the non-invasive advertising technique that most digital retailers swear by. This form of advertising only begins when the consumer seeks out a particular product, service or brand. Some examples of inbound marketing include blog articles, white papers, case studies and guides.

Because outbound marketing tactics are considered annoying and can even get your company labeled as spam, online retailers swear by inbound marketing techniques. Allow online shoppers to come to your brand at their own will and you have a much better chance of landing a sale with gentle and informative content marketing.

Content marketing is a subset of inbound marketing. For online businesses, it is most commonly seen in the form of blogs. If you can create a dynamic, engaging and information-rich blog for your target audience, you will increase your brand awareness and boost your overall sales.

Step 1 – Building an Inbound Marketing Strategy

If you have decided to venture down the path of inbound marketing, there are a few steps to create a solid inbound marketing strategy.

The first step is to understand your target audience. If you don’t know your consumers’ basic demographics and how they like to shop, then you will not be able to take advantage of personalized marketing.

Next, you create a user persona, the fictional representation of your ideal customer. Write down a list of attributes for this representative. It can be as long or short of a description as you want, but the more detailed, the better. Once you’ve figured out who your target audience is, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2 – Create a Blog

If you haven’t already created a website or online retail store, go ahead and do that. Once your website is up and running, you will be ready to implement an inbound marketing strategy. Create a blog on your website. When a potential lead begins to search online for information about your service, product and niche industry, they have a great chance of coming across your blog. All you have to do is ensure that you are offering valuable information that is intriguing enough for them to trust you and sign up for your emailing list.

Step 3 – Generate a Content Calendar

Now that you have a working website with a blog, you can begin generating insightful content to post on your blog. Your goal should be to post regularly, but not too often to be deemed annoying or spammy.

One way to go about generating creative content for your blog is to have a brainstorming session for article ideas. Once you have a long list of topics to write about, you can go through the different ideas and prioritize the list. Put the topics into a content calendar to help you keep track of everything you have posted, how well it has performed and see what you need to post next.

Pro tip: don’t forget to design a fantastic call-to-action that encourages blog readers to sign up for your newsletter or email.

Step 4 – Share on Social Media

Once you begin posting to your blog, you shouldn’t just leave it to perform on its own. Yes, you will inevitably bring in traffic from organic search results. However, you can expedite the process of attracting new visitors by sharing your articles on your social media business accounts.

Your social media followers already want to see what you’re up to. They will be more open to viewing your blog posts, and they will like, comment and even share if they find it insightful enough.

The key here is only to post useful articles that your audience will find helpful. Posting insightful copy will help you establish your brand as a thought leader in your industry, improve your online presence and, in turn, increase your sales.

Wrapping Up Inbound Marketing Strategy

Inbound marketing uses content and social media marketing to give your target audience information that they are actually interested in. If you follow the steps in this post, you will attract new customers, retain current customers and generate more sales.

If you want to learn how marketing automation can help with your inbound marketing strategy, contact us or request a demo.

AUTHOR
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Elsbeth Russell
Elsbeth is the Marketing Content Manager at SharpSpring. Through the creation of lead-generating content, including white papers, blogs, infographics, and thought leadership articles, she leverages her nearly 15 years of experience in journalism, marketing and communications.