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Inbound marketing, which is one of the top strategies that brands apply to grow their business today when digitalization is at the center of decision-making processes for the end user, allows you to get attraction, leads, and engagement by positioning the right content in the right channels. In this article, as B2Press Online PR Service, we are going on a journey where we seek the answers to questions such as "What is inbound marketing?", "Why is inbound marketing important?", and "What are the benefits of inbound marketing?”
Inbound marketing, which is one of the marketing methodologies on which both B2B and B2C brands need to spend a long time when designing their marketing strategies today, plays a significant role in the digital part of consumers' purchasing decision-making process. The fact that content is "king" does not change over the years, and the question "What is inbound marketing?" becomes an important topic for brands that realize this situation. In this article, as B2Press Online PR Service, we will focus on the definition of inbound marketing, which is one of the rising marketing trends of recent years and has become one of the essentials of growing a business, the benefits of inbound marketing, general outlines of inbound marketing strategies, and inbound marketing tools. Of course, we will also mention a few good examples of inbound marketing.
Perhaps we should seek the most important reasons why marketing is so critical to business processes in the rise of brand perception and user experience. In our opinion, research on these concepts states the same:
Inbound marketing is positioned as the starting point for great customer experience, which people seek, and authenticity, the key characteristic that sets brands apart. Inbound marketing is one of the most powerful tools for capturing new users, retaining existing users' interests, and differentiating from competing brands, and it brings with it an increase in sales when practiced regularly. Keeping in mind that inbound marketing content brings three times higher conversion rates than content produced as part of other marketing activities, we should continue on our journey with the definition of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that enables companies to build trust and develop long-term relationships with their customers and creates a user experience that starts with attracting a user's attention and extends to empowering that user. The inbound methodology uses content that reflects the brand's expertise in its area of activity to design and execute this entire process. Inbound marketing, which is a marketing strategy where the content has a significant role and becomes the "king," is a comprehensive strategy that requires creating an inbound marketing funnel, which starts with understanding buyer personas and goes on with delivering the right content formats in the right ways.
The fact that users expect to be appreciated by the brands beyond being just data or a persona is one of the phenomena that the marketing world has realized in recent years. While there are dozens of competing brands that offer the same products and services to the users, they rationalize their decision on a brand with the appreciation they perceive from that brand. At this point, users expect tailor-made experiences created for them by the brands, and they want to feel that expertise at every point in the buying journey. Users demand that the brand they prefer constantly attract their attention and empower them with knowledge, experience, and expertise in the future.
Inbound marketing is positioned as one of the tools for a brand to reveal its vitality and be a living brand. In an age where social media flows so fast, information sharing is so intense, and the agenda of the internet changes every day, inbound marketing offers a way for brands to become brands that always talk and are talked about, and it brings companies closer to users.
We think it may be useful to explain the importance of inbound marketing by comparing inbound marketing and outbound marketing. Outbound marketing is a reach strategy where a brand proactively reaches out to leads to get them interested in the product or service it offers. Inbound marketing and outbound marketing strategies use different tools, but the main difference between these two strategies is approach.
We tried to highlight the importance of inbound marketing in the previous paragraph. In this section, we focus on reinforcing the importance of inbound marketing by listing its advantages. The basic benefits of inbound marketing can be summarized as measurability, qualified traffic, brand reliability and brand image, and savings in the marketing budget.
It increases brand reliability and credibility.
Inbound marketing uses content marketing tools such as blog posts, e-books, whitepapers, e-mail marketing, and social media marketing to create space for brands to showcase their expertise through content creation. Brands that perform quality content creation on the subject they know and operate in can gain trust in the eyes of consumers by publishing it on their own content channels. When consumers want to access information on a topic, they trust brands that offer them an experience where they can get what they want through digital channels. Increased credibility in the eyes of the consumer also plays a role in the purchase decision.
It attracts qualified traffic and leads.
99.5% of users, at least sometimes, search online before making a purchase. About 87% do this regularly or all the time (Source). In other words, consumers that you have succeeded in reaching as a result of their online search by implementing the right inbound marketing strategy are the leads who already have an intention to purchase that product or service category. Inbound marketing helps to shorten the decision-making process of these leads. Also, the leads who are interested in your products and services are more likely to convert into potential buyers.
It allows achieving highly efficient results at low costs.
Outbound marketing tools include mass campaigns, such as outdoor campaigns, which are more time-consuming and costly and appeal to a more general audience. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, targets niche consumer segments that already have the intention to buy products and services and reaches them directly. Blog posts, social media content, and e-mails produced for inbound marketing are permanent ever-green content, and are updated over time to continue providing leads. Also, it allows the brands to achieve a higher return on investment (ROI) through more targeted digital ads. The inbound marketing tools that we will discuss in the following sections of the article can be produced by using internal resources or outsourcing from professionals such as B2Press, plus at low costs.
It improves communication with the consumer.
Inbound marketing methodology also makes it possible for the brand to get feedback through communication with its consumers. Content strategies that can be optimized according to consumer demands enable brands to deliver the right content to their consumers at the right time. In this way, as a learning process, it contributes to the development of brand identity.
The conceptual framework of inbound marketing usually consists of four stages. A coherent inbound marketing funnel covers all four stages.
Attract: The first stage is to attract users who consider a purchase decision. Content written for this purpose and improved according to user search through SEO optimization serves to attract the attention of users searching for this topic. When a user reaches your website, social media account, or e-mail with an impressive e-mail header through a search engine query, the first interaction between the brand and the user is established.
Convert: The next stage is to convert the consumers who have been attracted and introduced to the brand into leads by using inbound marketing tools again. Visitors are converted into leads and eventually into customers who make their first purchase decision.
Nurture, Engage: At this stage, brands try to convert their acquired customers into repeat buyers.
Delight: The relationship established between brand and consumer becomes mutually more nourishing with delight, which is positioned as the last stage of inbound marketing. Consumers feed brands with feedback that will shape their inbound marketing strategies, while brands support consumers with the right content.
We have gained knowledge about a significant proportion of what we need to know about inbound marketing. Now it is time to build the inbound marketing methodology step by step. Before starting the journey that will be outlined below, we would like to point out that developing an inbound marketing strategy is as multi-dimensional as creating a marketing strategy and it is important to keep in mind that it is a process and expertise will be acquired over time.
The golden rule of any marketing strategy is to clarify expectations from that strategy. The key to measuring what you get out of inbound marketing is to set objectives accurately, consistently, and realistically. Do not set out without embracing your short-, medium-, and long-term inbound marketing objectives.
It is important to design the moment the user encounters the content and the aftermath in the right way to transform inbound marketing into a sales channel. What will the user be directed to after accessing your content? What action will you expect from the user? Whose area of responsibility will the user performing this action be included in and how will they be contacted at the next stage? After defining the buyer's persona, you can determine all these details by deciding on the buyer's journey that fits this persona.
Inbound marketing is not just about blogging and sharing content on social media regularly, it is much more than that. Your team needs to have that experience first to build an experience that flows smoothly through all stages. Do not forget to design the journey where all stakeholders of the inbound marketing process, such as content writers, graphic designers, sales teams, and customer support teams, can collaborate. At this stage, do not hesitate to invest in the right tools, content management systems, and content optimization software.
How often and in which channels will you take part? Will you start producing videos, podcasts, and written content at the same time? How will you promote the content you produce? Design a multi-phase process that specifies all the details. In this way, you not only provide your users with an easy-to-follow flow but also save time until you achieve efficiency in operational processes. You should also focus on getting an idea of the tools you can use in inbound marketing. Even if you are familiar with blog posts, you should try to transform them a bit over time and present them in different formats such as e-books, whitepapers, webinars, etc. Use marketing triggers for access to more comprehensive and informative content. For example, the users may share their e-mail addresses and some contact details with you to access a report in PDF format. In this way, you can get potential leads to which you can apply cold marketing.
As B2Press Online PR Service, which supports the inbound marketing processes of dozens of brands with qualified editorial content as part of our B2Press Plus service, we think this stage is the most enjoyable part of the process. You can start producing written and multimedia content designed using basic SEO tricks at this stage. You should make a point of having spare content, move forward with weekly/monthly content plans, and make sure that the content you sort creates a journey for users.
You should start measuring the performance of the content you publish and connect with users and search engines from day one. You should monitor your potential to reach your target rankings in search engines. You should try to determine the effect of the content on consumers through interactions, access rates, and reviews. You should investigate how well you stick to your objectives using advanced analytics capabilities and the metrics you set when you have created the strategy.
One of the ways to achieve success in inbound marketing is to keep control over the content you publish using methods such as content audit. You should update the content you publish each month or each year as new developments occur. You should ensure that these updates are also indexed by search engines. Keep up with emerging content trends, and improve not only the content but also the way you deliver it. Get inspired by brands that apply powerful inbound marketing strategies, such as Ryanair, Shopify, and GoPro.
It is possible to find inspiring and globally acclaimed approaches and works in inbound marketing as in all areas of marketing. Here are some examples:
Ryanair: An Ireland-based airline company, Ryanair has a reputation for low-cost transportation. The company, which promises the lowest prices in Europe, also has very high expectations from passengers. For example, Ryanair is very sensitive about the weight and dimensions of the carry-on luggage you have. This situation also turns into an element of humor on a user basis. Ryanair places this approach of its users at the center of its social media and customer support services. The company, which gives you a dose of humor in each post while being informative, literally reflects this humor using business-friendly language. The company also manages to make fun of the user without pushing them away or disturbing them, and produces trendy content by closely embracing the "meme" culture. This initiates a long-lasting dialog between the user and the brand, and in this way, brand perception is reinforced with the contribution of inbound marketing.
GoPro: GoPro, a US-based action camera manufacturer, has turned the advantage of its products into an inbound marketing strategy. The company, which has succeeded in getting its users to adopt the hashtags #GoPro and #GoProHero, turns user-generated content into a tool of inbound marketing strategy. Users continue to use the product and share the footage with the same hashtags as long as they draw interest from the global brand, which means a constant dialog between the brand and the users. The company closely monitors the users' expectations from an action camera through social listening and creates inbound marketing content in line with these expectations.
Red Bull: Red Bull is one of the few brands that has put content marketing and inbound marketing at the center of its overall marketing approach. Red Bull, an energy drink manufacturer, identifies itself with extreme sports and offers the most qualified content that can be considered as branded content in this field. Red Bull tries untried actions and produces documentaries that reach millions of viewers. Felix Baumgartner's supersonic free fall from 39,000 meters stands out as one of Red Bull's most memorable works. Producing written, audio and visual content and transforming the perception of an energy drink producer into a "multi-platform media company focusing on sports, culture, and lifestyle," Red Bull has something to teach every brand about content marketing and inbound marketing.
Boost your inbound marketing strategies with B2Press Plus!
As mentioned in the introduction of this article, inbound marketing has been increasingly adopted every year as a marketing methodology that enables brands of all sizes and sectors, regardless of being B2B and B2C, to generate regular leads, can be produced at low costs, and promises high return on investment. As B2Press Online PR Service, we have begun to offer our service called B2Press Plus based on the rising needs of brands. We can summarize what we can do for brands operating in different sectors by offering our B2Press Plus service as follows:
Contact us to get support in creating your inbound marketing strategy and boost your inbound marketing strategies with the content produced by qualified editors at B2Press.