Inbound Marketing Explained


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Inbound Marketing Explained is a sample piece of content to show what content actually looks like, how it is leveraged, and how lead nurturing could work. It is featured in the larger eBook that I created called "Content Marketing: An Introduction to B2B Marketing." There is one more asset after this one that is gated in both the eBook and this document. Access it through this guy, or stay tuned for its undetermined release. Enjoy.

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Inbound Marketing Explained

  1. 1. Inbound Marketing Explained 1 INBOUND MARKETING Alex Burkholder Explained
  2. 2. Inbound Marketing Explained 2 INTRODUCTION OUTBOUND VS. INBOUND MARKETING HOW INBOUND IS MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL You’ve probably heard the term “inbound marketing” many times, but if someone asked you to define it, could you? In our discussions with clients and prospects, we found a widespread uncertainty about what inbound marketing is, how it’s different from outbound, why companies should care, and what companies are doing about it. The distinction between outbound and inbound marketing is that outbound marketing actively attempts to find buyers while inbound marketing is passively absorbed by potential customers. The outbound approach is extremely inefficient and unscientific because the audience is largely anonymous, it’s difficult to target or tailor relevant messages, and the logic is that if enough cold calls are made, or enough email campaigns are sent out, eventually someone of relevance will receive the message. Outbound marketing encompasses traditional sales and marketing techniques such as cold calls, events and purchased print, radio, and television advertising. Prospective buyers often ignore outbound marketing reach because buyers can educate themselves on their own before engaging with sales or marketing. The Internet allows consumers to research options without the annoyance of a hard sales pitch. In fact, 90% of business buyers say when they’re ready to buy; they’ll find you (Content Marketing Report, 2013). However, leads do not always know that they have pain (so they aren’t looking) and it is the marketer’s job to expose pain and nurture their solutions. Inbound marketing is gaining traction as more customers engage less with the traditional outbound marketing and sales tactics. Inbound marketing helps potential customers discover products or services, often before they are looking to purchase, and turns early awareness into brand preference that ultimately leads to revenue. Inbound marketing is content marketing designed to nurture and educate buyers with a sales message and is more common than people realize. For example, if someone ever downloads content to learn more about something, or if a person followed a company on Twitter, inbound marketing is at play. Through actions like this, the consumer becomes empowered, engaging
  3. 3. Inbound Marketing Explained 3 with a brand because they identify with it. In exchange, the consumer has given the brand information about their interest in it as a potential customer. Educational offers and quality content are at the core of successful inbound marketing efforts. Content that is sent out or available to leads should be useful even if that lead never becomes a customer of the company leveraging that content. Inbound marketing requires the use of multiple strategies across various channels including website design, social media marketing, and content marketing. QUALITY CONTENT Content that companies leverage are often created from their existing materials. Most organizations already have a few assets available on their website, but they’re typically old materials. Existing assets provide a good starting place for new content creation and future content ideas. Unfortunately, these existing assets are not relevant to customers in certain verticals as many companies have a broad customer base in different verticals, roles, or audiences. Customer content, on the other hand, permits marketers of b2b organizations to leverage compelling content from the voice of customers to power sales and marketing campaigns as content based on the feedback of verified real users. Customer testimonials (89%) and case studies (88%) are considered to be the most effective pieces of content to leverage as sales collateral and marketing materials (Content Marketing Report, 2013). Content marketing is going mainstream and has become more sophisticated to help marketers generate more leads. Gathering customer content, however, is no simple task. Current methods for creating content are ineffective as 93% of b2b marketers creating content from scratch (Content Marketing Report, 2013). Marketing teams are under immense pressure to generate relevant content for both marketing and sales collateral. Sales have demand for case studies or testimonials and their prospects desire for credible content to support sales’ claims. Even when companies gather and leverage content from the voice of their customers, credibility of the data is in jeopardy. More than 93% of companies create content from scratch (Content Marketing Report, 2013) and have in-house content generation demands. They could use a survey software tool, such as SurveyMonkey, to collect customer data, but this lacks third-party validation.
  4. 4. Inbound Marketing Explained 4 CUSTOMER CONTENT SOFTWARE CONCLUSION Customer content software permits marketers of b2b organizations to generate new, fresh, and compelling content from the voice of customers to power sales and marketing campaigns, all in a cost and time effective manner, and third-party verified. Types of customer content to leverage as sales and marketing collateral include: Customer content software enables organizations to more efficiently and effectively acquire customer content thereby improving sales effectiveness and generating faster revenue growth. • Customer testimonials • Charts and graphs • Case studies • Customer reviews • Customer proof points • Performance and ROI metrics Now that you have learned the difference between inbound and outbound marketing and have become an expert on how inbound marketing is beneficial to both the buyer and seller, let’s focus more on this customer content aspect. It sounds complicated. Shoot, it is complicated. Who are we kidding? To learn more about Customer Content Software feel free to download our “Introduction to Customer Content Software” eBook. Or don’t! It is truly up to YOU. You’re the empowered buyer that has the freedom to engage with whatever content you want, whenever you want. Remember? We’d like it if you did though; it’s pretty rad. Alex Burkholder: Author Vonn Weisenberger: Designer CHECK IT OUT! WE’RE ON THE INTERNET.