You’ve probably heard the term “inbound marketing”, but you might not be entirely sure what that means. If that sounds like you, we’re going to clarify. If you already know about inbound marketing, we will be looking at how marketing automation platforms not only streamline your inbound marketing, but how they strengthen those efforts as well.
If there’s one thing that we can all agree on, it’s that our daily lives are bombarded by a lot of advertising. Recent studies have concluded that, considering all of the various marketing channels like TV, radio, social media, email, etc., consumers are exposed to 4,000 ads per day. That sounds like an incredibly overwhelming number, almost paralyzing. So how does one manage to function throughout the day with all those advertisers screaming for attention? The answer is, they stop listening.
The case for inbound marketing
Technology has given advertisers the opportunity to reach out in new ways, but it has also empowered consumers to filter out messages they don’t want to hear. Television commercials can be skipped, printed “junk” mail can be instantly recycled and digital ads can be “unliked” to make room for more relevant content. And that’s where inbound marketing comes in. Rather than spending advertising dollars in hopes of interrupting or convincing, businesses are shifting their budgets to focus on attracting instead.
Wikipedia defines Inbound marketing as “...marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.” While it may not provide the instant (and fleeting) gratification that a Super bowl commercial might bring to your bottom line, inbound marketing lays the foundation for higher-quality, better targeted prospects to find you.
Strengthening inbound marketing with automation
By shifting the focus from catchy ads to relevant content, inbound marketing helps businesses attract the right buyers and answer their top questions at each stage of the buying journey. Keep in mind, this change in traditional communication strategy requires a certain amount of self-restraint – companies will need to resist the urge to self-promote. That may initially feel counter-intuitive and take more patience, but the data are showing that this more customer-centric approach pays off.
Ok, great. So you’ve created the content, you’re seeing the prospects come in and management is getting excited. What’s next? There’s no point to all this increased traffic if it doesn’t drive business. Those prospects need to be converted into qualified leads and you’ll need a way to track their path and report results. How do you do that, you ask. We’re so glad you asked...the answer is marketing automation. The technology helps you to nurture your new prospects with email campaigns until they’re ready to convert by delivering the right content, to the right person, at the right time.
Whether your prospects are gathered from a webinar, tradeshow, list purchase, organic web search, etc., marketing automation platforms can quickly scale and start making connections. By automatically guiding your prospects further down the funnel and weeding out the serious buyers from those that need more information, marketing automation platforms turns inbound marketing into a lead generating machine.
To learn more, explore our complete capabilities or contact us today!