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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Why Is Social Media An Important Part Of Inbound Marketing?

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The only thing which is certain in this world is change. If it weren’t for change, we wouldn’t be here in this current position at the first place. Change forces you to think outside the box, to move outside your comfort zone if your current strategies aren’t working, be it your own personal life, your health or even your work. If change is crucial to human survival, just imagine how crucial it must be for a business/organization to adapt to the changes if they want to stay at the top of the game. Therefore it is imperative, that businesses reform their existing way of doing things, especially when it comes to marketing of their product and why is social media an important part of inbound marketing.

Effective marketing is the backbone of any booming business. If your marketing is not successful as it should be; then no matter how much input you invest or how innovative your final product is, it is still not sufficient to reap massive profits which your company is aiming at. So if successful marketing is vital, then the main question arises, which marketing strategies should companies opt for? With the rise of fast- pacing technology and long-lasting influence by social media, nowadays majority of multinationals and organizations of all sizes, make the use of inbound marketing for their brand. In fact, reputable companies have their own social media marketing department or outsource inbound marketing to the social media marketing agencies to establish and promote the product to the audience through the use of social media platforms. But before we converse further about the rising importance of inbound marketing in social media, first it will be useful to know what inbound marketing is? How different is it from its counterpart: outbound marketing, and why it has become popular among businesses?      

What Is Inbound Marketing?

An Inbound marketing is the digital marketing strategy which makes the use of pull marketing tactics, meaning that rather than pushing the product to the general audience, you aim to engage the potential customer by displaying the effectual content through website/blog articles or social media pages and search engine optimization. Through this method, customers are informed and advertised specifically about the product throughout their purchasing journey. If executed correctly, it can lead to long term relationship with customers and brand awareness at grand scale.  There are four stages of inbound marketing, one after another, which leads to selling the product successfully to customer and those stages are:

1. Attract: Since reaching out to target audience is major goal, the company must make the use of the effective strategies which draws the specific customers to their product. To achieve this, businesses use these aforementioned approaches:

a) Develop the official website that is accessible, easy to use, informative and eye-catching as well.

b) Create an active social media where you display your company’s product and services, and produce the content that convinces the potential buyers that why your product is perfect solution for their specific problem. In other words, engaging and answering the queries that potential buyers may have.

C) Expand your company’s website presence and ranking by utilizing the search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Majority of the people always use Google for product search. When the website contains the specific keywords and high quality of useful blog content, this will improve company’s website ranking and will enable the information available to the potential customers.

2. Convert: Now that you have successfully managed to catch the potential buyers’ attention, the next step is to develop the relationship with these buyers’ persona and convert them into leads. Obviously you will need their contact number, their email address and no one will give their personal information just like that to anyone. Logically to obtain something, you need to give something in return. In this scenario, for obtaining personal contact information, you can offer valuable content in the form of E-newspapers, E-books and Webinars that might contain details that your buyers might be interested. There are few ways of doing this by either:

a) Calls to Action (CTAs): is an prompt or button that directs user to take an correct action by clicking on button which says “sign up” or “buy now”

b) Filling the forms: signing up for free e-newspapers/blogs by filling the form that requires email address and name.

3. Close: Here comes the real challenge, this is when you have to close your leads and turn them into actual paying customers. This step has to been carried out carefully as extremity on either side will inevitably make you lose your customer. Paying less attention will make leads forget you and paying excessive attention will make your company appear suspicious. In other words, it’s all about maintaining balance. In this step, the sales/marketing department will be responsible for convincing the customer to make a final decision on purchasing the product by displaying/sharing nurturing content through email, website, marketing automation and social media pages. To handle the lead prospects, it is recommended to use customer relationship management (CRM) software which will help in keeping the track of leads converting into sales.

4. Delight: After the customer purchases your product, your work here is not done. In fact, you will now continue to establish the brand loyalty by interacting with your customers through social media and email. By doing this, this will help you reach two main goals. First, it will make a good impression about your organization that you not just about profits only but satisfied customer is your main priority as well. Second, these customers will then recommend their products to other people by sharing their positive reviews, hence expanding your brand name. Businesses can reach their customers by sending them surveys, informing them new product tailored according to their needs.

Benefits of Using Inbound Marketing

Though inbound marketing is time consuming and rigorous work, but there are various benefits that comes with it and these benefits will give your company valuable return in long run. So the benefits are:

1) Every business wants to earn more profits and reduce their expenditure right? Inbound marketing is perfect solution to reach the dual goal. Rather than spending millions in television commercials and billboards to capture the audience, inbound marketing will effectively attract the customers by designing customized contents. In this way, expenditure is considerably reduced.

2) It establishes trust and increases creditability. When you give customer an authority and power to do their own research and find your website/social media page, your company will appear honest and authentic.

3) Inbound marketing will allow you to capture correct leads that are most interested in your products. Thus using keywords and improving optimizing your content is critical.

4) As aforementioned, businesses will have to maintain interactions with their customers in order to maintain brand loyalty. By engaging in two-way conversations, answering their queries and collecting feedback, this will give you an opportunity to develop your products further according to requirements. 

The Outbound Marketing and how it is different from inbound marketing?

Unlike inbound marketing, an outbound marketing is a marketing strategy that makes use of push marketing techniques which involves sharing a message to generally large audience with the intention of selling the product. In other words, it is the form of traditional marketing, in which business uses old school methods of advertising such as printing adverts in newspapers, magazines and huge billboards, radios, TV commercials, cold calls and emails. Instead of informing target market through interactive blog content or social media, outbound marketing makes the use of interruption by showing unwanted adverts  in a website that person is currently browsing or appearing in the middle of video or TV show that person is watching. The fact that it is one-way communication, company will have to direct their focus on developing an eye-catching content that why their product is must-buy. Although outbound marketing will help you sell product faster as compared to inbound marketing, however this type of marketing is becoming outdated with each passing day. The reasons behind the fall of this traditional marketing are:

1. Firstly it is very expensive as huge amount of financing is required in running television commercials, organizing brand campaigns.

2. It has to be generalized and appealing in a way that everyone, even the ones who aren’t even purchasing the product at the first place, are convinced to make the purchase.

3. With the rise of ad-blockers and optioning of labeling mails as spam mails, people will choose to ignore or mute the advertisement rather than listening to message.

Consequently, the idea of adopting inbound marketing is more popular, especially in context of social media platforms. So why role of social media has become more important in inbound marketing? The following paragraph attempts to answer this question.

Why Social media is an important part of inbound marketing

As I have already stated and explained that one of the methods of inbound marketing consists of making social media pages which provides business a prospect to interact with target audience by sharing attractive product content and communicating with customers. What advantages do social media offers if a business were to have success in inbound marketing?

Firstly, majority proportions of target audience are the active users of social media. There are varieties of social media where you can reach target audience which includes (FaceBook, Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, Twitter LinkedIn and YouTube). The best part is even if the target audience does not use a certain social media website; you can always find them in another social media website. In social media, people scroll and engage in the content which they find interesting and striking. Therefore it is vital to first collect the data about the interests of the target audience and use that data to design the content which is relevant to the target audience. This increases the chances of capturing and interacting with the target audience if the content is engaging and effective.

Secondly social media assists you in gathering the innovative ideas for your content. By observing and learning that which topics are trending these days among target audience, you can use it modify your social media or advertisement according to it.

Thirdly social media facilitates in increasing search engine optimization for your website. In order to increase the website traffic, you have to increase your presence and branding in social media. By expanding your branding in social media backed by appealing content, this will increase the chances of target audience visiting your website. In other words, social media aid in promoting your product and getting in touch with target audience.  

Lastly you can find new opportunities in social media platforms. Not only you will have easy access to the target audience, but you will get an opportunity to learn and grow what further changes can be done to improve product content. In addition to this, you will be able to follow pages which are similar to yours content, thus filling the information gaps regarding performing effective tasks and topics which are trendy currently. 

Tips of using social media for inbound marketing

The main content of this article was to explain the importance of social media in inbound marketing. However benefits of inbound marketing can only be achieved if social media is used effectively. What are some certain steps or tips we can use in social media to become flourishing in inbound marketing?

1) Another advantage of social media page is that it is free and you can design content as your own liking, without any restrictions. But since your main aim is to attract the target audience, make sure to produce the content which is appropriate to your potential customers. Design your social posts which are attractive and engaging. After the end of the month, do the survey that which posts receive positive feedback and takes notes what made these posts famous and how can we use it in designing posts in future.

2) Create attention-grabbing videos. If your video resonates with your target audience, it will not only create brand awareness but also increase your sales and leads. The probability of the video becoming viral will increase if the content matches with the emotions of target audience, easy to share and is posted at a selected time that most of target audience is online in social media.

3) Increase your social engagement. Before making a purchase, customer will scrutinize the social media page, their products and other customer reviews. This is necessary as this will inform people that your page is authentic. Furthermore by establishing considerate two way communication with customers, even with those who have given bad reviews about the product, this will create a positive image about your organization in general.

Conclusion

Because of it features and advantages it offers, social media has now become integral part of successful inbound marketing. Thus, businesses should allocate their efforts in designing and improving the content in social media if it aims to capture target audience’s attention.

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