Inbound marketing and digital marketing; these two terms may seem similar: both focus on creating digital content for online audiences. However, there is a major difference: one resides in the other.
Digital Marketing: An Umbrella Term for Outbound and Inbound Marketing
What is digital marketing? It’s a form of marketing which takes place online in the form of digital content such as text, images, adverts, emails and videos.
These methods include both push and pull marketing tactics (otherwise known as inbound and outbound marketing methods). Therefore, digital marketing is an umbrella term in which inbound marketing and outbound marketing fall under.
The role of digital marketing in a business is to effectively market your brand to an online audience. However, your method of marketing, whether inbound or outbound, will have drastic effects on your marketing success.
Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing
The definition of outbound marketing is a series of tactics which aim to place a marketing message (or an advertisement) directly in front of the viewer.
Outbound marketing tactics also aim to show the message to as many people as possible, regardless of whether the message is welcomed or even relevant to the audience.
Outbound marketing examples:
- Banners Ads that push products or promotions onto an audience.
- PPC (Pay-per-click advertising)
- Content syndication
- Email Marketing (usually in the form of spam Emails)
The Disadvantages of Outbound Marketing
- There is more difficulty in tracking ROI (return on investment).
- It’s a high-cost, low-yield solution.
- There is an increase in blocking techniques (such as Spam filters and “do not call” lists).
Inbound Marketing (IM) Defined
The definition of IM refers to the ‘full funnel’ method of attracting; engaging and enlightening online audiences with high quality content in order to turn them into customers.
Inbound marketing tactics make use of high quality online content that will provide helpful assets to the online target market. These IM tactics attract target customers to the business’ website.
An Example of Inbound Marketing
Possibly the simplest, yet most effective of the IM tools is a blog engine. Blogs allow your website to capitalize on information regarding the keywords and phrases that your ideal customer audience is looking for.
The other methods which are used with IM are varied (including both organic and paid methods) and include:
- Online PR (Public Relations)
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
- Affiliate marketing
- Native advertising
- PPC (Pay-per-click advertising)
- Social media marketing
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Content marketing
These tactics may be used throughout an IM strategy. As a result of the work put into inbound marketing strategies, the ideal customer will be delighted when they perform a search and are attracted to your business’ website that is full of useful, high quality content.
Digital Marketing South Africa
The world of digital marketing is dynamic and complex, as is your audience. If you are not using digital, and more importantly, inbound marketing as a tool to satisfy your audience and market your business, then it’s guaranteed that you are missing out on incredible benefits.
Digital Marketing South Africa offers you the opportunity to take your business to the next level. Our team of digital and social media marketing wizards are fully equipped with the tools necessary to help you grow your business.
We handle all aspects of online marketing, including:
- Inbound marketing,
- Native Advertising,
- Content Strategy,
- Content Creation,
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing (managing and sharing across all social networks),
- Email Marketing,
- Pay Per Click advertising and
- Marketing Automation.
Feel free to contact us for more information about our online marketing services.
ITM – Website Design South Africa
Having fantastic inbound marketing is great, but it means nothing without an equally fantastic website. Therefore it is critical that your web design is modern and uses current technology.
Your website should serve as a support to your marketing efforts and include elements such as a blog and Social Media.
Digital Marketing South Africa utilises the superior professional web design services of ITM Website Design.
Many marketing departments have to automate numerous repetitive tasks, such as emails and social media posts. Thankfully, technology has made these tasks much easier. Technology like marketing automation, which refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions.
And this is not the only benefit of automation in marketing. When done correctly, it can determine the evolving needs of your leads, their behaviours and interactions across all of your marketing channels.
Marketing automation uses all the information that you have on a prospective client, in order to understand what their wants and needs are.
This enables you to deliver the information they need to make a purchase, exactly when they need it, in the place that they are looking for it.
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
The benefits of marketing automation software can be simplified to three key factors:
- It automates content to relevant platforms and buyer groups, thus giving the marketing team more time to focus on other tasks.
- By tracking the behaviour and actions of potential and existing clients, it can personalise their journey.
- Marketing automation software can determine which campaigns have had an influence on each and every sale. Therefore, it understands and maximises the return on investment.
If you are producing effective inbound marketing content, and you’re generating a steady flow of organic leads, consider focusing your efforts on a marketing automation strategy to scale your successful efforts. This will enable you to nurture good quality leads into satisfied, paying customers.
To optimise your marketing automation strategy, it is recommended that you create buyer personas in order to improve the bottom line and increase your conversion rates.
What are personas?
A persona is a detailed portrait of the needs, motivations, environment and characteristics of intended user segments.
A persona should include the buyer’s name, age, career, income, and any other relevant information such as their values and goals.
It is important to remember that personas should not be made up of the average customer, as there simply is no such thing as an average user. This is especially true when the personas are employed for design or creating a user experience.
How to create a persona
Regardless of how simple or complex you want your personas to be, it is crucial that you use the data that you hold on customers (interviews with customers, client surveys, social media profiles, etc) or prospects to build your personas.
Never assume that you already know who your customers are and what goals they have.
You can gather all the information on your customers and prospects, and group your findings in a spreadsheet. If you have a data analytics tool – such as Google Analytics – you will be able to identify customer segments using cohort analysis or reduction techniques.
Google Analytics has information on your customers’ demographics, interests, language and geographical location.
How can personas increase lead conversion?
When creating a detailed persona, you will not only gain a clear understanding of what it is that your customers want and expect from your product or service, but you will be able to target prospective clients directly.
This leads to prospective customers becoming existing customers, which in turn increases your conversion rates.
Why are personas important in Customer Relationship Management?
When you use a persona in your CRM system, every form of contact you make with your customer or prospective customers seem personalised. It gives the customer the idea that you know them and understand their needs.
This not only builds on your relationship with your customers, but it also inspires customer loyalty to your brand or business.
Additionally, CRM systems enable you to monitor the sales process by showing you every step of the process, from prospective to satisfied clients. It also allows your employers to keep track of their tasks related to individual clients.
This ensures that you and your team are constantly aware of what needs to be done for a client, as well as the last conversation had between your business and your client.
The key is to remember that personas can be used in marketing automation to enhance your marketing efforts. However, when considering a marketing automation provider, your decision should be based on the unique goals of your company.
Which marketing automation platform works best?
At ITM, we have found that the SharpSpring platform not only enables us to keep track of our marketing campaigns, it also allows us to keep track of the projects that we undertake for individual clients.
SharpSpringis more than just marketing automation software, it helps us to determine the pipeline for each individual project, while also allowing us to establish and build relationships with our clients.
For marketing automation that gives you the most added value, contact ITM. Using the SharpSpring platform, we have been able to free up a lot of time for marketing teams, allowing them to focus on their important tasks, while SharpSpring sends out all their emails and social media posts.