The inbound methodology has helped businesses in a plethora of different industries. From engineering to hairdressing, inbound marketing can benefit any company, especially one that is investing in emerging markets.
But what is it? And why is it so successful? Well, one of the reasons why it’s so successful is that it’s not just marketing - it’s a whole customer journey and experience. Whilst outbound traditional marketing interrupts your audience with content they might not necessarily want, inbound forms connections and builds relationships to solve customer problems.
This post will outline and explain how businesses can utilise the full customer experience - and inbound methodology on the whole - to their advantage when investing in emerging markets.
- What is the Inbound Methodology? And How Does it Work?
- Inbound Can Turn Your Business Into a Thought Leader
- Constantly Delight Your Customers With Inbound Marketing
The inbound methodology is a completely different approach to traditional methods. Billboards and adverts that are targeted to a mass-market are forgotten about with inbound. Instead, businesses tactfully handpick their leads and approach them in a manner that’ll appeal to them the most. Interacting with people in ways they want to be interacted with is a huge step to improving conversion.
Over the past decade, customer buying habits have shifted dramatically. So, to get the most out of this, marketers have had to adapt to this and adopt new ways of reaching out to prospects. The inbound methodology allows for businesses to reach out to their audience whilst utilising a variety of different channels.
The inbound methodology isn’t just a marketing approach. It’s the joint efforts of your marketing, sales and customer service departments that put the customer at the forefront of everything that they do. If everything is carried out with the customer in mind, it can only mean good things for your business - and will help with the long-term growth of your brand too.
Inbound marketing is a proven way of building trust and credibility for your business. Not only are you addressing their biggest problems and issues but you’re reaching out to prospects on the channels that they interact with the most. Therefore, you’ll be attracting qualified leads that’ll put your sales team in a good position to convert them.
The Three Main Inbound Marketing Strategies
The first step that businesses have to make is to start reaching out to their audience. Whether it’s through your social media channels or your content creation, it must provide value. This is where the first impression of your business is formed, so you need it to be spot on to start a trusting relationship.
Examples of content ideas at this stage are:
- Guides on how to use products.
- Information on how your solution can ease their pain points.
- Customer testimonials.
- Details about any promotions or discounts.
An SEO strategy can help you reach out to your audience on a whole new level. You’ll need to target your content towards a specific set of keywords - which are usually what your audience will be typing into Google. So, check out words around your products and services, the way you help your customers and any particular industry issues.
Nobody wants to make boring content that their audience won’t be interested in, do they? So, your efforts must grip your audience from start to finish. You can improve the chances of this by packing your content full of vital information that they won’t want to miss out on - don’t waffle on though. Padding your content to reach a word count is a sure way to lose your audience.
You should boast throughout the blog how your business can help your audience. However, it depends on what stage of the buyer’s journey they’re at for how full-on you can be throughout. People won’t want to land on a blog when first researching their issues and just be constantly sold to, that’s too in their face and will no doubt put them off.
During the engagement stage, you should be introducing your business and showcasing what you can do for your prospects. But leave the really persuasive talk for your delight stage content.
Delighting inbound strategies make sure that your customers are not only happy at the point of purchase but long after too. After all, the inbound methodology is about the whole customer experience, not just locking in those sales.
A delighted customer is one that is likely to stick by your business for the long term. They’ll then become brand advocates and won’t only continue to interact with your brand for the foreseeable but they’ll also recommend your brand to others too. Delighting your customers is the biggest way of showing that you care and hear all of their problems.
If you’re looking at investing in a new marketplace or introducing new technologies to your audience, inbound is a great way of turning your business into a thought leader. After all, it’s all about providing value and gaining the trust of your audience and thought leaders are the ones who people constantly return to for advice. If you build a healthy long-term relationship with your audience, they’ll come back for more.
The inbound methodology does this better than other marketing strategies due to the wholesome experience that’s provided. This makes your company appear like the best option to your audience, therefore excelling your business into a thought leader - which is definitely important when immersing into emerging markets.
Thought leaders are seen as experts in their industry. And the inbound methodology gives you all the right tools to get right to the very top. Your valuable content will show that you know what you’re talking about. But not only that, your constant level of support from your different teams will show that you know how to overcome any issues.
To get to the top of your industry, you need to be aware of what your competition is currently doing. Analysis of the market is a big part of the inbound methodology - you’re not going to gain a competitive edge over other businesses if you don’t know what they’re doing, are you? Plus, there’d be no way of telling whether you’re doing the same as them or not.
Becoming a thought leader doesn’t mean that you just release content through your blog - you need to have a presence across various channels. Think about it, the top businesses across every industry don’t just rely on their blog to reach out to their audience. Inbound promotes businesses having an omnichannel approach.
Mix up your media sources too. So, whilst you’re publishing on your blog and pushing your social media channels, why not create a podcast? Thought leaders are all about sharing their opinions so it’s a great way of getting yours out there too. Allowing your audience to see a true personality to your business too.
Delighting your customers from start to finish is massively important when investing in emerging markets. The inbound methodology is more customer-centric than any other marketing strategy, so we feel it’s the best option for you to take. After all, happy customers can only mean good things for your business.
The delight stage is the final one in the inbound methodology. As inbound is all about a full customer experience, you should aim to delight your customers before, during and long after the sale so that they always keep coming back..
By keeping your customers happy, you’re not giving them any chance to talk down about your business. Which means that, should they be talking to their friends, family or business partners about your company, it’s always likely to be good press. And after all, word of mouth counts for a lot in business.
It’s easier than ever for customers to switch businesses if they’re not satisfied with your services, so you should keep them as happy as you can. Due to the ease that they can switch with, their expectations are higher than ever too.
Doing the following four things will ensure that you’re on the right track to delighting your customer base:
- Answering their questions.
- Solving their issues and problems.
- Helping them reach their objectives and goals.
- Being enthusiastic.
Well-timed chatbots, surveys, requesting feedback and conversing on social media are all great ways of delighting your audience.
It’s not only smaller businesses that use inbound marketing techniques. When global coffee-giant Starbucks emerge into different markets with new products, they use a mixture of their marketing channels to ensure that their customers are delighted and informed of the release where they want to be.
They’re especially active on their social media accounts. They’re all about connectivity with their customers, which is something that you have to do when investing into new markets. You need to let your audience know that you’re there for them and have the answers to any queries they may have.
So, if it’s good enough for Starbucks, it can certainly be utilised by many other businesses.
Grow Your SaaS Business the Inbound Way
As you’ve seen, the inbound methodology can help you grow your business and reach its full potential. Whether it’s attracting new prospects to your business or helping you nurture them along the buyer’s journey to becoming brand advocates, inbound is an effective strategy for businesses to adopt.
But in order for you to get the most out of the inbound methodology, you need to know exactly what you’re doing. It can be pretty daunting when starting out but don’t worry, we’re here to help at Red-Fern Media. We’re passionate about all things inbound and have worked successfully with businesses to help them achieve their goals.
We’ve created the perfect guide for you to help grow your SaaS business. And best of all, it’s completely free. Download your free copy below today.