Inbound marketing, according to Hubspot, is an effective online marketing method since 2006. It focuses on creating quality content on your sites to attract the right customers to your business and products. With inbound marketing, you align the content you publish with your customer’s interests and you will naturally attract the right traffic to you. You can then convert those strangers to be potential customers, close – by turning them into actual customers. Then finally you will delight them over time, by having them follow you on your social media sites and engage with them. Inbound marketing is about creating content and sharing with your dream customers. This will attract the kind of customers you are targeting for your business. Inbound also keeps them coming back. You create content using four major tools; blogging, Social Media, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Pages (creating pages in your sites that appeals to a specific type of customer by offering helpful content to entice them).
I can personally attest to the power of inbound marketing in my Bakery business. I have been blogging since the beginning of 2012, right before I started the business, and it has been very effective in attracting customers. Especially this year when I started baking classes, it is 80% effective in attracting the right customers for the classes. I also have a social media strategy and both my blog & website are search engine optimized – that means that I use keywords while blogging that my potential customers would use while searching online. A good example is searching “Baking in Kenya” on Google, my bakery blog will show up in the top three results. That means that while writing my blog posts, I use those keywords in the post.
Inbound Marketing methodology (Courtesy: hubspot.com)
In this day and age, every business should start using inbound marketing, if they don’t already. On top of social media, every business should start a business blog to start attracting their target customers. Here are very important reasons why Kenyan businesses should not ignore inbound marketing.
1. Most of your customers are online already
Most Kenyans go online using their mobile phones (Courtesy:businessinsider.com)
According to research released by the CCK last year April, there was a 95.63% increase on internet usage. The report states that 44% of Kenya has access to the internet, the majority using mobile phones to access the internet. What this information tells us is that many Kenyans are online and the number will continue to increase. This basically means that most of your customers are online; therefore they are searching for information and visiting social media pages. If you want to reach your customers, your business has to be online as well.
2. Your Competitor is most likely marketing online
Just because your business is not online, doesn’t mean that your competitor’s business isn’t; they most likely have a website, social media pages and even a business blog. This means that your target customers are being served online by another business in your industry. If you want to stay ahead in the game or to compete effectively in your industry, you need to be an effective marketer. That means that you should start using inbound marketing in your marketing plan, starting right now!
3. Inbound Marketing is a cheaper method of marketing
Inbound marketing is more economical than traditional outbound marketing methods. Inbound simply requires your time (to research, put content together & market) and internet-access. It is also effective because you can measure the results of your efforts. Outbound marketing, which is the opposite of inbound, is much more expensive and therefore can mostly be used by medium to large or enterprise businesses. Outbound marketing is the traditional marketing that involves; TV ads, Radio ads, Billboards, Banners, Print Catalogues sent to numerous addresses, cold-calling (getting a list of phone numbers and calling people randomly to market your business) and many other methods. The problem with these methods for any small business is that they require a large budget.
Billboards are expensive outbound marketing tools (Courtesy: toxel.com)
4. It is measurable marketing
Inbound marketing is measurable; this means that you can be able to see the results of your efforts. For example, if you post blog posts on different topics, you can be able to see the statistics on how many visits the posts got and the type of people who visited (e.g. location, age, device etc) Most blogs these days come equipped with tools that can give you these statistics. A great example is wordpress which has a section in your blog in which you can check statistics. The same applies for a Google Blogger account, they also have a ‘stats’ section on your blog dashboard to check the traffic in your page. Social media sites also have the same perks; Facebook has insights in which you can find out what kind of effect your posts are having, how your fans are engaging with your brand page and many more insights. For Twitter, you can use a social media managing platform called Hootsuite, it can give you a report on your Twitter statistics if you use the platform to post on your page. For your website, you can use Google Analytics to track your web traffic and see how visitors interact with your web page and which pages are preferred.
Google analytics give alot of insight (Courtesy: zenbix.com)
What all these tools and information is proving is basically that you can measure your inbound marketing efforts and spend time marketing in the right platforms. You don’t have to spend money marketing everywhere without direction.
5. It’s a great way to connect and engage with prospects and customers
Inbound marketing allows you to continuously connect and engage with your prospects (potential customers) and customers. It’s a good thing to always keep contact with these customers because they can help you grow your business to greater heights. By engaging with visitors or prospects, you have a chance of converting them into actual customers; that is great for your business sales. After your customers purchase from you, it is good to keep in touch with them and engage them to give feedback on your products and/or services. These customers can also be converted to become promoters of your business as well (i.e. they become brand ambassadors for your business – great for future sales).
Your customers are engaging on Facebook (Courtesy: wikihow.com)
6. It’s the future of marketing – join or get left behind
Inbound marketing has been proven to be a highly effective method of marketing. Most successful businesses and brands in Kenya are using it. Even big companies that used to focus on outbound marketing have changed their marketing strategies and are now using inbound marketing for the most part. This is because they have realized that customers in this day and age are smart shoppers. They search for information before making purchases. They don’t want to listen to the noise (e.g. cold calls or TV ads); therefore they research a brand, product or service before purchasing it. As a business in Kenya, that means that you have to adapt your marketing strategy to suit your target customer’s needs. This will help you to create content that suites them, so as to attract and convert them. This also means that for future sales, you should stay connected to your customers and engage them in such a way that they will become promoters of your business to their families and friends.
Do you use Inbound marketing in your business, why? If you have any input, please feel free to comment below thanks ^_^