Inbound marketing is a process used to attract, convert, and retain the right customers for your business. There are multiple elements needed to make inbound marketing work, but none are as vital to the concept as content. According to Hubspot, a leader in the world of inbound marketing, “...content is the lifeblood of inbound marketing.”
Here, we're going to take a look at the role content plays in inbound marketing and why, without it, you might as well throw your marketing plan out the window.
What is content?
Before we get down and dirty with the details about content in inbound marketing, we need to clear up what content is.
Business Dictionary provides three definitions of content.
- Text matter of a document or publication in any form. Content is both information and communication: the sum total of the freshness, readability, relevancy, and usefulness of the information presented, and how it is presented.
- The essence of a communicated message or discourse, as comprehended or received by its intended audience.
- Glue' that makes a website 'sticky' makes visitors return, and keeps them from leaving.
Simply put, content is valuable information communicated to your audience in a way they find attractive, understandable, and entertaining.
Content Attracts an Audience
To get anyone to become a customer, you have first to convince them to take a look at your business and consider your product or service. That's why the first step of inbound marketing is to "attract."
In the attraction stage, content works to educate consumers on why your brand is the best. However, you can’t just throw out a list of reasons why you’re the best and expect people to come running. You must prove you’re the best by showcasing your expertise and interest in the problem your product/service solves.
To attract an audience, you must go where they are before they come to you. Therefore, we have found the most popular channels to attract an audience, include blogs, social media, and SEO.
Content Converts Your Customers
Once you have attracted your ideal customers, it’s time to make the sale. With inbound marketing, however, the process used to make a sale is a bit different from traditional means. Instead of constantly pursuing your audience and presenting them with offer after offer until they buy, you continue to educate them while incorporating opportunities to buy.
Today’s audiences are well-educated and can smell a gimmick from a mile away. Therefore, the secret to creating content that converts via inbound marketing is to make it genuine and informational. That being said, the most effective forms of content for conversion are website content and email marketing, among others.
Content Retains Loyal Clients
After you’ve finally made the sale, at your customer’s convenience, content is critical in turning your customers into loyal clients and keeping them around for the long-haul. Consumers today want a relationship with brands and the right content, and content delivery plan can give them that.
The retention phase is where content creation gets fun. Because you know more about your clients in this phase, you can create content specifically for their needs and interests. Doing so helps your brand to remain at the top of their mind and reminds them regularly of the value your product/service brings to their lives. Popular forms of content for retention include email marketing, social media, blogs, and podcasts.
Create an Inbound Marketing Plan with Killer Content
At every stage of inbound marketing, creating high-quality, engaging, and detailed content for your audience is essential. If you want inbound marketing to work for your business, you can’t just throw a few words on a page and expect it to work. You must be intentional in how content is created and delivered.
Learn all about inbound marketing and how to make it work for your business in our new ebook How To Attract Your Ideal Customer with Inbound Marketing. In this book, we go over everything that makes inbound marketing a success from content creation to process automation. Packed with value, it’s exactly what you need to start moving your business forward today!