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Category: Content Marketing

Inbound and outbound marketing are the two popular methods for demand creation.

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing refers to using content marketing to position ones business and online site to attract online visitors and traffic and to convert them to leads. Content creation, therefore, is a major component of the inbound marketing process. The time and dollars investment to strengthen ones inbound marketing systems focuses on content creation around blogs and posts on the blog, product descriptions, and creating other useful content meant to attract online visitors through various online channels. Social media is another major source to implement inbound marketing as posting content for the benefit of your online community organically attracts visitors, which then can subscribe as leads on a site. The build up of original and good content around certain topics and industry verticals also contributes to strengthening ones organic SEO position and ranking thereby attracting visitors through search engines.

Popular inbound marketing tactics in the digital and online space use the following methods:

  • Blogs with rich content
  • E-mail Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Establishing and running online communities related to specific verticals.
  • etc.

In the above methods, online visitors usually land on the marketers website by looking for information. It is therefore referred to as inbound marketing because online visitors make the move to find the organization and its products and services.

Outbound marketing

Outbound marketing on the other hand refers to reaching out to targeted audiences in an attempt to capture leads. It refers to crafting content with the intention of using it to attract visitors and leads. The focus here is to reach out to online audiences who are not actively looking for an organization’s products and services. However, an organization reaches out to specific target audiences with specific content with the hopes of creating or highlighting a need for the online user thus trying to entice them to sign-up as a lead.

Examples of outbound marketing include the following:

  • Writing Press Releases
  • Online advertising
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) methods
  • etc.

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Content Marketing, according to the  Content Marketing Institute, is defined as:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

Dissecting this definition leads us to the following:

  • A strategic approach means that an organization needs to have a long term plan in place to incorporate various aspects of content marketing in its digital marketing, and sales process.
  • There must be a process related to the creation and distribution of content. This process must be tightly integrated with the product management group as well to ensure that the right content related to the organization’s products and services can be created and distributed to the right online audiences.
  • With all types of content being created nowadays and competitors vying for user attention, the organization must constantly create fresh and innovative content. This requires that an organization must have an appropriate ideation process in place that encourages all organization members to provide ideas related to all types of content.
  • As various parts of the organization gets busy in creating content, it’s important to ensure that the central theme and message of the content related to the organization is consistent with organization’s branding and messaging guidelines. This will ensure that the various quarters creating content stay focused on the key message of the organization.
  • Creation of content requires an understanding of the target audience. This is essential to ensure that the right content can be created for the audience that in turn can be receptive to that content and causes them to take the desired actions. Definition of an organization’s audience, therefore, is an essential step before the creation of content.
  • Each piece of content that is created must have a specific objective to ensure that all content creation processes are aligned to the organization’s overall digital marketing goals.

Back to Content Marketing

Content marketing is an essential component of the digital marketing process. Here we list the various mechanisms that online marketers have at their disposal when formulating an online content marketing strategy.

1. Post relevant information on your products and services

The more information you can provide on your products and services, the more empowered your prospects will feel and the more comfortable they will become with purchasing your products and services. Unless you have something to hide, you should be generous in providing as much information as possible to your shoppers. This information should include information as text, images, video, infographics, and more. As a case in point, see Amazon.com’s products pages. They provide plenty of information to get visitors and prospects deeper in the sales funnel.

2. Provide ‘how to articles’ to make both the pre-sales and post-sales process simpler

The simpler you can make a customer’s life pre and post sales in terms of using your products and services, the better they will feel buying from you. Providing this type of content is thus a definite plus and being used by businesses in almost all industries. For example, more popular e-commerce sites not only provide you enough information on how to use their sites and systems but also how to succeed in running your digital business.

3. Post on related forums and blogs

Take the time to look into popular forums and blogs where your ideal audience may be lurking. Help them with the answers and when acceptable by the local terms and conditions of those sites, post information about your products. Quora.com is a good example where people ask various types of questions and people who reply don’t hesitate to provide recommendations for products and services.

4. Post content related to your business and products on Social media

If you maintain a social media channel related to your business (you should have no excuse of not having one with a built-up audience), then post content related to your products and service regularly. Although it may not be possible to post the same products repeatedly, you can post the supporting content for that product (e.g. how to articles, info in the press, and so on.) Besides, posting on social media will enable you to find your audience’s perception about your products and services and those insights will help you improve your products and services and improve their market positioning.

5. Promote your products and services to increase your social media reach

With various social media channels (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) boasting their reach in the hundreds of millions (and more than a billion for Facebook), you should consider constantly promoting your posts, especially the ones that have a higher user engagement rate. This promotion can help your brand increase its reach and provide you with enough brand exposure.

6. Post frequently and consistently

One of the most important aspects of content marketing is to post frequently and consistently. The more your audience engages with your content, the deeper you can push them into your sales funnel.

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