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The Indispensable Place Of Content Marketing In Your Inbound Strategy

There’s this fellow I know quite well. Even though he bumps into me on our street regularly, he has never paused to enquire about my name. However, he occasionally knocks on my door bearing desserts made of nuts in the expectation that I’ll invite him to dine at my table. Of course, how would he know about my nut allergies when he doesn’t even know my name?

You also know this dude. We all do. He’s the poster boy for those outbound marketers with their salesy, generic approach – some don’t mind advertising hair extensions to a bald man.

All thanks to inbound marketing, we no longer have to deal with intrusive yet generic ads. You also don’t have to make your prospects go through such torture. At the heart of inbound marketing is a healthy relationship between customers and businesses where they both live for the mutual benefit of each other.
All your strategies in this highly rewarding approach to marketing should be geared towards engaging your audience with interesting information that they’ll find valuable and worth their time. Your job doesn’t stop here. You are to also educate and delight them with valuable resources that will stamp your brand on their heart.

Several stats say inbound beats outbound in the long run – considering results and cost. However, many marketers still believe the inbound way is the more difficult path. With a solid content marketing strategy, however, this problem can be solved. But what exactly is content marketing?

Content Marketing

According to Content Marketing Institute, 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. What you should focus on in this definition are “valuable” “relevant” “consistent” and “profitable customer action”.

Your content strategy isn’t complete until you have successfully checked those four boxes. This is what differentiates you from a random blog on the internet.

How To Center Your Content Marketing Strategy On Value

When your target audience finds your content valuable, they are bound to spend more time on your channels. You can become that brand they turn on post notifications for; the brand whose emails they look forward to. The key to achieving this is taking time to research what your target audience needs, then providing solutions to those problems. When your prospects start consuming your valuable content, they spend more time with your brand, and you can then attract them to a site where you can easily advertise your products.

How To Stay Relevant With Your Content Marketing

Value is quite relative. Content that talks about ways to fix a skateboard is a good resource. However, the way a high school teenager would value this piece of information will be different from the way an 80-year-old man would value it. This is the basis for defining your buyer’s persona before planning your strategies.

Apart from personality, time is also of the essence when creating content. Except they are a student of modern history, no one wants to know how they can make the battery of a Blackberry phone last longer. Your content should address the immediate and current needs of your prospects, not what they would have needed a decade ago.

Likewise, it is also important that your content is relevant to your niche. Except there is a joint demand for your product and another product from a different niche, there is no point wasting scarce resources in creating content for such niche. If you are in the fashion and lifestyle industry, you shouldn’t bother about content on web development.

Consistency In Your Content Marketing Efforts

Content marketing is a game of steady quality over quantity. Businesses that understand inbound marketing as a long-term strategy should find it easy to understand the importance of consistent efforts in their content marketing strategy. To win at this inbound marketing game, you have to keep showing up at the table. Remember that only players can be winners.

A point to note is picking the right cadence you can sustain, as you begin. With time, you get better as the process becomes second nature if you’re creating the content yourself. On the other hand, if you have a team or you are outsourcing the content, the management and workflow get smoother. As you grow, you can increase the frequency of your posts as well as explore other media. Planning with a content calendar can be very helpful in keeping you on track.

Don't Forget Profitable Customer Action

It’s easy to get carried away with content creation while forgetting to set up mechanisms that will help you convert your efforts into sales. Don’t forget why you are in the business. Sales differentiate content marketing from general content creation.

This shouldn’t however be mistaken for a need to sell at every point. Call-to-actions can be in a bid to get customer information such as email and other demographic details. Remember, inbound marketing involves grooming your prospects to the point where they trust your brand.

How To Use Content Marketing At Every Stage Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing has stages that represent the status of your lead in relation to your products. Content marketing plays a crucial role in each of these stages.

Attract Phase

At this stage, your prospects are still total strangers to your brand. They’re not interested in knowing how superb your product is just yet. They probably need some information to solve their problems. Infographics, how-to content as well as entertaining content are indispensable tools at this stage

Convert Phase

This stage is where you turn strangers into leads. Your consistency will be put to test here because this is where you either earn the trust of your prospects or lose it. You need to invest heavily in their education at this stage to nurture them into the kind of leads you want. Personalized emails are useful at this stage, with helpful information, webinars as well as educational posts.

Close Phase

This is where the effectiveness of your inbound methodology will be put to test. To turn a lead to a paying customer is a painstaking process and all things have to work seamlessly. Your content should be geared at answering all questions and clearing all doubts that might be in the mind of your leads. Content such as case studies and video demos come in handy here.

Delight Phase

Now that you have successfully convinced your leads to become a customer, is that the end of the game? Wise marketers know that can't be. What about making your customers come back to patronize you continuously? How about encouraging your customers to spread the good word about your brand to bring in more customers? These don't however automatically - you have to put in the work with content.

At this stage, your content strategy should be geared towards building a community. Customer-generated content will go a long way here and you need to give your customers that sense of belonging before you can achieve this. You should also develop tutorials that help them maximize your product and become improved customers.

Content marketing sits at the heart of inbound marketing. Without it, the strategy changes to outbound drastically. You should also pay attention to measuring your success to ascertain that it adds to the growth of your business.

Do you need help setting up your content management system to seamlessly handle your content marketing efforts? Reach out to our team of experts via the link below to learn more.

Inbound Marketing Powered by Zoho MarTech

If you have experience with Zoho’s marketing software stack ( MarTech ) and understand this inbound marketing strategy foundations, you have a very powerful marketing starter pack ready to be configured and unleashed!

QuakeCinch can always help with your Zoho Marketing initiatives, just reach out to us!!