- Reaching and engaging closely targeted prospects
- Generating quantifiable leads
- Elevating and building credibility for your brand
- Becoming a thought leader in your market
- Increasing your website traffic and search engine ranking (SEO)
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a philosophy that challenges traditional, interruptive techniques for an all-new approach based on attraction. It’s designed to complement today’s B2B buying behavior, and it works.
It’s called inbound because it draws potential customers in to you, eliminating the need to reach out with a cold call or email. Just imagine – the customers come to you!
Inbound marketing works when you help your audience find you (via your website) and give them answers to burning questions, hard-to-find information they need or want, help with their most difficult challenges or even authentic inspiration or motivation. In a word, content. We’ll talk more about that in next week’s chapter.
As HubSpot, an inbound marketing authority says, “by publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.”
The most important thing to remember is this — everyone is looking for help — but no one is looking to be sold.
Why Should You Care?
If you want a more relevant, efficient and effective marketing program, you should care about inbound marketing. Inbound generates more qualified and receptive leads, at less cost with a higher conversion rate, than traditional outbound marketing.
Traditional Marketing Examples
Depending on the plan and frequency, these items can add up fast, potentially totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Direct Mailers
- Purchasing Lists
Depending on your internal resources, many inbound tactics have little or no cost.
- Subscriber List
If you have something to say, or something to sell, inbound marketing creates an environment by which someone who needs your product can easily find you. And that’s something any marketer can get behind.
What Should I Do to Get Started?
Here are 7 phased steps to jump-start your effort.
- Create and maintain a modern, up-to-date website that is mobile- and search-engine friendly. This is the hub of your inbound program. Be sure to include an area for viewers to subscribe to your content.
- Hold a brainstorm meeting to gather content ideas. Ask yourself “what questions do customers or prospects most frequently ask? What are current hot topics or needs in the market?”
- Create a content and tactical monthly calendar – this should be the foundation for all your marketing-related activities.
- Create and distribute your content through channels like email, social media, website and blogging.
- You should see a spike in website traffic as a result of your content and promotion strategy. Begin converting traffic into leads by using landing pages, savvy calls to action and substantial content and offers.
- Use lead nurturing techniques to convert leads into sales, integrating with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
- Convert customers into brand ambassadors.
How Can it Work for Aviation, Aerospace and Defense Businesses?
BDN began using inbound techniques for our own business in July 2015, and the results have been more than encouraging. In fact, this blog is one important element of a multi-dimensional strategy that is delivering real results.
A wide variety of B2B businesses in an array of industries are making inbound work for them, and you can, too. Hubspot did a helpful piece about “16 Companies in Boring Industries Creating Remarkable Content,” and if boring industries can do it, imagine the potential for aerospace. Our work and products are exciting, but we default to presenting them in expected, non-interesting ways.
GE — well known within the aviation sector — is breaking away from the norm and is widely recognized for having a best-in-class inbound program that is refreshingly modern and unexpectedly unique and creative. Examples include Pinterest boards entitled “Mind=Blown” and “Badass Machines,” and a humorous take on the Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” meme featuring Thomas Edison. Other examples include entertaining science-related YouTube videos and Txchnologist, a magazine designed to highlight “the great challenges of our era through industry, technology and ingenuity.”
In addition to BDN’s Inbound Marketing case study and Hubspot, here are some other relevant resources to expand your knowledge and understanding of inbound marketing:
- Learn how to cultivate subscribers and why they are better than leads here.
- Marketo is an alternative to Hubspot.
- Jay Baer is a renowned social media and content marketing consultant and his Convince and Convert blog is a great, worthwhile read.
Don't forget: Digital marketing is key to most lead-generation efforts. Download this useful digital marketing guide to learn more.