Twins are born. One becomes a scholar. The other becomes an athlete. They share many common bonds. They may not always see eye to eye. But bring them together and they are truly formidable. That’s what happens when content marketing integrates with inbound marketing.
For some time, siblings content marketing and inbound marketing were separated and not necessarily encouraged to work together. After all, they seemed to have very separate roles. By our definition, content marketing is the practice of consistently creating relevant and compelling information to a targeted buyer, focusing on all stages of the buying process, from brand awareness through to brand evangelism. On the other hand, we define inbound marketing as getting found online via search engines and on social media sites.
Hey, we could debate definitions ‘til we’re all blue in the face. Some folks who are active in inbound marketing classify forms of content marketing as inbound marketing. Others call inbound marketing agency tactics content marketing and see content marketing as a broader term. Semantics aside, we need to focus on how to bring these siblings together to efficiently achieve customer-centric business goals.
INBOUND MARKETING: THE EVOLUTION OF THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Today’s customers have all the tools they need to buy what they want, when they want it. They enter the market armed with information gathered from their peers, social media review sites, search engines, online brochures and more. And, they engage with companies and their reps much later in the game. Just ask a car salesperson who sees a potential customer pulling out a briefcase and laptop to discuss a deal; or a real estate broker who needs to be even more prepared to discuss homes in competitive communities.
Inbound marketers must be everywhere to be found. They must also be specific in their marketing efforts or be left floating in the websphere like George Clooney in “Gravity.” We can’t emphasize enough the importance of being connected via the following inbound tactics:
- Social media marketing that, depending on you goals, needs content
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of website content, blogs and videos
- Paid advertising (PPC)
- Permission-based email marketing
CONTENT IS KING (REDUX)
You know, you could be very successful enticing potential customers with your inbound content marketing, while being a total bust at cultivating valuable customers. Hmmm…you’re getting all kinds of hits, clicks and visits, but that’s where the trail ends. That’s where content marketing does the heavy lifting.
Fact is, the power of relevant, well-written content has been a hallmark of successful marketers well before there was access to the internet. Content marketing included articles in professional journals, case studies and important industry studies that became industry benchmarks. They were, and still are, referred to as “offers.” Earlier they were used as part of “push-pull” strategies, where the “push” was outbound direct mail and telemarketing and the “pull” was a call or a fax to the company.
Agreed, the mantra, “Content is King,” may be as overused as the new political reportorial phrase “doubling down,” but it’s the truth. Today, great and compelling content includes informative blogs, eBooks, and videos as well as the classical surveys and case studies mentioned earlier. Equally important is strategic planning, content curation, distribution, and metrics for multiple stages of the buying cycle and multiple customer personas. That’s the beauty of marketing automation.
CONTENT MARKETING AUTOMATION GETS PERSONAL
As a leadership digital marketing agency, Simply180 is a devotee of content marketing automation. Now don’t let “automation” turn you off. Rather than depersonalizing content marketing, marketing automation actually personalizes your inbound digital marketing efforts. Marketing automation allows you to nurture your leads through the entire buying process, delivering highly targeted, personalized messages that encourage purchase behavior. Messaging means more. Content becomes more relevant. And (YES!) response is enhanced.
Simply180, a Certified Hubspot Partner and inbound marketing agency, uses this technology to bring our marketing siblings together. This platform has helped us gain a deeper understanding of our clients’ customers by enabling us so to see exactly how every user is interacting with the content we create for our clients. Ultimately, the whole inbound marketing and content marketing process is integrated, streamlined and agile enough to make mid-campaign marketing adjustments.
UNRAVELING SIBLING RIVALRY FOR GOOD
As we’ve noted, some bonds are just too strong to be broken. Uniting inbound marketing and content marketing engages new customers, provides great customer experiences, while ensuring growth, innovation and so much more.
MORE GREAT CONTENT? JUST ASK.
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