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inbound marketing channel

A Guide to Inbound Marketing Channels

What Channels Are You Using?

As much as we wish it were, effectively reaching customers and potential leads is no easy task. There are so many ways to approach marketing channels – how can you find the best way to do it?

At Pinckney Marketing, we fully embrace the inbound marketing movement. Consider us your guide to inbound as we navigate the different ways it can be implemented into your marketing campaigns.

Inbound Marketing Channels

Inbound marketing takes a more human approach to doing business. It’s about creating valuable experiences for customers through relevant and helpful content, and engaging with them using two-way communication tools like email and social media. It’s also about delighting them by serving as an expert and advisor.

Inbound marketing allows you to address the problems and needs of your customers in an unobtrusive way. Inbound also fosters trust and credibility with your current customers while simultaneously attracting qualified prospects. You put your information out and wait for customers to find you through search, social media, referrals and other sources.

The inbound methodology builds trust and credibility with customers using the following stages – attract, engage, delight.

As an inbound marketer, your goal is to:

  • Attract new prospects to your business through content that matters most to them
  • Engage with them by creating conversations within specific targeted groups
  • Delight them individually with conversations that deliver the right information to the right person at the right time

Each of these stages can be done using different inbound marketing channels, such as social media, blogs, email and more detailed below.

Social Media

In today’s digital savvy world, effective social media is a key component to the success of a business. As a place where customers and potential leads can ask questions or voice their concerns and expect a quick answer, social media is a great conversational tool.

This channel belongs in the attract stage of the inbound methodology. Networks such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are used to introduce customers and potential leads to the business by posting content that is relevant to their audience’s needs. Social media is also a great tool for promoting the content shared in other inbound marketing channels, such as blogs and videos. Because different networks serve different purposes, make sure you choose the right one for your content’s purpose.

Blogs

Blogging is a powerful inbound marketing channel because blogs are completely controlled by your business and housed in your own space. This means you get to share the information you want, including your insights and opinions in a place that belongs only to you. Blogs are also great for driving customers and potential leads to your site when they are seeking information. Therefore, it’s important for your blogs to be valuable enough to keep their attention. If you fail to do this, you’ll see a high bounce rate, so keep your quality up!

Like social media, blogs are also in the attract stage of the inbound methodology. Blog pages act as routes into your inbound marketing funnel, providing audiences with information that can turn them into customers or leads. The more pages you have that contain relevant content, the more credibility and trust you build with your audiences.

Email Marketing

Email marketing delivers content right to your customers and potential leads without them having to seek you out. They signed up for your mailing list, now you have an immediate opportunity to communicate with them through specialized email campaigns. You can encourage them to buy new products by advertising new inventory or special offers, keep them up to date on business happenings, or share information they might find valuable. However, if you plan to use email marketing, make sure your email content is valuable, relevant, expected, optimized for multiple marketing channels, and focused on your goals.

Email marketing is in the engage stage of the inbound methodology. The channel creates lasting relationships through regular communication with recipients. To increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, use prospect and customer information to personalize your emails.

Conversational Bots

Bots are great for automated responses when visitors reach out to you on your website via chat. They allow you to have personalized conversations with any visitor who requests to chat in real time. Implementing a bot into your site can help you qualify leads, provide answers to common customer support questions, and more. You can also set up your bot to pass on the conversation to a live agent once the visitor is qualified.

Bots belong to the engage stage of the inbound methodology. Like email marketing, they offer communication and personalization with customers and potential leads at a large scale. They also capture information from those who interact with it, leading to even more personalization opportunities.

HubSpot Conversations Inbox  

The HubSpot conversations inbox is a universal inbox that can be used by all marketing teams and channels. Here, all teams can manage conversations from customers and potential leads, regardless of the messaging channel they came from. This allows the most qualified person to communicate directly with whomever sent the message. Because the conversations are done through a live agent, each message can be personalized for each person. The conversations inbox makes follow up easy because you can send emails, take notes, and more, right from the inbox.

The conversations inbox is used in the delight stage of the inbound methodology. It allows you to connect with the people you do business with, and interact with them. It’s used to give them the right information they need at the right time, which creates a positive customer experience. When all of your teams work together as they do in the conversations inbox, anyone who interacts with your business gets an experience that isn’t limited to just one area of the business.

Smart Content

Smart content alters the content displayed in emails, website pages and landing pages, based on specific viewer characteristics. Displayed content can be based on the viewer’s geographic location, device type, referral source, preferred language, contact list membership, and life-cycle stage. As a result, this ensures your content is personalized to your customer’s needs and tailored to where they are in the buying process.

Smart content belongs to the delight stage of the inbound methodology. Because the content specifically targets certain audiences, the right content is delivered to the right person, every time. The content should be memorable for your customers and potential leads. Moreover, your content should create a positive experience for your customers, making them want to share with others.

By using these and other channels of inbound marketing, you’ll be able to reach customers and potential leads. As a result, you’ll be adding real value to your customers’ experiences with your business.

For more information on what it takes to run a successful inbound marketing campaign, download our free Marketing 101 Checklist! This simple checklist will walk you through the steps you should be doing as you setup your campaign.