The INBOUND Conundrum
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To clarify, this article is not about inbound travel (though, I would be happy to talk about that too at some point!).
So what is it about?
Inbound marketing, to be precise. I have been doing a lot of explanation to organisations new to the concept and thus decided to create a quick elements list using the INBOUND acronym to explain the concept and maybe throw in a couple of best practices for good measure.
Inbound has been left wearing formal clothes in the youthful world of social media. Here’s looking past the ‘serious’ tone of Inbound, to some ‘real’ components of what makes inbound tick.
I= Innovation, using insights.
Inbound revolves around plenty of insights. Not just market intelligence, bio personas and customer journey insights, but also insights collaborated from the editorial, design and objectives arena. Inbound marketing for organisations are usually long term strategies, and thus there are historical insights that can help innovate in every step of the way.
Mediocrity is a hole you CAN avoid.
N= Not boring
Inbound, largely used by enterprises, has sometimes been covered with a patina of ‘being staid”. However, that is not necessarily true. Inbound marketing has extensive room for creativity by way of content creation, genuine storytelling, experimenting with new formats of content distribution, positioning of the product and even when employing influencers. So, why be boring?
B= Blog, blog, blog (to be sung in the tune of Work, work, work!)
‘Effective’ content needs a blog or a content distribution strategy which sits across popular platforms. Creative approaches on distributing stories online, offline, mid-line are weaved into the very fabric of inbound strategy.
An excellent example is Social Media Week itself, which is using this blog post to drive inbound traffic to the event. I rest my case.
O= Omni-channel, optimised.
Omni-channel, means multiple channels. It does not mean ALL channels available to marketers (waste of resources, imho!). And then enterprises can optimize their presence by adapting all features offered by the specific platform. It really is THAT simple.
U: Users, always
The thing is that all marketing strategies fail when they start looking away from users. And, so many enterprises do. Inbound strategies are no different. Bio personas help, as do the development of user groups (yes, yes, old school but it works) and of course all the listening that one can do online (intelligently)!
N: New ideas
Inbound does not have a formula either. Let’s try not to put ideas in a box. For Inbound. Or for anything else. When developing ideas which bring in traffic, one needs to bring in new ideas, content angles, play with insights and experiment.
The online world tends to forgive and forget, so it’s a good idea to be bold and to not limit oneself with ‘has-been’ and ‘me-too’ ideas. Kinda universal truth, isn’t it.
Of course, I was unlikely to leave this hanging by the doorway. Remember, innovations via insights, the first element I mentioned? Data is the bedrock on which insights are formed, with a healthy combination of human insights.
Inbound marketing produces significant data, most of which requires to be READ & UNDERSTOOD and not left in an Excel file for some other day.
This is of course more like Inbound Marketing 101, and for more insights on how inbound and content marketing do drop in at Todi Mill Social, 12:30pm for the session ‘The Tragedy of Inbound Marketing: A True Story’, on Thursday, 15th September, 2016, or post your queries with the #ThePursuitOfContentment.
Let’s talk more on inbound and content strategy.
Kavita Jhunjhunwala is the Founder of Click Asia. She has 16 years of work experience which can be bifurcated as a Tech Business Entrepreneur & Digital Lead. Apart from co-founding Web Spiders (now known as WS Group), she created and developed the digital marketing division within the organization, which serviced clients both in the public and private sector.
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