Inbound Marketing To Win Minds & Hearts
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is attracting the customers you want by providing them with relevant and helpful information when and where they need it. It is also a way to understand your targeted customers’ needs and concerns and find ways to meet those needs. You will do this affordably through customer-focused channels like your school website, social media, search engines, and blog articles.
Think about it. How do you make buying decisions for services or products? You Google it, you ask friends, you read reviews, and you check social media. You form opinions based on your own research, which includes reading informative content that provides you with useful information. You do this on your terms and buy when you’re ready.
Your customers (parents of K–12 students or highly-qualified staff) are the same.
To be relevant, your school must create content that answers the questions or solves the problems your targeted customers have. Your content can point those ideal customers to your school. Inbound marketing can position your school as the ultimate resource, and soon your targeted customers will come to you with their questions.
So, what are the benefits of applying inbound marketing, rather than using traditional marketing efforts (or worse yet, doing nothing)?
- Cost effective. Using tools you already have, like your school website and social media, you have the primary tools you need to educate and influence your ideal customers.
- Draw customers to you. By adding content marketing strategies, you draw in the very customers you are seeking, without the cost of interruptive marketing measures. 82% of consumers like reading content from brands when it is relevant. 43% say content marketing has a positive impact on their purchasing decisions.
- Build credibility and reputation. Producing authoritative and helpful content that builds credibility with prospective customers increases your school’s reputation and attractiveness.
- Create evergreen dividends. Good returns on your time and money investments, in both down and up economies through quality content, provides benefits for years to come.
- Focus on customer values. Schools looking to increase enrollment from local students, will see inbound marketing deliver better results using content marketing and targeting local parent values.
- Happier customers. When you have nurtured a prospective customer, provided them with free, valuable information that helps them make decisions that are best for them, they are happier. You’ve earned their trust and respect, and they experience no buyers remorse.
- Better retention and satisfaction. Customers who do their research and make an informed choice experience higher satisfaction, less resentment, and greater loyalty because the choice was theirs.
- 24/7 sales team. Using your school website as the channel for your content marketing in conjunction with local search engine optimization provides you with a sales force that works 365 days (and nights) a year. That is an affordable sales team!
- Save time and money. Inbound buyers are actively looking for solutions, so the customer buying cycle is short since they are active buyers. This saves lots of money over outbound marketing efforts targeting uninterested or unready buyers.
- Sell the way buyers buy. Inbound or content marketing allows buyers (prospective customers) to control their destiny and make their own choices, so they are not pressured by interruptive messages.
- Improve future marketing. With information gained through existing inbound efforts, you have better knowledge about customer needs to make future efforts even more effective.
- Competing wisely. Business and organizations are marketing using inbound. The ROI is 3x higher with inbound over outbound (traditional).
- Better testimonials. Customers who find you digitally, from whom you’ve earned respect using content marketing instead of interruptive or high-pressure marketing, are more likely to provide you with positive testimonials.
Basically, by using inbound marketing (consisting of website SEO, content marketing, and social media), you align your efforts to the behaviors of today’s consumers. It is a win-win because you are appealing to prospective customers on their timeframes and where they are going to make choices.
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