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When To Use an Inbound Marketing Strategy in B2B

“What if, instead of you reaching out to your customers, your customers found you?” is the essence of inbound marketing. 

Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing takes an unconventional approach. Inbound marketing tactics aim to attract, engage, and delight customers rather than sell to them. As a result, inbound marketing strategies are thrice as successful as outbound strategies. 

Do you want to use an inbound marketing strategy? There is no one-size-fits-all approach to inbound marketing, and you’ll need to build your own inbound marketing strategy. You can significantly benefit by implementing a mix of inbound and well-strategized outbound tactics as a part of your overall marketing strategy.  

Table of contents

  • The three stages of inbound marketing
    • Attract
    • Engage
    • Delight
  • When Is Inbound Marketing Helpful?
  • The Bottom Line

The Three Stages Of Inbound Marketing

There are three critical inbound marketing funnel stages. 

  1. Attract: Showcase tailored content to your audience at the right time, and attract them towards your brand to generate leads. 
  2. Engage: Nurture these leads through multiple inbound marketing channels, find more about them in the process, and retarget them. 
  3. Delight: Deliver value to your leads in the form of highly-personalized information that addresses their pain points. 

Here is an example that demonstrates these three stages in action. Suppose you run a business that offers remote work management software. So, your inbound marketing strategy can look something like this: 

Attract: You can start by writing articles about the problems remote companies face and discussing possible solutions, thereby attracting remote workers and workplace managers. 

Engage: As you deliver value to your readers, you can prompt them to sign up for your newsletter. You can nurture your subscribers with weekly newsletters containing curated content such as blog posts, industry reports, product updates, and promotional offers. 

Delight: Some of your subscribers may be pleased to receive a promotional offer on your product that suits their needs and make a purchase. You can then keep them delighted by sending them a thank you message and a discount coupon for their next purchase, welcoming them with a pleasant onboarding process, and resolving any service requests as quickly as possible. 

When Is Inbound Marketing Helpful?

  1. When you want to build strong customer relationships over time: Look closely at the inbound marketing funnel stages, and you will quickly realize that inbound marketing strategy is a long-term strategy. It focuses less on increasing sales and more on building long-term relationships that inspire customer loyalty. This is why it is such a good fit for B2B brands, where most of the revenue comes from existing and repeat customers. 
  1. When you need to establish a positive brand image and foster trust: Apart from increasing customer retention over time, an inbound marketing strategy also works wonders for your brand’s reputation. To attract visitors to your website, increase social media followers, or boost webinar sign-ups, you need to deliver valuable content consistently. An added benefit of rolling out quality content is that you can establish your brand as an authority in your niche and build a positive brand image, which in turn attracts more eyeballs toward you. 
  1. When you need to spend your marketing budget judiciously: You don’t need much to get started with inbound marketing, either. You do not need to pay for ad space or sponsored posts. 

That said, not every company can succeed with an Inbound marketing strategy alone. 

When Does Inbound Marketing Fall Short?

Trying to attract people to check out your product is a slow process. And since everyone is doing it, you will have to face heavy competition. 

Small companies may not have the time and resources to establish an organic online presence and convert strangers to website visitors. In this case, outbound marketing tactics like PPC ads can help you show up in result pages, increase brand visibility, and deliver a consistent flow of quality leads in the short term. 

The Bottom Line 

Ultimately, a successful marketing strategy aligns with your goals. The best way to decide is to start by analyzing your objectives, identifying KPIs, and understanding your target audience and their purchase behavior. Doing so will help you narrow down which marketing tactics to use, set expectations, and ensure that your inbound and outbound efforts work harmoniously.