Why inbound marketing will be key in 2021 business planning

January 4, 2021

It’s January and time to start mapping out strategy for your next financial year, including your marketing.

Karen McNulty, operations director at Peterborough-based PR and digital marketing agency Media Matters, explains why inbound marketing should be in your strategic thinking for 2021: “Users today are much more savvy than they were say 12 or 18 months ago. Their search behaviour and what they expect to be served up has matured with hours and hours of online experience and, as a result, so must our marketing approach.

“Inbound marketing is essential. It’s an approach that’s all about drawing customers to your products and services by creating and sharing relevant and useful content with your target audience at specific stages of their buyer journey.

“Instead of one message fits all, it means you talk to your customer at the right time and in the right context, and when they are ready to buy. It’s all about meeting them in the moment rather than interrupting them with content they don’t always want.

“Then your messaging will be in tune with them, so there’s more chance they will welcome what you have to say, be more engaged and therefore more likely to convert.”

The three key stages to consider are:

  1. Attract – raise awareness and show your expertise as a credible and trustworthy brand. You need to truly understand your audience, their motivations, likes and dislikes, their biggest hurdles and fears, and how they are likely to view your offering. Only by putting yourself in their shoes can you understand them and serve up relatable content.
  2. Engage – when the customer actually gets in touch you can start to prove your expertise and helpfulness with closer communication and interaction. Offer solutions, build rapport, start to nurture a relationship and add value in some way. By following GDPR rules, you may be able to get directly in contact with them or invite them to get in touch with you.
  3. Delight – a happy customer is going to be the best ambassador for your business. Building loyal customers will naturally bring you more sales so dedicate some serious time to what happens after the purchase.

Karen added: “Creating content that fits each stage of the buyer journey should be part of all business’ marketing strategy this year. And measuring the effectiveness of this inbound marketing approach will ensure you can see how it’s driving enquiries to convert to leads.”

There are plenty of content ideas and channels to use to suit each stage of the buyer journey including examples listed in this Media Matters’ blog by account manager Becca Knight.