Content writing and inbound marketing are interrelated. Not much explanation is needed for the former term, but the latter may require some explaining. Inbound marketing is the opposite of outbound marketing (you may also call it conventional marketing).
We live in an interconnected world. This connection is not through businesses, companies and organizations, it is through the people. Of course these people use platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus or blogging to share their thoughts and opinions, but at the crux of everything that goes on, it is the people-centric conversations that make up the world these days. Most of the reading, writing, communication and interaction happens online. Even opinion-making is happening online to a great extent. Even the politicians are taking people seriously these days due to the way people have been empowered by accessible publishing tools and information dissemination services.
As a business you need to participate in these conversations in a constructive manner. Once you become a part, inbound marketing begins to manifest. When people come across you for the first time they’re not bothered about what a great service you provide and what a magical product you have got to sell. They want to know you as an individual. They want to know how they are going to benefit from you if they allow you to post messages on their timelines. Whether they follow you on Twitter, add you as a friend on Facebook or like your Facebook page, it basically means allowing you to share your messages with them. Among friends, colleagues, family and prospective mates they don’t want to experience your business overtures.
So how do you become a part of a conversation that doesn’t involve your business but still makes people aware of your business?
Through targeted content writing. Actually, since I provide content writing services I am speaking about this particular medium, but when it comes to sharing content you can share any format such as video, audio, photographs and images, presentations and animations. Multiple channels can bring multiple inbound marketing opportunities.
Persistent content writing helps you build a vibrant platform that facilitates inbound marketing. You share your expertise. You provide answers to all the questions your prospective customers and clients may have. You talk about topical issues in the context of your business and show that you are interested in people’s day-to-day lives.
The ideal situation is that by the time a person is ready to do business with you he or she is fully aware of what you stand for and what is the value of the product or service that you provide. Through methodical content writing you can achieve that. People again and again come to your website whenever they seek useful information.
In inbound marketing it’s not necessary that people straightaway click your links. They can come across your information on other people’s profiles and timelines. They can find your content among search engine results. Your guest blog posts and articles on other blogs and websites can highlight your links. One of your articles, videos or images can go viral and this can make people aware of your website.
Why inbound marketing, supported by content writing, is more effective?
This graphic explains the basic concept of inbound marketing vis-a-vis content writing:
In the beginning, people are strangers. Neither you know them, nor they know you. Then they start coming across your content. They start finding what you have written useful and interesting. Regular content writing makes you familiar to them. They start visiting your website again and again, you encourage them to sign up for your e-mail updates and they become your leads. As you constantly keep in touch with them via quality content writing, they are bound to purchase from you as and when the need arises. And if you keep them happy after they have purchased from you, they become your friends, they start promoting your product or service without you having to tell them to do so. This is the power of inbound marketing.
Here are a few reasons why inbound content marketing is more effective:
- People don’t want to block you: You must be aware of the fact how people constantly try to block out advertisements and promotional materials. On the Internet there are pop-up blockers. There are also some online services that allow you to access the content without accompanying ads. Many TV services these days allow you to fast-forward advertisements or at least pause them while they are being telecast so that you can fast-forward them after a couple of minutes (we do this at our household all the time). This doesn’t happen with inbound content marketing because people access your content at their own discretion, at their own convenience and according to their own preference. There is no inherent resistance as you see in the case of conventional marketing.
- It easily scales: Content based inbound marketing is easily scalable and this characteristic can be of great use when people are accessing your content via multiple devices and channels. So the same blog post can be read on a computer, on a laptop, on a tablet and also on a smart phone without much inconvenience.
- It suits every budget: The great thing about inbound marketing with content writing is there is no entry barrier. You can initiate your inbound marketing strategy by publishing just a single paragraph on your website or blog. From day one you can start uploading slides, videos and text. Even a single 20-minute advertisement on television may cost you a year’s worth of content production and distribution.
- It doesn’t have recurring costs: Once you have created high-value content it is always there. The inbound traffic that that content generates is free of cost once it starts attracting traffic. For instance, if your blog post or article is able to get good rankings on search engines, the traffic that comes from there is practically free. Agreed, you needed to pay your content writer or had to spend a few hours creating that high-quality content, but after that it gives you free traffic forever. Just imagine having to pay for every click for the 2000 clicks that your recent blog post generated.
- It is more targeted: With inbound content marketing you’re not throwing darts in the darkness. You know exactly what you are doing. For instance, if I am writing something on content writing and content marketing, I am pretty sure that people interested in these topics will be reading it. I also know that many among these people one day will become my clients. This sort of precision is not available in conventional marketing.
- It is inclusive: Inbound marketing via content writing (or whatever sort of content publishing you may find fit for your own business) is inclusive and engaging. Rather than talking to people, you talk with them. You engage them in conversations. You get there feedback and then create the subsequent content accordingly. You take their questions and concerns seriously and then try to provide as many answers as possible on the website and blog itself.