In the second part of my Inbound Marketing Series, we learn about how Inbound Marketing can benefit your business in 3 distinct ways: brand awareness, building relationships, and generating leads.

Brand Awareness

The first major benefit of inbound marketing is what it does for your brand. Research has shown that 90% of Business-to-Business (B2B) employees and executives use search tools to research companies and/or products and then make a buying decision from there. May people are looking for the major players in the industry, common questions/concerns about the product or service, or for insights from others regarding that product or service.

Inbound marketing is really just a numbers game. Companies can increase their odds of getting leads by creating more places/pages for them to be found. By increasing your search engine position and then adding re-marketing campaigns can significantly increase a buying decision.

There is a caveat to this, however. The content you share has to be relevant to what people searched for. The more relevant the content, the better your odds are at being found. You can read my article on how to use blogging to increase your search engine position to learn more about organic search results.

Building Relationships

There are plenty of people who are doing research that aren’t ready to make a buying decision. Sometimes, buyers need help to push them along in the process/buying journey, without a pushy sales person. Content marketing provides the perfect opportunity to create relationships by offering insights into the product/service/industry you work in. Content Marketing provides answers to those questions your customers are asking.

For example, many people don’t know the process of buying a house. As a real estate agent, you could provide content that relates to all the papers you need to have before you meet with a realtor, or the basic steps of the house buying process.

Again, inbound marketing is about people positioning themselves as experts in their market. If you can simply the process for anyone to understand, people assume you know what you’re talking about.

Generating Leads

We have all been in situations where a client or customer doesn’t quite understand what products or services your company provides, or they don’t understand to what extent your products and services can do to help their business. Sometimes, sales people spend more time teaching a potential client or customer about a product or services rather than facilitating the deal or managing the project.

What inbound marketing can do for companies, is help produce more qualified leads to your door because the customer has a better understanding of how they can implement the product or service.

These leads are much more qualified and typically, farther along in the buying process than others.

Another way to understand what your potential client/customer is looking for is setting up “gated content” – content that you have to pass through a hypothetical gate (capturing their email or other contact information) to get the content they really desire.

Some examples include:

“Provide us your email for a 20% off coupon”

“Enter your email address for our free e-brochure”

“Enter your email for a chance to win a $500 gift card for groceries”

This gated content not only helps you understand what specific product or service that person is looking for but also help you capture their information for lead generation opportunities, help you better tailor messages to what they are looking for, and helps you narrow down the service they are looking for.