Inbound marketing is usually thought of as a strategy only for B2B companies. Inbound marketers gather leads and prospects before passing them off to the sales team to convert, so the thinking goes. B2C— with its shorter sales cycle and narrower margins—is less well-suited to inbound’s long-game tactics. Fortunately for B2C companies looking for an edge over the competition, nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that inbound marketing’s strengths line up perfectly with the marketing needs and challenges of most B2C companies.
Those with ultimate purchase power in the realm of B2B sales are considered, methodical and generally make fewer purchases. B2C buyers, on the the other hand, are relatively more emotional and prolific in their buying decisions.
This gives inbound marketers a lot to work with. Here are some reasons why—and how—inbound marketing works for B2C businesses.
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Inbound Marketing Lets You Engage With Your Customers
Modern consumers don’t want to be sold to. They’re more interested in gathering information, having a discussion and coming to their own conclusions—or at least the feeling of having done so. More than ever, consumers crave an almost personal relationship with the brands they buy from.
This is exactly what inbound marketing excels at. By creating original, high-quality content that aligns with the needs of your buyer personas and where they are in their journey, you make your customers feel understood.
Inbound Marketing Is Branding’s Best Friend
Let’s be honest—for most of the products we buy on a daily basis, we might not be able to tell the difference between one brand and the next in a blind test. Yet many of us have strong preferences all the same. This is the power of branding.
For one great example of how inbound marketing can be successful for a B2C business, look no further than the nationwide diner chain Denny’s. Starting in the late 2000s, Denny’s began a prolonged campaign of creating humorous original content, including web videos, mobile game apps and social media.
The Denny’s Twitter account has been particularly successful, using absurdist humor and a native understanding of online culture to effectively rebrand Denny’s for a generation of young people.
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Inbound Marketing is Great for SEO
Search engines have completely changed many aspects of daily life, but perhaps none more so than shopping. For modern consumers, every stage of the buyer’s journey is often done online and facilitated by search engines. That’s why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important for B2C businesses.
There’s a lot that goes into successful SEO, but the two main factors that determine success are quality content and backlinks from relevant third-party sites—usually earned by leveraging quality content.
Inbound marketing, which also relies on the creation and promotion of great content, is a perfect complement to SEO. When properly coordinated, inbound content can double as SEO content, providing a phenomenal return on investment for any B2C business.
Inbound Marketing Offers Concrete Analytics
With traditional marketing, calculating impressions is an inexact science. You know about how many people had the TV on during your commercial and about how many subscribe to the local newspaper, but ultimately there’s no way to know how many engage with your ad or are influenced by it.
By contrast, online inbound marketing offers hard data of incredible breadth and detail. Impressions, clicks, interactions, time on site, CTR, conversion rates and many more performance metrics can give B2C companies invaluable insights into not only how their content is performing, but who it’s performing with. This understanding of buyer personas can help to inform future marketing efforts in addition to product development and more.
If you’re still trying to determine whether inbound marketing is right for your B2C business, just ask yourself this—are you more interested in marketing for marketing’s sake, or for the sake of your business and your customers? If it’s the latter, then inbound marketing is definitely right for you.