Marketing has experienced a considerable shift over the past few years as people have turned more to social media and the internet world for all their work and most of their play. Add to this, a situation as dramatic as the COVID-19 crisis and lockdowns have meant that all businesses completely re-adjusted their marketing approach. Let’s look at how business such as the fitness business can adapt and succeed in this completely different new world.
In the first of this series, we look at inbound marketing – an approach that is proving to be much more effective than traditional push marketing.
The COVID-19 Impact
The COVID-19 crisis has considerably affected the digital marketing sphere. We can see and feel the impact of COVID-19 on a business of any size. By now, many have refactored their business logic by cutting expenses as much as practical and offering remote options among the numerous measures.
Like everyone else, those of us who work in the Fitness Business have seen a dramatic disruption to our work and daily lives as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But social distancing also places a unique spotlight on our industry. The more society leans into social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the more each of us will rely on media, especially digital media, to keep us informed, working, learning and entertained.
With an onslaught of news and the biggest social disruption in generations, it’s not surprising that consumer sentiment is constantly evolving around the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why it’s very important for brands to lean into consumer sentiment tools. By understanding the topics and trends audiences are engaging with, brands can determine if, where and how they want to engage in the conversation.
Old styles of push marketing have a limitations
Old styles of marketing have been losing their effectiveness and we have known this even prior to the COVID crises. Older styles of marketing are just not recognized by younger, target generations and they tend to be more expensive too, especially when factoring the time, energy and money spent for your message that is then ignored. Mashable report that about 44% of direct mail is never opened and 84% of 25 to 34 year olds have clicked out of a website because of an “irrelevant or intrusive ad.” In a world seeped in advertisement overload, businesses are increasingly turning to more effective forms of advertisement, such as inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing or Pull Marketing is a relatively new marketing concept where marketers attempt to “pull” in potential customers with interesting content. Also called content marketing, inbound marketing involves creating blog posts, social media, infographics, white papers, email newsletters, and other content that people actually want to read. Inbound marketing is the concept that rather than paying to get customers to your website using ads and other in-your-face tactics, you instead give them a compelling reason to want to be there.
Creating content that is useful to your target market will help you turn up in search results and get found by those people that will eventually become your customers.
Inbound is known to be more effective than outbound marketing because with inbound, you can generate organic traffic to your site. Organic traffic is cheaper, lasts longer, and is more predictable than paid traffic. The following are some startling findings in this Mashable reports :
– Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than outbound marketing.
– 3 out of 4 inbound marketing channels cost less than any outbound channel
– 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog
Inbound Marketing Funnel
As we saw, the rules have now fundamentally changed for the buying process
and sales cycle. Buyers are now firmly in control, often completely ignoring
traditional advertising channels and actively searching for product or service
information online to make an informed purchasing decision with little or no
input from the seller.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining for marketers to this new paradigm.
Inbound marketing provides a new avenue for reaching the modern buyer on their own terms – providing valuable, objective information that can gently guide the buyer into a relationship with the seller without the taint of “advertising.” Inbound marketing creates warm leads who see value in what you have to offer and want to engage with you.
Eighty percent of all search traffic are queries to find information about a
topic, including challenges consumers face such as “what product / service will
make this problem go away?” By providing objective, educational information
regarding that problem and possible solutions, you’re improving your chances of engaging that interested prospect, gaining their trust, and eventually their
Unlike traditional marketing which pushes generic messages out to a passive,
mass audience, inbound marketing is focused on attracting interested prospects through relevant and helpful content that provides educational value and is personalized to them and where they are in their journey for information.
What makes inbound marketing so powerful is that your content reaches
interested prospects when, where, and how they prefer, as they’re actively
searching for a “cure” to their “pain.” The content created for each stage of
the funnel automatically nurtures prospects by guiding them toward a discussion with sales.
The basic premise of the inbound marketing funnel is that not all visitors to a
web site or blog are equal and more importantly, they’re not all looking for
the same thing. The inbound marketing funnel is broken up into three different parts. Each is perfectly suited for the buyers’ journey.