Inbound marketing, powered by digital transformation and the prolific rise of social media channels has been a total game changer for the marketing industry. 

Traditional outbound marketing with its 'interruptive' direct response methods has been left languishing on the sidelines. Brands have had to adapt rapidly and get to grips with driving a 'permissive' inbound content marketing strategy to deliver value to today's empowered and informed consumers.

Consequently, consumers are now becoming inundated with content online and brands run a real risk of their valuable content drowning in the digital noise. 

How can we ensure our content stands out and reaches our target audience? Shama Hyder from Zen Media talks about the importance of developing 2 key strategies to help brand visibility: firstly, storytelling and secondly, establishing Thought Leaders within your organisation.

This approach resonates 100% with me and helps us to achieve one of the most important goals of our inbound marketing approach - helping to build genuine, authentic relationships with customers. By sharing your experiences with customers you can demonstrate that you understand the issues they come across and provide insights into how they can be addressed.

Consumers are far too savvy and well-educated these days to be 'wooed' with pushy corporate messages, they'll quite simply go elsewhere if they're not taken seriously and treated like an equal human being. I know exactly how I feel if a sales rep talks to me in the old school way, I have a total disdain for anything resembling an inauthentic 'salesy' approach!

Storytelling and positioning Thought Leaders in your organisation are incredibly powerful tools and will allow you to meet the customers where they are throughout the buyer journey. Think about each stage. be empathic, put yourselves in their shoes; what would you find compelling if on a similar purchase journey? 

HubSpot's description of the inbound marketing approach hits the nail on the head and wraps it all up in a neat paragraph:

"Inbound marketing represents a fundamental shift in the way you do business and is a philosophy based on helping people. The inbound approach to doing business is more human and customer-centered."

I reckon if you bear this mind throughout all of your marketing efforts you will be nicely on track to stay ahead in the inbound marketing game!