What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. Inbound marketing helps you talk to the people you want to reach, about the things they want to hear about. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your company or organization’s website.
Did you know companies that use inbound marketing are seven times more likely to report higher ROI than companies using outbound marketing? And inbound leads are three times more qualified than leads acquired through outbound methods.
The inbound methodology can be best explained in these four steps:
Step 1: Attract
The first step of the inbound marketing methodology is to attract the right people to your website. We want the people who are most likely to become customers. Some of the most important tools to attract the right people to your site are:
Inbound marketing starts with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right people, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.
SEO (Keyword Research, Page Optimization, Content & Inbound Links)
Today’s customers are more information-hungry than any previous generation. They’re constantly scouring search engines when they have a question to which they want an immediate answer. So, you need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when and where they search. To do that, you need to carefully target search keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal customers are searching for.
People are constantly connecting with friends, relatives, and businesses online. Link to your blog posts from the social media platforms you use. Don’t just post a title and a link, though; instead, use those posts to engage your fans and followers. Ask questions, start conversations, and give opinions. Interact on the networks where your ideal customers spend their time.
Step 2: Convert
Once you’ve attracted the right people to your website, the next step is to convert them into leads by gathering their contact information. But in order to get their contact information, you’ll have to offer them relevant, useful content in the form of eBooks, whitepapers, checklists, or tools – whatever information would be interesting and valuable to your prospects.
Some of the most important tools in converting visitors to leads include:
Think of a form as a way to receive information and maintain contact with potential customers. You can use forms to capture names, email addresses, and other valuable information. Forms allow potential customers to sign up for a newsletter or to receive custom content via email.
Calls-to-action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like “Request Information” or “Attend a Webinar.” Your customers are looking for information and resources that will help them make the final decision. Give them a reason to grace your company with their time and energy by offering a free download, for instance, or an answer to a question.
Think of the landing page as the deal-closer of your inbound marketing campaign. It’s the page that turns visitors into potential customers. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your marketing team can use to begin a conversation with them.
Step 3: Close
You’ve attracted the right people to your website and converted them into leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers.
Some of the most important tools in transforming leads into customers include:
A CRM can help you analyze lead activities and engagement so you can provide them with the content they want. You can use CRM software to keep track of prospects’ contact information, to understand individual prospect’s behavior, and to collect and analyze data about how prospects interact with your content.
What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page form, or downloads your whitepaper, but still isn’t ready to buy your product? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a potential customer, keep them engaged, and help them become more ready to buy.
This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing campaigns tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead.
Step 4: Delight
The inbound methodology is all about providing remarkable content to our users, whether they are visitors, leads, or customers. It’s important to continue to engage with and delight your leads and customers.
Tools to delight customers include:
Consumers have strong opinions — and they love to share them. Surveys allow you to invite opinions from your customers. Use feedback and surveys to ensure you’re providing customers with what they’re looking for.
Sure, content is still king, but the best content is adaptive and personalized. Smart content changes based on the user so that each customer sees the content that is most relevant to him or her. Your CRM tool is a great way to master this process. You’ll use the data you collect to serve up engaging content that aligns with the individual customer’s place in the purchase cycle.
Since consumers spend a considerable amount of time on the Internet (and, more specifically, on social media), you’ll want to keep your finger on the pulse of social platforms. Pay attention to what your customers say about your company and how they interact with your online presence. Listen out for your customers’ questions, comments, likes, and dislikes – and reach out to them with relevant content.
The Inbound Methodology covers each and every step taken, tool used, and lifecycle stage traveled through on the road from strangers to customers. It empowers marketers to attract the right people, convert leads, close customers, and delight promoters.
If you would like to discuss how this might work for your organization or see a demo, get in touch with us and we’d be happy to talk you through it.
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