Okay, so you want to embrace Inbound Marketing as your next marketing technique.
But you don’t want to go through all the troubles learning complex terms and maths. You just want to learn it in a simple way and use it to generate more sales.
Feel no trouble because today I’m going to show you how inbound marketing works.
By reading this post, you’ll easily know how it functions and you’ll be able to use it to grow your business.
So let’s start from the basics first.
What is Inbound Marketing?
According to Google, “inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects' attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.”
HubSpot says, “Inbound marketing is a holistic, data-driven approach to marketing that attracts individuals to your brand and converts them into lasting customers.
In traditional marketing approach, offers are thrown into customers’ face. Marketing approaches like cold calls, ads and emails aren’t effective these days.
Because consumers are getting smart. They -
As a result, a huge amount of money gets wasted.
This is where inbound marketing comes in. Inbound marketing is all about marketing with content people love. Here people will come to you. You don’t annoy people with unwanted marketing techniques. Rather you create content people love. Consumers come to you with pleasure.
That’s the difference between traditional marketing and inbound marketing.
Now let’s dive in to learn its operation.
Things You Need Before Getting Started
You must know your goals and audience before getting started with it. To help you figure out your goals and create a marketing plan here are some questions that will help. I strongly recommend you have them written on paper.
Remember, these questions don’t have to exact. They may vary according to your business or customer.
Do you have a plan and website ready? Good. You’re now ready to dive in. Let’s begin.
Inbound Methodology consists of 4 stages.
Attract, Convert, Close and Delight.
These 4 stages compose the whole inbound marketing and sales process. To play with this, you need to understand these stages well.
Come close and pay attention. I’ll describe you these stages now.
This is the first stage of inbound methodology. This where inbound marketing begins. You attract complete strangers to your site. Few of them may have some interest in you, few of them may not.
By attracting visitors you start to gather your opportunities, you start the ball rolling.
Question: How do you attract new visitors to your site?
You use -
Creating blog posts that are valuable to readers can hold them in your website resulting in regular visitors. Utilizing social media can also be a great way to attract new visitors. Doing some SEO work on your website will help you to rank higher in Google search results. That will gift you a good amount of organic traffic.
There are plenty of other techniques to attract visitors to your site. I have a post on how you can attract more clients. You can check it out here.
In this phase, you convert your visitors into leads. You build a conversion process and turn your visitors into leads. Without a conversion process, you can’t convert your visitors into leads.
You use CTAs, landing pages, forms to collect the information of your visitors and put visitors into your bag of leads.
The conversion process looks like this -
Call-to-Action (CTA) > Landing page > Thank you page
Visitors click on you CTAs placed on different places such as blog posts, newsletters, podcasts, videos, and they’re brought to a landing page where they submit their information (like name, email address). After that, they become your leads.
For those who don’t know about landing page, a landing page is a website page which is designed to gather information of visitors. It’s used to turn unknown visitors into leads. Landing page uses forms to collect information of visitors and helps you to build a relationship with your leads.
After they opt in, they’re led to a Thank You page which takes the sales process further. A thank you page thanks your visitors for opting in and provides them additional resources.
Here they become your customers.
Ah… customers…. finally you see money. Feels good, doesn’t it?
In this stage, you segment your leads and send them targeted message.
You segment your leads according to their interests. Then you send them targeted email helping them with their buying decision.
Lead nurturing plays an important role here. You develop various lead nurturing campaigns to complete your sales funnel. You may want to use Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) software to improve sales process and create a closed-loop marketing campaign.
In this whole process, you take help of email marketing to coordinate. Sending timely messages goes a long way to develop the sales process.
To sum up this stage, you segment your leads and send targeted messages to help them with their buying decision. They decide to buy and become your customers.
This is the final stage of inbound methodology.
‘You got your customers, you got your money. You’re done for now.’
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE.
If you think this way you’ll fail within the beginning months of your business.
According to inbound methodology, the relationship just starts after they buy from you. You can turn your customers into promoters using the pillars of delight.
Most businesses focus so much on getting new customers that they forget to serve their current customers. As a result, customers are left with a bad experience and dissatisfied. 65% of customers surveyed said that they cut ties with brands over a single bad or poor customer service.
Imagine, all that you’ve been doing to get customers, all your marketing efforts going in vain. So you really need to focus on delighting your customers. That’s how you’ll get more profit.
It’s easier and cheaper to retain an existing customer than to find a new one. [Highlight to tweet]
If you provide great customer service your customers will recommend you to their friends. Easy customer acquisition.
Here’s a quote from the president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz to summarize this,
Customer Experience is the new marketing. If you don’t have a passionate, committed executive leadership team … you won’t get out of the gate unless you have that. It’s the most important thing we do. We have the most demanding customers on the planet. Customer Experience better be at the top of your list when it comes to priorities in your organization.”
-Steve Cannon, President & CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA
That brings us to the end of inbound methodology.We can sum up the inbound methodology in these four stages. You may have some questions scurrying in your head. Take a look at the answers below to see if these answer your questions. If you still have questions feel free to ask me in comments. I’d be happy to answer them.
Things You Should Know
Wrapping It Up
Inbound marketing is the future of marketing. This is one of the marketing techniques that will work in future. Now you know how this works. Go and implement it on your business. Let me know how you do.