Inbound marketing entails a definite process that involves content creation in attracting and capturing the attention of prospects for your goods and services before they are even ready for the market. It is, in other words, seen as a cost-effective way to transform strangers into promoters or customers of your product. Inbound marketing which is also known as content marketing involves a four-stage process that focuses on attracting customers and promoting one’s product by adding value to each stage of the consumer’s buying journey. This aspect is achieved through providing content through online avenues that speak to the kind of consumer that searches for answers about a certain product.
Traditionally, outbound marketing has been the popular mode of product advertisement which includes; buying television or radio ads, buying email lists, billboard advertising, cold calling and print ads just to name few. However, with the levels of consumer advancements, people now want to know more about the product they are buying to the smallest detail. That is where inbound marketing comes in, through channels such as blogs search engines and social media, as an improvement to the advertising world with a focus on creating quality content that attracts, converts, closes and delights potential customers.
The following is a generalized methodology on how inbound marketing functions to achieve marketing success courtesy of Guttulus.
Attract (Strangers- Visitors)
The general idea is to attract the right strangers to buy your product and promote your brand in the process. This endeavor is achievable through the creation of compelling content that answers your prospect’s questions, which should be distributed through the right avenues. With relevant and quality content, you are more likely to attract leads and ultimately the right customers. The right inbound marketing avenues to distribute your content include;
Creating educational and informative content that answers your potential customers’ questions is the way to go in blogging for inbound marketing. A consistently updated blog with the relevant information attracts new visitors that may soon be happy customers.
- Social Media
Through social media, you can reach a vast network of potential customers with valuable information pertaining to your product.
- Keyword and Search Engine Optimization
Most customers today tend to search and research about a product they are interested in buying online first. That becomes an inbound marketing opportunity that you should seize by answering these questions before they are asked. Increasing your brand’s presence online by using the right SEO tools strategically improves your inbound marketing success.
Convert (Visitors- Leads)
Once the right visitors have been attracted, the next step is to convert them into leads. This step is achieved by exchanging premium content for information on the consumers and their market trends between you and your visitors. By use of the following, you can open continuous conversations with your prospects;
You can conduct virtual or physical meetings with your visitors, where you can engage them on information relevant to your brand. You can give your prospects easy meeting bookings to increase your interaction and thus productivity.
Convincing your visitors to fill forms either physically or online enhances the continuous conversation process. These forms should be as easy to fill as possible. The information they fill in could be relevant to the market trends or the improvements you need to make on your product to suit the target market.
A CRM is a centralized contact database that enables you to keep all your data in an organized manner. This organization is essential in making you keep track of the different interactions you have had with the different leads and continue these conversations with relevance to their different personas.
Engaging your visitors and leads in chats and connecting with them forms a natural part of this marketing process. With the right conversations, you can close more deals and make more customers.
Close (Leads- Customers)
By getting to this point, it means that you are on the right track, which entails attracting the right visitors and ad converting the right leads. The next thing to do therefore is to transform those leads into customers. With the following sales tools you can effectively close the right leads at this stage;
When a visitor clicks on your call-to-action or downloads your whitepaper, for instance, you have the chance to develop a trusting professional relationship by sending them a series of emails with relevant content.
- Pipeline Management
You can analyze and keep track of how your marketing technique is paying off through your sales. That would help determine whether your sales team is converting the best leads into customers.
- Lead Nurturing
Each lead is to be nurtured in accordance with their interest and lifecycle stage from the convert stage. A good nurturing entails messages that are relevant to the lead based on the pages they have visited, content and whitepapers.
Delight (Customers- Promoters)
This final stage is sometimes overlooked as a significant stage of the inbound marketing process. Once someone becomes your customer, you are to make them continue being so by enhancing their experience as such. Customers have high expectations for your product and business, thus making it important to delight them. This will culminate into a happy relationship that the customer will be proud to share with their friends making them promoters.
Conclusively, the buying behavior has advanced, and inbound marketing is the advancement countermeasure designed for it. With the right content passed through the above stages, you can never go wrong in the market today.