Inbound marketing is marketing that reverses the relationship between company and customer while creating awareness that will attract and help new customers through online channels. It focuses on creating and improving the customer experience by offering potential customers information they value via company sponsored and created newsletters, blogs and entries on social media platforms.
Interactions through inbound marketing are relevant and helpful, instead of interruptive. Your prospects will find you through the content you create, which is created is designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers.
In addition to attracting qualified prospects, inbound marketing and builds trust. This trust allows marketers to focus on building strong relationships with customers instead of fighting for their attention. According to a study conducted by HubSpot, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online since 2006.
Here is a brief overview of the four stages that make up the inbound process. These steps are not random, and in order to be successful they must be completed in sequence. All inbound marketing strategies go through these processes, so it is important to understand what happens at every stage.
The first stage in the inbound methodology is the most important because it is the stage where you narrow down your target audience and create buyer profiles. These buyer profiles will encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services that your ideal customers will share. Buyer profiles also highlight behavioral trends and demographic information that is common among members of that particular customer type. You can create as many different buyer profiles as necessary, as long as they remain relevant to your customer base.
The next stage is to convert the website visitors you’ve attracted to leads by gathering their contact information. In order for visitors to offer up that information, you need to offer them something in return. That “payment” comes in the form of content, such as blog posts, ebooks and tip sheets – information that would be interesting and valuable to each of your different buyer profiles.
In this stage you focus on converting leads into customers. Certain marketing tools, such as a marketing automation platform, can be used at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating content for all users in all stages of the customer’s journey. This includes continuing to engage with and delight customers long after they have written that first check so that they continue to stay customers and promote the products they love.
Major Themes in Inbound Marketing
While there are many different creative directions that inbound marketing strategies can take, there are five major elements that can be found in all strategies.
- Content Creation and Distribution: Create specific and targeted content that answers the questions of prospects and customers, while meeting their needs. Then, share this content far and wide.
- Lifecycle Marketing: Specific marketing actions and tools help to transform strangers, visitors, contacts and customers into promoters. Create these actions to develop these relationships.
- Personalization: Tailor the content that you create to fit the wants and needs of the people who are viewing it. As you learn more about your leads over time, you can use this information to better personalize your messages to their specific needs.
- Multi-Channel: By nature inbound marketing is multi-channel. This is because of the way it approaches people in the channel, where they want to interact with you.
- Integration: Together content creation, publishing and analytics tools all work like a well-oiled machine. They allow you to focus on publishing the right content at the right time and ensure that it reaches the people who would be most interested in it.
Inbound marketing is one of the best ways to establish meaningful relationships with prospects and clients that will result in sales. If you are interested in learning more about inbound marketing and how it can help your business grow, schedule your 30 minute consultation with us today.