How Inbound Marketing Works

How Inbound Marketing Works

By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound marketing attracts qualified prospects to your business, nurtures them and helps turn them into customers.

The Four Inbound Marketing Actions

Attractattract

You don’t want just any traffic coming to your site, you want the right traffic. You want the people who are most likely to become leads and, ultimately, happy customers. Who are the “right” people? Your ideal customers are also known as buyer personas. Buyer personas are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your buyer personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.

Some of the most important tools to attract the right people to your site are:

  • Blogging– 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 prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.
  • Social Media– You must share remarkable content and valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. you need to interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.
  • Keywords– Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. So, you need to make sure you are appearing prominently when they search. To get there, you need to carefully and analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.
  • Pages– You must optimize your website to appeal to and speak with your ideal buyers. Transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.

 

 

Convert

Once you have gotten visitors to come to your site, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. At the very least, you will need their email addresses. Contact information is the most valuable convert customerscurrency there is to the online marketer. In order for your visitors to offer up that currency willingly, you need to offer them something in return. That “payment” comes in the form of content, such as ebooks, whitepapers, or tip sheets — whatever information would be interesting and valuable to each of your personas.

Some of the most important tools in converting visitors to leads include:

  • Calls-to-Action– Calls-to-action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like “Download a Whitepaper” or “Attend a Webinar.” If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate any leads.
  • Landing Pages– When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them. When website visitors fill out forms on landing pages, they typically become leads.
  • Forms– In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.
  • Contacts– Keep track of the leads you are converting in a centralized marketing database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense out of every interaction you have had with your contacts — be it through email, a landing page, social media, or otherwise — and how to optimize your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and captivate your buyer personas.

Close

You are on the right track. You have attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers. How can you most effectively accomplish this feat? Certain marketing tools can be used at this stage to make sure you are closing the right leads at the right times.

Closing tools include:Close The Sale

  • Lead Scoring– You’ve got contacts in your system, but how do you know which ones are ready to speak to your sales team? Using a numerical representation of the sales-readiness of a lead takes the guesswork out of the process.
  • Email– What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call to action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.
  • Marketing Automation– This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a whitepaper on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.
  • Closed-loop Reporting– How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales team effectively closing those best leads into customers? Integration with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together.

Continued Engagement

Inbound marketing is all about providing remarkable content to our users, whether they be visitors, leads, or existing customers. Just because someone has already written you a check does not mean you can forget about them. Inbound marketers must continue to engage with, captivate, and hopefully upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of your companies and the products they love.

Customer EngagementTools used to captivate customers include:

  • Smart Calls-to-Action- These present different users with offers that change based on buyer persona and lifecycle stage.
  • Social Media- Using various social platforms gives you the opportunity to provide real-time customer service.
  • Email and Marketing Automation- Providing your existing customers with remarkable content can help them achieve their own goals, as well as introduce new products and features that might be of interest to them.

 

The Inbound Marketing Method covers each and every step taken by your ideal customers. From finding your business to converting them into leads and customers, the inbound method provides a strategic approach  to online lead generation. Establishing your business goals, knowing what tools to use, which strategic marketing plans to implement and employing the talent to implement all of it, is the next step.