What is inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is all about creating and sharing quality content that draws people towards your company and product rather than having to fight with other noises just to get your company heard. By tailoring your content to your target market, you naturally attract traffic to your site which you can then convert, followed by close, and eventually delight over time. (This will be discussed more later). Unlike outbound marketing (think print ads, billboards etc.), inbound marketing targets people who are already actively seeking solutions online.
Knowing your ideal customers is vital in inbound marketing – By aligning your content with your customer’s interest, it naturally attracts them to your site.
Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Many business chose to do away with ineffective traditional marketing methods such as buying ads and email marketing. With inbound marketing, it helps to increase more traffic to your site, increase sales, lead generation and customer loyalty.
IT’S TIME TO TRANSFORM YOUR MARKETING
To provide you with a clearer understanding, the above image are the four actions – Attract, Convert, Close, Delight which will bring organic traffic to your site. This is the course which most customers would naturally follow when they forged a relationship with a business.
From strangers to visitors.
We don’t want just any Tom, Dick or Harry on our site. We want targeted strangers who will convert into loyal customers. Just like in any budding relationship, the first step is attraction. In this phase, you have to create brand awareness and reach out to your target audiences, which is also known as buyer personas. Buyer personas include the demographics you would see in target market research but it also includes more information crucial to creating great content. By analysing the buyer personas, we can have a greater understanding of our audience’s behaviors, interest and pain points so that we can align our content and strategies with them as they are the cause factor of your business’ success.
Tools to attract the right crowd:
a)Blog : To get people reading your blog, you’ll need to create interesting content that helps to educate visitors on a subject relating to your company.
b)SEO (keywords): Make sure your company appears prominently when they use a search engine to search for something. In order to do so, you’ll need to pick the right keywords, optimize your pages, create relevant content and build links around the terms relevant to your service or product.
c)Social Media: The heart of inbound marketing is about creating remarkable content. Social media posting allows you to share valuable information on the internet, humanize your brand and interact with prospects.
d) Pay per click: Marketer’s favorite PPC advertising system is Google AdWords. Users bid on specific keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements.
Each time a search is conducted, Google scan through a list of AdWords advertisers and chooses the most relevant pages to appear in its precious advertising space on the search results page.
e) ebooks: eBooks are unique marketing tools because it does not seem like marketing tools. These digital books are usually for entertainment purpose or to provide expertise experience. You can attract customers by sharing testimonials and case studies to increase your value.
f) podcast: You can reach out to individuals subtly by mentioning a product or service the company offers, relating to the current issue in the field. Alternatively, you can offer special deals for podcast subscribers. Either way, you are reaching out to a group of people who already have some kind of interest in your products or your message.
Now that you have visitors to your website, the next step is to converting them into marketing qualified leads (MQLs). To begin the process, you will need to obtain their contact information. Contact information is currency to the inbound marketer.
The challenge is obtaining such information.
Just like in business, it is always a two-way transaction. You’ll need to offer something of value to your buyer personas in order for them to relinquish their contact details. This valuable item could be in the form of content – e.g. eBooks, blog posts, webinars etc.
Tools in converting visitors to leads include:
Call-to-action is a button that is on your website or blog that encourage visitors to take action. For example, download a wallpaper or get a free trial. You have to place your call-to-action buttons at a prominent place and make sure it is enticing enough to get visitors to click on it.
b)Landing Pages with forms
One of the common reason why your website does not convert is due to decision fatigue.
By creating a landing page that is focused on a single objective and creating content that answers what the reader is searching for create value and make conversion more likely.
Often on a landing page, visitors have to fill up a form with their information in exchange for something (e.g. getting a 30 days free trial).
With these leads, you’ll need a database to store their information and interactions with them so that you can optimize your future interactions more effectively.
Remember getting the lead is only halfway there. What’s more important is that you are able to nurture that lead through the buying process.
Once you get to this phase, you know you’ve done the above right.
Getting past this stage is absolutely crucial as it means money coming into your business. $$$
So how are you able to convert this lead to a sale?
Here are some closing tools:
a) Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Remember about storing your lead’s information in the database? This is where it comes in handy. With CRM systems, it helps you to touch base with your prospects at the right time and optimize your interactions with them across every channel.
b) Closed-loop analytics:
Analytics are important to help you identify what type of content is generating the right leads and customers. It also helps you to see which stage your buyer personas are at so that you can lead them through the buying process effectively.
Sometimes it takes more than a call-to-action button, and forms to convert a lead to become a customer. A series of emails relevant to the customers can give that extra push in converting to be a customer.
d) Marketing Automation:
This requires a process sending tailored emails to the needs and buying phase of each individuals. For example, if they browse through a certain type of clothings from your website, send them more information on that and make the messaging more personal.
Congratulations if you have reached this stage. But we are not done just yet. Just because you’ve scored a deal/ sale with your customers, it does not mean you can just walk away. Your end goal should be continuing to interact, delight your current loyal customers and hopefully upsell
Inbound companies will continue to interact, delight and upsell their current customer base into loyal and happy promoters of the brand.
Here are some tools you could use:
This is a great way to get an in-depth understanding of your customers and what improvements to be made.
b) Smart Calls-to-Action
Tailor your deals and offers based on the buyer’s behavior and stage.
c) Smart Text
Keep your existing customer base wanting more by providing them with remarkable content that might be of interest to them.
d) Social Monitoring
Take note of social conversations and trends. Be aware of your customer’s likes and dislikes. Set up a google alert to keep you informed whenever someone mentioned your brand/company on the internet.
Inbound marketing has indeed transform the way we conduct marketing. I believe that as marketers, we have to continuously adapt to the ever-changing consumer behaviour patterns. However, inbound marketing is not all about creating tons of content and spamming them on your website so that you can rank higher on SEO. Instead, the key idea in getting customer loyalty is to provide value without asking for anything in return. For example, at TRV Creative, we gladly offer free consultation to our clients. Be genuine, and customers will learn to appreciate your business more.