Inbound Marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. It is an undeniable fact that it really really works. For every business out there that want to achieve something substantial and sensible in the online space should consider inbound marketing. For every aspiring online marketer out there, its very important that they understand the fundamentals of inbound marketing to connect the dots and maximise their marketing efforts. If you are new to inbound marketing, then below is a ‘get started’ guide that works!
It’s important for the online marketing manager to connect all efforts by the team members with various skills and channelise them towards a common goal. To be precise, give structure to the marketing efforts and maximise the output. If your business is considering inbound marketing then below is a short guide to how to go about it.
Here is the inbound marketing methodology chart courtesy – Hubspot. Follow the steps carefully and it can guarantee you results. Trust me it works
Inbound Marketing Methodology
Now let me break down this for you. The inbound marketing methodology is a 4 step process and it starts with
In the first step of the process we deal with strangers and we generalise them as ‘traffic’. Now the key thing to watch out for is that your business doesn’t need just any traffic, it needs traffic that is interested in the business niche and the product. Start by creating user personae – define your target audience, understand their problems that your business can solve and now start creating content that solves your target audience’s problems. Don’t be an uncle scrooge to create content about only your product ( ME ME ME ME ME type content) and shamelessly tell that you offer the best product in the world. Instead create content around your product, create content for your target audience, solve their problems and genuinely care about your audience. This will lead to your target audience advocating to the world that you and your business are awesome!
So ask your SEO to get the target keywords around your product that your audience is searching online, get those insanely good content writers on board, ask them start churning out quality content, promote them through social media and more importantly start genuinely caring about your audience. There are more chances that you will start attracting traffic, traffic that is interested in your product, traffic that converts.
Once the traffic is in, the next challenge is to convert them into leads. This can be through sign up forms, product enquiry forms etc. This is where terms like – good landing pages, lead conversion form, effective call to action etc. come into play. At this stage the focus should be on making the user to trust your website and convince them to share their contact details and product preferences with your website. Remember a user’s email address is one of the hottest commodity in the internet world. So get your UX designers working on the landing pages, conversion forms and call to actions. Test the pages with real users, find out what users like and keep optimising your pages and forms till you find the most converting combination.
This the third and one of the most important stages of the conversion funnel. At this stage marketers need to nurture the leads by contacting them via email or phone (depends on the business), be helpful and informative to the leads and finally convince them to buy the product and close the deal. With happy customers, up-selling possibilities are high, utilise this but don’t abuse it and show that you are desperate! Effective email marketing and marketing automation techniques come into play here.
Once you close the deal, its very important to be in touch with your customers and delight them with your service. Show them that you still care for them. Remember inbound marketing is all about building relationship. Happy and delighted customers will become ambassadors of your business and they will end up bringing more business to you. The good old ‘word of mouth’ marketing comes into play here. Remember in the pre-internet era, a delighted customer can tell how awesome is your business to his or her friends and quite a few in their neighbourhood, but today in the age of social media they can spread the message to thousands of people easily. This also means that your business needs to be extra cautious about unhappy customers, they can easily ruin your party!
So hope you liked my interpretation of the inbound marketing methodology, if you think I have missed anything or if you have any questions on the above do let me know in the comments section below. Thanks for your time and happy marketing!