Feel like you’re hearing “inbound marketing” and seeing “#inbound” everywhere? Are you not quite sure what it is all about? As a marketing professional in 2015, you should know! Even print & production professionals should have a good understanding of their place in inbound and this new way of communicating with the buyer so it can be strategically leveraged. Here, let’s break it down together. There are four stages in the Inbound Marketing Methodology: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.
These four stages represent the process your prospects go through when converting into customers—and then into brand advocates. The best part is that it breaks down into a simple formula that can be replicated over and over to produce real results of web traffic, social engagements, lead generation, and customer conversion.
The first step in inbound marketing is to get the attention of strangers—people who don’t even know you exist. They may not even know that your product or service is available! So, you need to attract qualified prospects by providing awesome content that they’re interested in. This way they’ll come to you, instead of you to them (that’s outbound marketing). You’ll Need:
- Blogging & Relative Content
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media
The second step in inbound is getting some information from those visitors you’ve attracted to your website. How do you do that? Offer them something they want, like an eBook, coupon, free trial, or checklist and ask them to exchange their information for it. You’ll Need:
- Calls to Action
- Landing Pages
A website visitor becomes a lead once you have their contact information. As a lead, you can personally market to them through segmented lists and close the deal! Some say that closing leads into customers is the trickiest part; but there are tools to make this job easier. You’ll Need:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Marketing Automation / Workflows
Congratulations! You’ve got customers. Now it’s your responsibility to keep them happy. To do so, engage with them, listen to their feedback, continue to personalize their interactions with you, and continue to provide them with awesome content. You’ll Need:
- Smart Content
- Social Media
This multichannel approach is no piece of cake—there are lots of moving parts to be aware of and monitor. That said, integrated marketing plans are the best way to connect with today’s buyer. And connecting in a meaningful way is key. Inbound marketing focuses on just that. Good luck!