Rather than focusing on finding customers via traditional outbound marketing practices, such as cold calling, print advertising and mail outs, an inbound marketing strategy reverses these techniques by drawing ideal clients directly to a business. By creating unique, quality content that potential customers want to see, inbound marketing practices reverse the previously outbound relationship and allow the customers to do the “finding” themselves. This shift from outbound to inbound makes for a more productive and effective marketing process.
A core component of inbound marketing is original, quality content. This kind of content involves, for example, videos that prospective customers actually want to see, subscription-worthy blogs and informative eBooks. Inbound marketing techniques also effectively utilize social media marketing, mobile marketing and email marketing. Essentially, inbound marketing is about curating quality content that attracts not just people, but people who want to become consumers of a business’s service or product. By strategically aligning quality content with prospective clients’ interests, inbound marketing will organically increase inbound web traffic that a business can eventually convert into happy customers.
An effective marketing process using inbound tactics involves five main actions:
1. Draw the right kind of traffic.
The right kind of traffic consists of visitors who are likely to become customers, and a business that publishes original, relevant content is likely to attract not just people, but potential customers.
Inbound marketing tools for attracting the right visitors:
2. Convert visitors into leads.
Lead conversion largely depends on obtaining contact information. In order to get a site visitor to leave this information, such as an email address, a business needs to offer something of interest in return, such as eBooks, tip sheets or videos.
3. Close the transaction by turning leads into customers.
Transitioning inbound traffic from prospective customers into happy customers requires an effective closing strategy.
Efficient closing tools:
4. Turn customers into promoters.
Even after a customer has made a purchase, the inbound marketing process continues by shifting happy customers into a business’s promoters. Maintaining contact with customers through social media and email marketing, for instance, provides a business with a plethora of opportunities to provide real-time customer service, address changes in the buyer persona, and present new products and features.
5. Recycle and repurpose quality content.
Rather than constantly creating new content, a business can recycle and repurpose existing information. Recycling content can be an excellent way to save both time and money, as well as provide valuable opportunities to revisit and update responses to relevant customer issues.
By implementing the inbound marketing methodology, a business can take more control of the marketing process by utilizing the relevant tools outlined above to attract not just people, but people who actually want to be consumers.
By Drew Himel