When we talk to sales and marketing teams about how they generate leads we often hear about cold calling, conferences, trade shows, print ads and emailing purchased lists. These ‘outbound marketing’ techniques are examples of how marketers push their messages out to the masses, hoping that their messages will break through the noise and resonate with someone in their target market.
The goal of inbound marketing is to attract potential customers, earn the right to deliver anticipated, personal and relevant messages to the people who actually want to get them, build a relationship with these subscribers and respectfully nurture them to a closed sale. At it’s core, inbound marketing humanizes marketing through trust, personalization, and relationship building.
Inbound Marketing methodology is based on four core actions: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.
Attract: Inbound marketing is about more than attracting more website traffic, it’s about attracting the right traffic. Visitors who are likely to become leads, and ultimately, happy customers. You might be familiar with the term “Target Market”, but inbound marketing is more personal that than, so we prefer to define your ideal customer, known as your ‘Buyer Persona’. A Buyer Persona is a profile of a fictional buyer, based on real-life data and characteristics that helps you to understand your ideal customers goals, challenges, pain points, common objections and demographic information. Your buyer personas are the people around whom your whole business is built. Some of the most important tools to attract the right users to your site are:
- Social Media
- Website optimization
Convert: Once you have attracted the right people to your site, the next step is to earn permission to start delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. You will need valuable content to trade in exchange for these visitor’s contact information. That trade comes in the form of content, like ebooks, whitepapers, or tip sheets — whatever information would be interesting and valuable to each of your buyer personas. Contact information is the most valuable currency for online marketers. Tools used to convert include:
- Landing Pages
Close: After you have attracted the right visitors and earned their contact information the next step is to nurture the relationship. This doesn’t mean immediately asking for the sale. Marketing automation monitors signals of where each contact is in the buying cycle and continues to provide timely content to nurture them further down the inbound marketing funnel. Numerous marketing tools can be used at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times. Closing tools include:
- Lead Scoring
- Marketing Automation
- Closed-loop reporting
Delight: Inbound marketing continues to work even after the deal is closed. By providing customers with valuable educational content and personalized customer service, inbound marketing continues to engage with, delight, and (hopefully) upsell your current customer base into happy promoters. Tools used to delight include:
- Social Media
- Email and Marketing Automation
A New Methodology
Instead of relying on interruption based methods like outbound sales calls, press releases and unsolicited email, inbound marketing methodology attracts quality leads by publishing the right content in the right place at the right time. Content marketing is relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.
Now that’s marketing people can love.
Inbound marketing doesn’t just happen, you do it. And you do it using tools and applications that help you create and deliver content that will appeal to precisely the right people, in the right places, at just the right times.
Want to learn more about how inbound marketing can grow your business?
This educational whitepaper examines how inbound marketing methodology is changing the way businesses attract, convert, close, and delight customers. Learn how successful marketers are using inbound marketing methodology to attract highly qualified sales leads, increase sales conversions, close more deals, and delight their customers.