You've probably heard about inbound marketing, but might not be familiar with how it differs from traditional online marketing. We get the question, "What is inbound marketing?" quite a bit. In a nutshell, inbound marketing is the proven marketing methodology for the digital age.
Since 2006, inbound marketing has been the most effective marketing method for marketing your business online, generating leads, and decreasing your conversion time. Inbound marketing takes your digital strategy to the next level of lead generation and customer engagement. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and hoping for leads (likely less than qualified leads), inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product through delivering relevant content, where and when they need it the most. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
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. The best part about inbound marketing is that it is not a paid form of advertising. What is the benefit of this? Your content lives on your site as long as you want it to. The difference between that and paid, is that when you stop paying for ads with Google Adwords, Facebook ads, etc., your leads and website traffic also stop as well. That is not the case with inbound marketing.
There are 4 marketing funnels that are critical when you are talking about inbound marketing: Attract, Convert, Close & Delight. Let us explain each of these in more detail.
- Attract: Attracting customers is the first step in the inbound marketing methodology. At this initial marketing stage, the customer is provided with the right content, at the right place, and at the right time through search engine optimization and social media marketing.
- Convert: Once the right visitors have been attracted to the site, the goal is to convert them into leads through obtaining their contact information on a landing page. In order to receive this valuable information, the remarkable content they need at that very moment is offered to them. This helps give them the information they are looking for, while providing you, the marketer, with their contact information to effectively market to them.
- Close: The closing stage is where leads are transformed into customers. At this later marketing stage, specific marketing tools such as marketing automation, lead nurturing, and social media monitoring are utilized to ensure that the correct leads are closed at the perfect time.
- Delight: Inbound marketing revolves around providing outstanding content to both your leads and your customers. This means that even after a lead is closed, they still must be engaged through dynamic content, social media, and trigger marketing. The goal of delighting the customers is both being able to solve their issues, and turn them into promoters of your business.
The Inbound Methodology involves the marketer in every stage of a customer's journey to finding the perfect product or service by attracting the right visitors to your website, converting them into qualified leads, closing more sales, and delighting your customers.
What is so remarkable about this methodology is that you are in charge of your results. These successful results are achieved through inbound marketing channels and tactics that allow you to create and deliver specific and rewarding content and marketing for your leads and customers at exactly the right time.
Over the next 4 weeks, we will be explaining each of the phases of inbound marketing in more detail, including tools and tips to help you maximize each stage of the inbound marketing process. Subscribe to our blog to stay up-to-date on the inbound marketing methodology series.
Are you looking for the best way to start your inbound marketing strategy? Download our 10-step checklist to getting started with inbound marketing.