Inbound Marketing is a non-intrusive approach that centers on attracting the right customers through quality content instead of bombarding the general audience with disruptive advertising like outbound or traditional marketing does. The Inbound methodology is the most effective way to market and generate lead conversions in the digital era since it focuses on generating traffic through online platforms such as social media, blogs and search engines. Inbound is all about pulling customers in with valuable content tailored to their motivations, wants and needs.
How does Inbound Marketing Work?
People are constantly searching for solutions to conflicts and for ways to make their day-to-day easier. Your job as a marketer is to create content that will provide those solutions. Because of this, it is essential that you know who your target customer is and customize your content appropriately. Now, Inbound is not only about producing great content and hoping for your possible customers to get hooked. You need to guide them through the whole buying process, from the moment they discover your page, for example, to the moment they (hopefully) become an actual client and make a purchase. This process is illustrated in the marketing funnel like the one below.
At the top of the funnel (ToFu), your marketing team should focus on driving traffic to your webpage and collect essential information from potential customers. This will lead your customers to the middle of the funnel (MoFu), where they will become marketing qualifies leads (MQLs) who must be nurtured with the right content until they are sales qualifies leads (SQLs). Now its time to convert those SQLs into customers by engaging with them and giving them educated information to help them make a decision without suffocating and annoying them. Finally, if your bottom of the funnel (BoFu) efforts succeed and you gain a client, you must make sure your customer service is optimal to enhance the possibility of a positive word of mouth.
The Central Philosophy
The names of each step of the funnel may differ from illustration to illustration, but the main idea is always the same: visitors enter the top of the funnel, go through a process of nurturing and engagement to be converted into leads (potential customers) and continue this nurturing until they reach the bottom of the funnel and become real clients. At this point, you must continue your efforts to retain that customer and form a long-lasting relationship with your loyal client. For this to happen, you need to exceed your client’s expectations and ensure that he or she is satisfied with what you have to offer. If you succeed at delighting your customers, they may become advocates for your brand, which is fundamental for getting more visitors to enter your funnel.
Finally, software is important for your Inbound Marketing strategy, it is not exclusive, but it will definitely help you integrate all your processes and measure your results. Consider software like HubSpot or Salesforce that are proven and mature platforms to automate marketing and sales processes.
Following this process of attracting strangers and nurturing them until they become loyal clients is key to see significant results and grow your business.