An introduction to inbound marketing
There's no denying it, when it comes to business the key objective is usually financial success. And when talking to business owners, it's clear that achieving that success isn't easy.
Although reaching this goal is difficult, there are some tips and tricks to help climb the mountain.
Based on our experience, every business should build a roadmap based on "ACCD":
Does this ring a bell?
Marketing guru Seth Godin coined the term 'permission marketing' in 2008. It’s the opposite of traditional marketing techniques (TV, outdoor, etc). With permission marketing, customers are allowing the brand into their lives based on their preferences instead of being interrupted by intrusive and unsolicited ads. Nowadays, inbound marketing can be compared to Godin’s theory as both of them play on the art of "permission". But content marketing is a more subtle and even more customer centric approach, as it fundamentally pushes business to create content prospects would like to read, not simply promotions and pitches about its products and services.
How to dive into inbound marketing?
According to the buyer lifecycle, businesses first meet perfect strangers. The goal of every business is to attract these strangers by creating qualitative industry-oriented content (whitepapers, webinars, case studies, etc). But how in the hell will creating content help you get leads? It might sound like a silly question but unfortunately, it's not clear to everyone running a business.
Creating quality content through blog posts, social networks, videos and infographics is a way to draw attention to your business, attract those perfect strangers and finally convert them into online visitors. The first step on the road to success! Moreover, it is the perfect way to build brand awareness, authority and demonstrate that you are an expert in a specific field. But remember - qualitative content only!
Inbound marketing is good for SEO
Finally, writing about what matters the most to your target audience will help you to rank better on the results pages of search engines. Indeed, if you write about what interests your audience, trending topics, business-related subjects and what they are actually searching for on Google, Bing or other search engines, you increase your chances of being found online. Use Google Trends to get a better idea of trending topics.
Keep the interaction going
When you succeed in grabbing strangers' attention and capture their contact details, they will be more willing to engage and eventually convert. Yes, it’s hard to attract visitors to your website when there's a huge number of online competitors. But when you manage it, you will have started building a real relationship that matters!
To keep the flame burning, the next step is providing more and relevant information to these prospects. This is the stage where lead automation tools are a good way to achieve this objective. Create automated marketing campaigns according to the first action the visitor took, the pages visited, the articles read, the form filled and much more.
In other words, converting online visitors into leads requires call-to-actions (sign up, read, download, etc), well- designed landing pages with forms. These landing pages should be designed with user experience and usability in mind.
According to research, acquisition costs are 62% less expensive when using inbound marketing rather than traditional marketing ($143 vs $373).
From leads to close
We just saw how to convert the strangers into website visitors and then qualify leads thanks to forms. Maintain the pace by transforming this relationship into sales growth.
Use a CRM system that helps you keep track of your leads actions and performance from the very beginning (whitepaper download, SaaS signup, newsletter subscription, etc). CRM software allows you to analyze what leads did in the past, so you can provide them the right products and services in the future. At some point, your leads will become 'ready for sale' and will ask you more information on your product or service. Don't miss that opportunity to easily close the sale!
The main point to remember is that you qualified those strangers into leads as soon as you delivered qualitative content and that opened the door to sales, which can be done much more efficiently as leads get automatically nurtured until they become ready to buy your products and services.
- You need a well-designed website
- Create qualitative content and content related to customers' interests: blog articles, whitepapers, infographics, videos, etc
- Include call-to-actions and forms to convert those visitors
- Manage your leads with the help of a CRM system that keeps track of all the lead actions on your website.
- Start lead automation campaigns
- Earn points in the buyer lifecycle and your sales process will be smoother
After doing all of that you can’t sit back and hope for the best! It’s your duty to keep your brand new customers delighted and happy to take their customer journey with your brand. This is the moment where you convert your customers to ambassadors and promoters. Engage them in the long-term and make sure to keep the flame burning. That said, it’s easier to nurture your customers and succeed in cross-selling and up-selling, than attract new customers.
Some businesses do not feel ready to use resources to face the challenges online presents. Or they think it's only for larger companies who can afford the time & money associated with inbound marketing.
Great marketing isn't just for Fortune 500 companies, even SMEs can benefit from it and adopting it is way more valuable than ignoring it.
In the next blog post, we will go deeper with the first step after setting your objectives: creating a well-designed website.
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