Understanding the Inbound Marketing Methodology
15 Jun 2018
Inbound Marketing is a method of guiding your customers to you, by simply giving them access to great online content.
The Inbound Marketing methodology is designed to attract people to your company and centres around earning your audience’s interest rather than focusing on their buying attention with sales and promotional material.
With this in mind, to attract and earn your audience’s interest you need to provide them with valuable content. Not only should this interest them but also offer a solution to a particular pain point they are experiencing. Using the Inbound Marketing methodology to communicate with your audience will help them build their trust in your brand. And they will also see you as a source of knowledge in your field.
There are 4 stages of the Inbound Marketing methodology, Attract, Convert, Close and Delight. Each of these steps helps you guide your audience further along the marketing funnel and closer to becoming your customer. Therefore, the content for each section should be targeted to the audience within that area and should aim to help progress them onto the next stage.
Let’s take a look at the four stages of the Inbound Marketing methodology in more detail.
Stage 1. Attract
As the name may suggest, this stage is about attracting people to your company. This is achieved by creating high-quality content designed to create an interest in your company. The content you create in this stage should also aim to compel people to transition to the next step of the conversion process.
To help you attract potential customers you could:
● Write engaging and regular content for your company blog
● Use social media
● Create explainer videos
● Utilise keywords throughout your website and social content
● Optimise your web pages
● Run a Google AdWords campaign
Stage 2. Convert
Once you have attracted people to your company and created an audience that are interested in your brand and your content, it is time to convert them into qualified leads. The convert stage is where you can begin to nurture your audience, and to do this effectively you will need to obtain their contact information.
To help you obtain your audience’s contact information you must offer them something in return, namely something that is of value and helpful to them. It is in this stage that you may choose to use premium content that is gated – high-value content which can only be read once the user has given you their contact information such as their email address.
The types of content that work well as gated content, include:
● Case studies
Stage 3. Close
This is the stage where your audiences are ready to become customers. As this goal is consumer-focused, the process will typically consist of a joint sales and marketing effort so that your audience becomes sales qualified and ready to make the decision to buy.
It is then the content you create in this stage will help your audience become more aware of the products or services you offer and will provide the solution to the pain points they are experiencing.
The techniques that can help you close your leads, include:
● Lead scoring
● Email campaigns
● Marketing Automation
● Video marketing, such as testimonials or product demos
Stage 4. Delight
It is in the delight stage that you retain the customers you have gained. You need to show your customers you still value them, by doing so you will drive brand loyalty and create greater sales opportunities not only with the customers you have recently acquired but also those who they could recommend you to.
Effective strategies for delighting your customers, include:
● Offering incentives, such as loyalty discounts.
● Interacting with customers on social media
● Marketing Automation to ensure your customers are receiving content that is of interest
● Video content such as thank you videos or product training
Adopting the Inbound Marketing methodology as part of your Marketing Automation campaign will help give your company a lasting competitive advantage.
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