How Inbound Marketing Works

March 27, 2017 Matthew Cook

You’ve probably heard that you need to switch from outbound to inbound marketing in order to stay relevant and competitive in today’s market. You’ve probably seen all of the stats proving its effectiveness. You might already be sold on the methodology.

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But you’ve got one question left: How does it actually work?

Keep reading to find out.

Attract

Outbound marketing has a poor ROI largely in part because it targets everyone and anyone—anyone watching your TV commercial, anyone driving past your billboard. But the majority of these people aren’t actually interested in, or need, what you’re selling.

Inbound marketing works by attracting the right type of traffic to your brand—the people who will be the most likely to buy what you’re selling.

You attract these people by first understanding your ideal buyers—they’re your buyer personas. These are semi-fictional representations of who your customers are, from their goals and pain points, to their objections and demographics.

Once you know your buyer personas, you can work to target them through inbound marketing strategies like content marketing, social media marketing, and keyword strategy.

You create valuable, educational content that speaks to your ideal customers and answers their most common questions. You share that content on the channels that they are most likely to use. And you use keywords that they would type in when searching for your type of company.

Convert

Once you’ve attracted visitors to your website with the inbound marketing strategies described above, you then work on converting them into leads by offering a piece of valuable and irresistible content, such as a newsletter, a case study, or a report in exchange for the visitor’s contact information..

Tools used to convert visitors include calls to action (CTAs) and landing pages. A call to action is a button that entices your visitors to take action, whether it’s to “download a case study” or “sign up for a webinar.” Once these links have been clicked, the visitors are redirected to your landing page, where the visitors submit contact information in exchange for the content asset. Then, you can use this contact information to start interacting with your leads.

Close

Inbound marketing tools are then used to convert your newly acquired leads into prospects who will hopefully be closed into customers. Marketing automation and lead nurturing techniques are used to further educate and nurture contacts to move them further down the sales funnel. Lead scoring is used to determine whether or not the leads are ready to talk to a sales person. And closed-loop reporting is used to better understand which inbound efforts are attracting the best leads so you can improve your efforts.

Delight

Though inbound marketing can and will increase your sales, it’s about more than that. At its core, it’s about providing your customers a remarkable user experience. That’s why the process doesn’t end after the sale is closed.

Inbound marketers must then continue to captivate and engage with existing customers. Tools like email marketing are used to offer after-the-sale support and social media marketing is used to continue engagement.

This, in turn, will turn your customers into brand ambassadors who will happily promote your company to their networks. It’s also an excellent way to upsell to your current customer base and create long-term customers.

As you can see, the inbound marketing methodology works by covering every step of the buyer’s journey, from helping consumers find your brand to converting them into customers and beyond. It’s a strategic approach to marketing your brand and increasing your sales and revenue.

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