Inbound marketing, a term coined by HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2010 refers to “the unique method of attracting new and highly targeted prospects to your business, nurturing them with the intention of converting them into customers through the provision of helpful solutions and answers at each stage of the Buyer’s Journey.”
Inbound marketing is about meeting your potential customers where they currently are—whether they just realized they have a need or have spent months or even years researching possible solutions—and providing value they can’t resist.
Due to the focus on prospects’ needs, the inbound marketing methodology helps businesses generate more qualified leads, and therefore more sales. It also helps identify important metrics that help them help gain a clearer understanding of the return on investment for their marketing activities.
The main idea behind inbound marketing is to first provide value and then convert customers later. This can work better than outbound marketing in most cases, as customers tend to patronize companies that provide significant value throughout their conversations rather than only during the buying process.
Why Is Inbound Marketing Important?
Inbound marketing is very important because it reduces the need for you to consistently go out and seek new prospects. When customers come to you organically through your inbound marketing efforts, you no longer have to spend so much time and money chasing them.
Inbound marketing can also help increase customer trust.
According to recent statistics, more than 80 percent of customers do online research before deciding what and where to buy. If you therefore present your company as an authoritative source in your niche or market, users are more likely to buy from you.
What Are The Inbound Marketing Stages?
Having a good understanding of inbound marketing stages will help you greatly improve your website copy and attract the right kind of customers faster.
The four stages are of inbound marketing are:
This is the first stage of inbound marketing.
This stage is basically about finding where your target audience are located and attracting them.
Here are questions you should ask yourself at this stage:
– What do you do to help people find your website?
– Are you adding relevant keywords in your blog posts?
– Are you making use of targeted hashtags?
Answering these questions properly and adapting them accordingly can help you rank higher in Google search. It will also help you become more visible in your targeted audience’s social media timeline.
The end goal of marketing is to find a target audience and convert them, isn’t it?
How can you then use inbound marketing to convert your target audience?
– Use of standalone or embedded sign-up forms on your website.
– Using effective calls to action (CTAs) in your blog posts or website copy.
– Giving out a reward for your target audience signing up for your newsletter.
In some situations, converting prospects isn’t as straightforward as offering them a sign-up form and expecting they start buying from you or join your community.
One of the various ways you can drive your prospects to the closing stage is by using automation.
For example, you can schedule automated emails that remind intending buyers of their abandoned carts. This can prompt a very busy customer to go back to your site and complete their purchase at once.
You can even offer a special discount or coupon at this stage as this will motivate them to make the purchase.
Findings show that forty-five percent of abandoned cart emails are opened, and 50 percent of the links within are clicked.
This makes the “close” stage of the inbound marketing strategy very important.
This last stage of the inbound marketing strategy is the delight phase.
This is where you reward customers for purchasing from you.
It could include actions like; personalized follow-up messages, offering discounts, sending a thank you message, and much more.
At this stage, you can also choose to include surveys and feedback forms.
Doing this will help you receive comments and gain further insight into potential problems to fix as early as you can.