What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.
In this article, Pritish Kumar Halder describes some interesting points related to Inbound Marketing.
What Is the Inbound Methodology?
The inbound methodology is the method of growing your organization by building meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers, prospects, and customers. It’s about valuing and empowering these people to reach their goals at any stage in their journey with you.
Why? Because when your customers succeed, you succeed.
The inbound methodology can be applied in three ways:
Attract: drawing in the right people with valuable content and conversations that establish you as a trusted advisor with whom they want to engage.
Engage Present insights and solutions that align with their pain points and goals so they are more likely to buy from you.
Delight: Provide help and support to empower your customers to find success with their purchases.
Hub spot inbound methodology
When customers find success and share that success with others, it attracts new prospects to your organization, creating a self-sustaining loop. This is how your organization builds momentum, and this is why the inbound methodology serves as a strong foundation for your flywheel.
What Is the Flywheel?
The flywheel is a business model adopted by HubSpot to illustrate the momentum your organization can gain by prioritizing and delivering exceptional customer experience.
You can spin and build momentum in your flywheel by investing in strategies that acquire and retain customers — forces for your flywheel.
On the other hand, anything that slows your flywheel is friction. Often the biggest sources of friction for your customers come in the handoffs between teams, so alignment and communication between teams are key to keeping your flywheel spinning.
HubSpot flywheel friction
When your flywheel is based on the inbound methodology, your marketing, sales, and service functions can add force and eliminate friction throughout the attract, engage, and delight phases. All organizational functions are also responsible for removing friction from your flywheel.
For example, in the attract phase, marketing will likely play the biggest role by doing things like blogging, event marketing, and running paid ads, but your sales team can also add force by engaging in social selling, and your customer service team can add force by making it easier for current customers to make referrals.
Once you attain enough customers and engage and delight them, they can keep your flywheel spinning by promoting your organization and bringing new customers to you. Over time, your flywheel allows you to grow without continually investing in customer acquisition.
Let’s unpack some more inbound marketing strategies.
Inbound Marketing Strategies
These strategies will help you effectively market to your target audience in an inbound way. Below, you’ll see there are specific strategies for each inbound method of attracting, engaging, and delighting consumers to keep your flywheel spinning and help your business grow better.
Inbound marketing strategies that attract your target audience and buyer personas are tied to content creation and development.
To reach your audience, start by creating and publishing content — such as blog articles, content offers, and social media — that provides value. Examples include guides on how to use your products, information about how your solution can solve their challenges, customer testimonials, and details about promotions or discounts.
To attract your audience members on a deeper level through inbound marketing, optimize all of this content with an SEO strategy. An SEO strategy will require you to target specific keywords and phrases related to your products or services, the challenges you solve for customers, and the ways you help target audience members.
This will allow your content and information to organically appear on the search engine results page (SERP) for the people who are searching for this information — also known as your target audience or the right customers for your business.
When using inbound strategies to engage your audience, ensure you’re communicating and dealing with leads and customers in a way that makes them want to build long-term relationships with you. When using these engagement strategies, inject information about the value your business will provide them with.
Specific engagement strategies may include how you handle and manage your inbound sales calls. Focus on how customer service representatives handle calls from interested people and prospects. Additionally, be sure you’re always solution selling rather than product selling. This will ensure all deals end in mutually beneficial agreements for customers and your business — meaning, you provide value for your right-fit customers.
Delighting inbound strategies ensure customers are happy, satisfied, and supported long after they make a purchase. These strategies involve your team members becoming advisors and experts who assist customers at any point in time.
Incorporating thoughtful, well-timed chatbots and surveys to assist, support, and request feedback from customers is a great way to delight these people. Bots and surveys should be shared at specific points in time throughout the customer’s journey to ensure they make sense and are of value.
For example, chatbots may help current customers set up a new technique or tactic you’ve started offering that they’d like to take advantage of. Additionally, a satisfaction survey may be sent out six months after customers have purchased your product or service to get their feedback and review ideas for improvement.
Social media listening is another important strategy when it comes to delighting customers. Social media followers may use one of your profiles to provide feedback, ask questions, or share their experience with your products or services. Respond to these interactions with information that helps, supports, and encourages followers — this shows you hear and care about them.
Lastly, the mark of an inbound strategy focused on delighting customers assists and supports customers in any situation, whether or not your business gets any value out of it. Remember, a delighted customer becomes a brand advocate and promoter, so handle all interactions, both big and small, with care.
The Five Fundamentals of the Inbound Marketing Methodology
To better understand inbound marketing, it is important to know the five fundamentals of inbound marketing which are traffic attraction, conversion, marketing automation, loyalty, and analysis.
The first step is to attract users to the brand’s website. However, instead of seeking to generate visits massively, focus on bringing quality users to the website, users who match your ideal client profile or buyer persona.
This can be achieved through a variety of techniques such as:
SEO: if you work on positioning your website within the first spots of major search engines, it will appear as a response to the user’s needs at the right time.
Content Marketing: offering users valuable content at the moment they need it will reinforce the process.
Social networks: Use them as diffusion channels to help your content reach users.
Once a user has reached your website, you want them to leave their data, thereby becoming a lead and continuing to receive information from you.
To convert users into potential customers, the classic strategy is to provide them with valuable content in exchange for leaving their data in a form. But there are many other options, such as offering test demonstrations, meetings, or interacting with them through a phone call or chat. In any case, the objective will always be to get their data and add their information to your database.
This pillar of inbound marketing is based on systematizing the process by which you communicate with your leads until they become customers. For this, you can use techniques such as:
Lead scoring. A technique based on designing an evaluation system that allows you to objectively assess the likelihood of a lead becoming a client. For more information please visit Pritish Kumar Halder ‘s page.
Lead nurturing. Based on the score obtained and the characteristics of the lead, you design a series of automatic flows to send relevant information to your contacts according to their needs.
The process does not end when you manage to convert a lead into a client. The next step is to get this client to stay with you for as long as possible as a result of loyalty strategies, such as newsletters, offers, and incentives.
Designing an effective loyalty strategy is very beneficial for the company, since maintaining a client is much less expensive than acquiring a new client from scratch.
No inbound marketing strategy is complete if you do not have the plan to measure and analyze the results. For this, you will have to carefully define the KPIs (key performance indicators), which are the most relevant metrics to assess whether your strategy is succeeding or not.
It is also necessary to establish periodic controls to analyze the results and adjust previously established actions if needed. This will improve your inbound strategy.