Inbound marketing is a customer-centric approach that focuses on attracting customers to your business by offering valuable and informative content that speaks to theirs needs and builds trust in your business.
As opposed to more traditional, marketer-centric marketing, which uses interruptive methods such as emails, cold calling, and printed ads to get the attention of prospects, inbound marketing creates positive interactions that empower prospects with the information they need to make decisions for themselves.
Why inbound marketing?
We live in an age where people are bombarded with advertising wherever they turn, and for this reason, have become increasingly skeptical of standard interruptive marketing methods. In fact, Harvard Business Review reports that 90% of B2B buyers never respond to cold-marketing.
For this reason, instead of competing for consumer attention, inbound uses the fact that prospects seek out the information they need on their own terms.
By developing valuable and relevant content with the expectation to be found, potential customers will come to you, become new clients, and ultimately be delighted by their experience.
How does inbound marketing work?
Inbound marketing is based on four phases: attract, convert, close, delight
First, attract visitors to your website using tools such as blogging, website optimization, and, social media.
Tools: blog, social media, keywords, pages
Once you have new visitors, you can convert some into leads by gathering their contact information, the currency of inbound marketing. To do this, it's important to offer them something valuable, usually in the form of additional information or useful content.
Tools: calls-to-action, landing pages, forms, contacts
Once you’ve converted some visitors into leads, you need to nurture their interest by providing them with relevant information. In this stage, tools like email and CRM are helpful in selling to the right leads at the right time.
Tools: email, workflows, lead scoring, CRM integrations
Once you close a sale with a customer, your relationship is just beginning. At this stage, you need to continue to delight and engage them so they become happy promoters of your brand.
Tools: social media, smart calls-to-action, email, workflows
Analysis is critical to making inbound marketing work. Every strategy and technique you use, and content you create, should be analyzed regularly to see if it's working, and adjusted as needed to make it better.