You’ve heard the term thrown around quite a bit, but do you know what exactly inbound marketing is? If not, read on for a crash course.
Inbound marketing: a form of digital marketing that’s all about creating and sharing relevant, targeted content online and with a specific audience. Inbound marketing seeks to attract qualified prospects with content that they actually want to see, where and when they want to see it
First off, inbound marketing is traditional (outbound) marketing’s polar opposite. Inbound engages, resonates and speaks WITH your audience, while outbound interrupts and speaks AT them. How exactly does inbound do it, you might ask? It starts with you gaining insight into your target audience. Until you know who they are and what their interests, questions and pain points are, how can you know what kind of content to create or how and when to target them with it?
While you need to create content that resonates with your target audience, you also need to make sure you’re reaching your audience with the right content at the right time. Following the inbound marketing methodology – attract, convert, close, delight – can help you do this.
The attract stage of inbound marketing will help you attract the right traffic to your website, through search engine optimized blog posts and website content. A large portion of your target audience is likely conducting online searches for products or services similar to yours – optimizing your content for keywords they might be searching for will help ensure your company comes up in their search results. The goal of the attract stage is to turn strangers into visitors.
The next stage, convert, will help you secure your visitors’ contact information and allow you to continue to market to them. Of course, you can’t expect your website visitors to give you their email addresses just because you want them to. You’ll need to set up relevant premium content offers – eBooks, webinars, etc. – or a newsletter or blog subscription to offer your visitors something in exchange for their contact information. In the convert stage, your goal is to turn visitors into leads.
Once you’ve successfully gotten the right people to your site and you’ve converted them into leads, the next stage is to close them as customers. You can do this by creating a lead nurturing campaign, via email marketing and/or automated email workflows. Tailoring content for each lead is important, as they’re all in different stages of the buyer’s journey – some might be closer to making a decision than others.
The final stage of the inbound marketing methodology is delight, and will help you turn your customers into evangelists and promoters of your brand – you can’t forget about people once they become customers! You likely already know quite a bit about them, so continue to send them information and content you think they’ll find helpful and interesting. Utilize smart content that’s tailored for this specific audience, so that you’re not serving them the same content that you’d show a first-time site visitor.
Now, you should have a general overview of what inbound marketing is and the four stages that make up the inbound marketing methodology. But if you still have questions, feel free to contact us!
Updated: Apr 13, 2022