What is this Inbound Marketing Methodology I keep hearing about?
According to Hubspot “The Inbound marketing methodology is an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful — not interruptive. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.
Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, inbound marketing attracts qualified prospects and builds trust and credibility for your business.”
Also, unlike outbound marketing which has a shelf-life dependent on how much and how long you pay for it, Inbound Marketing has no shelf-life because it exists as your content for as long as your leave it there. It is relevant, information-based content and it will work for you as long as you let it.
Inbound Marketing sounds like a plan. How does it work?
The quest to turn strangers into customers and then into raving fans involves three major steps that are made up of various moving parts depending on the situation and desired goals. A lot of companies get paralyzed with indecision but you really shouldn’t be intimidated by the moving parts because when you boil it all down the formula is simple: Campaign, Exchange, Convert, Repeat.
The Campaign is made up of two parts.
What are you offering? Typical types of offers include:
- Downloads such as whitepapers, checklists, how-to docs
- Access to webinars, insight or other special content or knowledge
- Discounts or coupons
How are you telling people? Typical promotions are clear calls to action (CTAs) promoted through:
- Email or Newsletter
- Blog Posts
- Social Media Posts
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Press Releases
The Exchange has at least two parts.
What do you want in return? You’ve made an offer that strangers have found intriguing enough to act on and now is when you ask for something in return. A typical exchange includes:
- Contact Information from a qualified lead
- Advertising revenue from website traffic
- Expanded audience or circle of influence
- Money from a sale
How can they give it to you? The parts of the exchange experience typically involve:
- Landing pages with contact forms
- Analytics and ad tracking
- Follow your social media account
- Ecommerce or online store
The Conversion has many parts but only one main goal: create a raving fan.
You have a successfully made an offer and an exchange and now you want to strengthen and build on your new relationship. What can you do to finish converting this stranger into your biggest fan or best customer? Things you can do include:
- Deliver content tailored to their interests
- Deliver timely and relevant content
- Surveys and social monitoring to find out what they want
- Personal interaction and dialogue
- Special offers or insider deals
As a business owner, you’re the subject matter expert and you should be creating the best content. Hopefully you now understand how the Inbound Marketing methodology works and how you fit in it.