Inbound marketing is meant to attract clients, convert them into leads, close them as clients, and delight them with various activations down the sales pipeline.
“Traditional” or outbound marketing methods such as advertising, banner ads, cold calling, e-mailing, and direct mail can sometimes turn off customers. In the last few years, more and more marketers and enterprise businesses have been turning to inbound marketing.
According to Hubspot, inbound marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention.
By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound marketing attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.
Inbound marketing is meant to attract customers or clients, convert them into leads, close them as clients, and continue to delight them with various activations down the sales pipeline.
Where outbound marketing is seen as “interruption-based,” inbound marketing is thought of as “permission-based.”
Examples of inbound marketing include subscription-based email marketing, landing pages, social media, blogging, vlogging, webinars, trade shows, public speaking, and other forms of content marketing.
With this in mind, we can draw a full circle back to some of the marketing tactics I’ve previously discussed on this blog.
Small businesses owners and freelancers should be heavily involved in publishing a business blog, using social media to distribute their content, and growing an email list to better market their products or services.
Inbound marketing strategies are all about being found naturally rather than aggressively pursuing leads through in-your-face tactics.
However, inbound is not just about blogging and using videos to market your business.
The essence of inbound marketing is that you must be able to capture qualified leads — people who might actually pay for your product or service. You want to pull them into your eco-system so that you can begin to nurture the relationship and ultimately convert them into a paying client or customer.
Capturing qualified leads can be done through setting up a client management system (CMS). Hubspot is probably the best-known client management system. But other CMS software includes Salesforce and Zendesk. We use Zoho CRM. One of our clients uses Pipedrive. There are many options and price points to choose from depending on the size of your company or client list.
Once you’ve set up a CMS, then all your content and marketing activities should be geared toward getting qualified leads into your CMS.
Incorporate social media and SEO into your content marketing in order to deliver qualified candidates to your website. When readers come to your website or blog, you can ask for their email information in exchange for downloading a free white paper, worksheet or template. You can also create a product or service offer landing page and asks for their information in exchange for a free 30-day trial, coupon or access to a video.
The more information you can get the better. First name, last name, email address, company name, title, website url, social media handles, etc. This way you can personalize future marketing and communications.
You can follow up with blog updates, special offers for first-time customers, an email newsletter or an introduction email telling them more about your business and how to get in touch with you should they have any questions.
The idea is to employ an inbound strategy that creates brand awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, and advocacy — all part of the marketing funnel.Inbound marketing is not just about blogging. The essence of inbound is to capture qualified leads. Click To Tweet
Your brand has to be at the right place at the right time for potential clients. You also need the right mechanisms in place (such as a CMS) so that once you’ve peeked their interest and consideration, you’ll be able to pull them into your eco-system in order to close the deal.
If you’d like to know more about setting up inbound marketing strategies for your small business — get in touch with me.
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