What is Inbound Marketing?
What?s the marketing buzzword for 2013? Inbound Marketing. You may have heard of Inbound. You may be somewhat familiar with Inbound. But, what exactly is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a systematic initiative designed to create new customers and encourage repeat customers.
It?s based on the Laws of Attraction. When designed and implemented to best practices, Inbound reaches beyond your organization?s website. Good Inbound Marketing positively affects Sales, Operations, and Customer Service.
Inbound Marketing attracts website Visitors. When a website shares valuable content, Visitors will exchange their contact data for that information. This action makes them a Lead. An effective Inbound lead nurturing campaign then encourages Leads to become Customers. Or, the Lead may be handed over to Sales for a customer conversion.
The apex of Inbound success occurs through relevant re-marketing to your customer base, creating brand loyal customers. This is called Inbound efficiency.
Simple to say. Difficult to achieve.
Law of Attraction
Good Inbound Marketing acts as a magnet. The best magnet for your organization is Content. The attraction occurs by creating and distributing informational Content that is:
Good website content, organized around what a prospect is searching for online, attracts Visitors from organic search traffic. As you create additional user-relevant content, you?ll begin to rise in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This creates more attraction.
Likewise, search engine marketing like Pay-per-click (PPC) or dynamic online display should be grouped into campaigns. These campaigns are designed from the keywords that prospects use to search. Therefore, your Content fulfills the answer to their needs as a consumer.
Content, Content, Content
Content is King. It?s king to Google. It?s king to consumers. If your website?s the engine that drives a conversion machine, content is the fuel. In other words, to be successful with Inbound Marketing, your organization must invest time and money toward content strategy, content creation and content dissemination.
Start with strategy. Take a systematic approach to Inbound Marketing. End with satisfied repeat customers.
The content you serve should align with where a prospect exists in the purchasing cycle. Where is your target prospective customer when they reach your site?? If they?re researching, serve up educational content. If they?re close to purchase, serve up a specific offer.
That way, regardless of whether your Content is in the form of written words, info-graphics or videos, you?ll be serving up answers to queries prospects are typing into the Google search bar. That is what we call relevant content.
What is Inbound Marketing if you have no CTAs? It tends to look like a big bowl of spaghetti. Each piece of Content is an intermingled strand with little organization or meaningful connectivity. That?s bad for the user. Unfortunately, rather than sorting out the strands to create order, most companies pour on more tomato sauce with more meaningless content. This is confusing to the user and leads to website dead-ends. In other words, people leave your site.
Calls-to-Action provide ways for you to engage with Visitors. The engagement occurs with data collection. The Visitor becomes a Lead. The Lead is one step closer to a purchase. Well-designed CTAs help this flow from Visitor to Lead to Customer appear as an obvious, natural progression. Your website flow becomes friction-less.
A CTA map, designed in coordination with the proper Content, is a good way to organize your conversion system into a friction-less flow. CTAs can also dictate when a Lead is handed from Marketing to Sales.
One of the best brand loyalty studies an organization can perform is to look at customer re-engagement. The data is probably in-house.
Does your company identify ?power shoppers?? Is your non-profit able to identify and encourage repeat donations? Do you have a system in place to encourage re-purchase activity?
After a purchase, Inbound Marketing encourages a re-purchase. How? By identifying key trigger points in customer actions, both in real time and in re-purchase cycle. Inbound Marketing systematically and automatically delivers messaging that can be custom-designed to fit the profile of an individual customer?s desires, needs and wants.
What is Inbound Marketing? When designed to Best Practices, it?s a systematic method of attracting, converting and retaining customers for life. That?s good for customers. That?s good for your business.
Making Your Website a Conversion Machine
Your website is one part of the Conversion Machine; the engine. It?s a good starting point to begin looking seriously at implementing an Inbound Marketing System. Start with a Website Grader to see how your website ranks.