What is inbound marketing?

“Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out and get prospects’ attention. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers, makes the company easy to be found, and draws customers to the website by producing interesting content.” (source: Wikipedia)

86% of people skip TV ads and 44% of direct mail is never opened. So in order to attract customers, businesses need to provide them with something they will love. This is the role of inbound marketing. A data-driven approach to marketing that seeks to attract people to your company and then converts them into lasting customers.

Most people would have heard of the terms SEO, content marketing, blogging or social media marketing. These are all tactical elements that support an inbound marketing plan. The key is, rather than do each of the tactics in silos, but to build them into an inbound funnel that:

1. Attracts individuals to your website

An example of this would be to create blog content that is search engine optimised (SEO) and then promote it on social media. A pretty standard marketing practice. However for inbound marketing to work effectively, you need to follow this up with the following three steps.

2. Convert anonymous individuals (or visitors) into leads

By simply adding call-to-actions throughout your website, you can drive your visitors to landing pages with forms (or squeeze pages). The visitor completes the form to get whatever you’re offering and become a lead for you to follow up.

3. Close the deal to turn them into customers

Now you have their contact details you can send them an email or a series of automated emails to encourage them to purchase your products or services. Other methods such as retargeting on social media and search engines can work but cost more. If it’s a big purchase decision, provide the leads to your sales team so they can make more effective sales calls.

4. Optimise the cycle continually to make the funnel work harder

Analyse the success of your marketing campaigns and determine which areas need further optimization. This could mean spending more on website B or moving call-to-action buttons to more clickable locations or writing more about a popular topic. The key is to never stop improving the inbound marketing funnel.

The great thing with inbound marketing is that once you have the funnel in place, everything becomes measurable and you get a view over what works and what doesn’t. Saving you time, money and winning you more customers.

Inbound marketing creates upto 55% more leads than outbound marketing and cost upto two-thirds less. It’s affordable too. Unlike traditional advertising where you have to commit to buying slots or pages, most inbound marketing tools are scalable.  This means every business has a fair go. Spending as little or as much as they like.

To find out more about how inbound marketing can help your business succeed online, get in touch.

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