in marketing

What is inbound marketing

What is inbound marketing? It’s what you use if you want to attract customers to your business through quality content. It’s a proven methodology pioneered by HubSpot.

Here’s a scenario. You have a travel and tour agency. A prospect wants to have a break from her work and go for a tour. She searches for “Best travel destinations in the Philippines.”

You created an article about that and it appears at the top of Google search results. The prospect clicks on that and reads it whole. Then at the of the article you say “Check out our affordable travel packages” with a link to your offers or promos.

If she clicks on that and avails of one of your packages, that’s one sale instantly. Imagine happening that every day. You didn’t have to advertise. You just created an article that “pulls in” the customers. They just found you by doing a Google search.

That’s a simple scenario of using inbound marketing. Here’s the whole process:

  1. Attract. You pull in people with your website content and social media posts.
  2. Convert. Website visitors become leads by signing up to your email list.
  3. Close. Those leads become paying customers. They already know and trust you. That’s because you’ve built a relationship with your leads.
  4. Delight. You continuously connect with your customers. They buy more from you and they promote your business to their friends.

The goal here is to attract and keep customers. As Peter Drucker said “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” To gain and keep customers, let’s discuss each of the Inbound marketing actions:

Attract

You start with Attract by creating quality content that helps your target customers. So how do you create content that attracts customers?

You need to do keyword research, blogging or article writing, search engine optimization, and social media posting.

People type in something specific whenever they do a Google search. To know what people type, keyword research will help you. You will then use those keywords when blogging or writing articles (that’s search engine optimization). Here are 4 tips on keyword research and blogging:

  • Choose long-tail keywords.
  • Think of what the customers will type in Google.
  • Create helpful content so people will read it until the end.
  • Write in a conversational tone so you can relate with your audience.

After you’ve created your content, you can post that into your social media accounts or pages. Or you can establish your presence in some Facebook pages by commenting and connecting with fans.

Here are some reminders when posting on social media:

  • Don’t be spammy. Both in online and offline, act like a human being.
  • Always post interesting or helpful content.
  • Keep in mind the goal is to engage your target customers.
  • Proofread your posts and comments before publishing.

After creating and publishing quality content, your website visitors will find your posts delightful. But what’s next?

Convert

Next is Convert. While or after reading your content, you encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list.

Why ask people to subscribe to your email list? When a person visits your website, there’s a chance it’s only the first time she’s ever heard of you. The awareness and trust level is still low.

If she’s subscribed to your email list, you can slowly build the trust. You also get the chance to reconnect with her and send her some promotional messages.

So how do you ask website visitors to become your email subscribers? Here are some tips:

  • Tell people what to do next. Say “Enter your email and we’ll send you exclusive promos.” Or “Sign up to our email list to get more info.”
  • Make your offer compelling so people will give their email addresses to you.
  • Put the email signup form right below the blog post.
  • Use email marketing tools such as MailChimp, AWeber, or Drip.
  • Use SumoMe tools such as Welcome Mat and List Builder.

Once you have their emails, you are now ready to connect with them regularly.

(Also check out 10 Steps on How to Convert Website Visitors to Customers by Roel Manarang)

Close

Next is Close. Once people have subscribed to your email list, you can build a relationship with them by sending a series of messages. Those emails will educate your customers about your industry and products. Then you will send your pitch that encourages them to buy.

So how do you create a series of email messages that lead to a purchase? Here’s how:

  1. First, thank them because they subscribed to you. Then you briefly explain what your company does.
  2. You should also explain what they should expect. Tell them specifically what are they going to receive.
  3. For the first few messages, send helpful info that are relevant to them and to your offers.
  4. You can also send links to some of your best blog posts.
  5. Also tell them to follow you in Twitter or Facebook (send them the link to your profile).
  6. After 1 week or after you’ve built a connection, send them exclusive offers. Or you can just send those right away if you promised it to them in the first place.

You can continuously send offers to your email list. Just make sure they are relevant and useful to your leads. Then some of them might buy something from you.

Delight

Finally, it’s Delight. You delight customers by providing them with more exclusive offers. You give them special treatment because they’re your customers. They might then mention your business or your products to their friends.

To delight your customers and send them more relevant offers, you have to know what they like about your business. You can do this by sending a survey through your email list.

The purpose of surveys is to gather feedback. They also show that you still want to connect with your customers.

You should also know what your customers say about you in social media and other online places. You can do that by social monitoring with the use of tools such as Hootsuite Insights or Social Mention.

That way you can immediately address issues and learn more about your customers.

There you have it. Use inbound marketing if you want to attract more customers for your business.

With quality content, you gain more online visibility from your target customers. With an email list, you can send people exclusive offers and regularly connect with them.

As they learn more about you, you earn their trust. Some of them might become loyal and repeat customers. That will build a solid foundation for your business.