First, let’s start by defining the Inbound Marketing and the Inbound Methodology.
Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers, or leads, via company-created Internet content, thereby having potential customers come to the company rather than marketers vying for their attention.
Inbound methodology is the process of building and scaling a predictable lead generation machine by leveraging technology and education. At its heart, it’s a methodology for: Attracting, Engaging, and Delighting. It’s all about building trust and creating the right demand for your solution, rather than trying to force sales.
One of the best options for SaaS companies is to split the Engaging stage of the Inbound Methodology into Converting stage and Closing stage, as shown in the following figure:
Not all website traffic is created equal. Instead of wasting time and energy attracting bad-fit visitors, Inbound gets to grips with your ideal customers, using blog content, SEO, infographics, social media and more to attract the right people to your website.
Education provides incentive for your ideal customers: allowing you to help them understand their problems, and position your business as a potential solution. With many B2B SaaS solutions solving complex problems, education is an essential part of demand-generation.
Inbound Marketing lays the foundation for exponential growth: using powerful long-term strategies to create month-on-month growth of visitors, leads and customers.
Speed-to-market matters, and even best-in-class solutions get beaten to the punch by faster competitors. Thankfully, the Inbound ethos is the perfect complement to rapid lead generation strategies, like pay-per-click for example.
Inbound is designed to encourage website visitors to opt-in to your marketing: offering valuable resources in exchange for their contact details. By creating downloadable offers, calls-to-action, landing pages and contact forms, you'll be able to develop a predictable lead generation machine.
Inbound is designed to foster trust between your visitors and your company, by using helpful content and powerful social proof. The greater the trust, the more effective your lead generation: whether you're trying to generate more contacts, or increase your Free Trial signups.
Inbound boosts lead generation by keeping your business front-of-mind, using strategies like retargeting, influencer marketing and guest posting to raise the profile of your company.
It's important to take an iterative, data-driven approach to lead generation. Inbound leverages the latest strategies and technology to optimise your lead generation, including content personalisation, contact forms and smart (rather than intrusive) pop-ups.
It's rare for customers to appear out of thin air: they usually require education, time and trust before they're ready to buy. That's why Inbound uses automated email marketing, personalisation and valuable content to nurture leads towards a point of sales-readiness.
It's usually during the hand-off between Marketing and Sales that hot leads get lost, forgetten or abandoned. Inbound is designed to align Sales and Marketing in service of a single goal - revenue - using tools like lead scoring, marketing automation and sales-enablement content to create a seamless "smarketing" experience.
How many times have you started a free trial, or downloaded an ebook, only to be instantly bombarded by overzealous sales reps? Or the opposite: found yourself interested in a product, but unable to talk to someone about next steps? Inbound is about offering the right help to prospects, at the right time: using tools like smart content and a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to track visitor activity, and offer the right advice, at the right time.
Visits, clicks and leads are great, but it's customers that matter to your business. That's why Inbound brings accountability to marketing, and allows you to dig into the visits, contacts, leads, customers and ROI generated by your marketing activities.
Inbound Marketing is designed around a simple mantra: always be helping. Instead of abandoning customers after the point of sale, Inbound continually engages with them, offering content and advice to help your customers get the most value possible from your solution.
By continuing to offer help and guidance, and using surveys, interviews and feedback to take the pulse of customer happiness, Inbound is designed to create long-term relationships: maximising Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) in the process.
If you help your customers, they'll help you back. As well as additional revenue from up-selling and cross-selling, Inbound's ethos encourages happy customers to recommend your solution to other people: driving customer referrals and growth in the process.
I want to state again that every business is different. Internal processes vary. So this list may not be exactly what you’ll need to kick-start an inbound marketing program. And it’s by no means exhaustive. But it’s a start! If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us and chat about your marketing goals.
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