January 01, 2020 7 min read

What is Inbound Marketing?
What are the best Inbound Marketing Strategies ?

 

If you are looking to:

- Improving your website SEO in a sustainable way;

- Increasing your website traffic by  +75%  in  7 months;

- Converting more visitors into leads automatically;

- Generating qualified leads for your sales team;

- Optimizing your global conversion rate;

- Increasing your sales,your turnover and the ROI of your website.

Then, this GUIDE (very complete tutorial) is, definitely, what you need !

 

 “ A vision without a  strategy remains an illusion.”   Lee Bolman.



Table of contents:

  1. What is Inbound Marketing ?
  2. What is the Inbound Methodology ?
  3. What are the fundamentals of an Inbound business ?

 

 

What is inbound marketing ?

There’s been a massive shift in the relationship between businesses and buyers. Now, the buyer is more empowered and has more information about your product, industry, and competition. And if you fail to meet their needs?

94% of consumers have discontinued communications with a company because of irrelevant promotions or messages. 74% of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult. 51% of customers will never do business with that company again after one negative experience.

 

On the other side, 93% of consumers said they are more likely to be repeat customers at companies with remarkable service. 77% of consumers shared positive experiences with their friends or on social media and review sites in the last year. So clearly, there’s a better way to do business.

 

Inbound is a business philosophy based around helping people. The inbound approach means doing business in a human way and creating meaningful 1:1 relationships with strangers, prospects, or customers. Inbound means meeting people on their own terms and interacting with them using the sites, platforms, and networks they value most. Inbound is a better way to market, a better way to sell, and a better way to help your customers. Because when good-for-the-customer means good-for-the-business, your company can grow better over the long term. 

Being an inbound business means you are building relationships and having conversations with, not at, your target audience. If you want to get value out of prospects and customers, you need to give them an experience that they value. To create this value, you need to provide the right information to right person at the right time, every single time, regardless of if they are interacting with your marketing, sales, or service teams. 

 

What is the Inbound Methodology ?

The inbound methodology is going to help change your business, transform your business so it is more human. It is more helpful and it's going to teach you the things that everyone at your business needs to do to provide more value and build real relationships and trust with everyone you're trying to do business with. 

Alignment is more important than ever these days. The inbound methodology is going to help you align your business so that everyone at the business understands your prospects and customers better, so they can deliver that real value and build real trust with the people you are here to serve.

The Inbound methodolgy illustrates the three stages each of your marketing, sales, and services team will use to create and maintain relationships with people. These stages areattract,engage, anddelight

All of these phases apply to everyone in your company. You see, attracting isn’t just the role of marketers. Engaging isn’t just the role of sales. You can probably see where this is going. Delight isn’t just the role of services! In order to create relationships that last and customers that stay, every customer facing team needs to focus on how they can contextually attract, engage, and delight your prospects and customers and continue to build trust in your brand. 

So let’s see what the inbound methodology looks like in action :

Attract stage:

During the attract stage of the inbound methodology, an inbound business focuses on attracting prospects and customers through relevant and helpful content – immediately adding value during their buying journey.

Engage stage:

The engage stage begins the moment a person takes the desired action— to read that article, to book that meeting, to chat with that bot. It’s about starting a relationship and becoming that trusted advisor. 

Delight stage:

Delight revolves around providing an outstanding experience every time a prospect or customer interacts with your company. To exceed their expectations so much that they’ll want to tell their friends and family about how you went the extra step to ensure they accomplished what they set out to do.

 

What are the fundamentals of an Inbound business ?

Before practicing inbound, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of inbound strategy. Consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be educated, and inbound tactics can deliver the kind of information your prospects and customers need to help them make smart, well-informed decisions and, ultimately, help them grow. 

To do inbound, you need to be inbound. This means using a specific set of strategies along the way. You’ll need to understand the following:the inbound principles,your company’s purpose,how your business goals align,your buyer personas, and  your buyer's journey.

Let’s start with the inbound principles. Think of the inbound principles as the guidelines for every interaction your teams have with prospects or customers. When implemented correctly, they can ensure you’re being helpful, human, and holistic with your inbound strategy. The principles are as follows: 

 

Standardize for consistency :
Consistency in messaging and information is core to building trust. If a prospect or customer asks three different people at your company the same question, try to ensure they are getting the same answer all three times. This helps build confidence in your brand whenever a question or challenge arises. 

Contextualize for relevance :

A prospect or customer is in a continual conversation with your brand. Contextualizing means using the information from all previous interactions to provide the most relevant information as quickly as possible. This prevents repetitive conversations and time spent solving for problems or answering question that are no longer an issue. 

Optimize for clarity :
Be conscious of the strengths and weaknesses of each communication channel. This can help you determine the best types of marketing, sales, and services interactions to deliver across each one. 

Personalize for impact :
Use the shared knowledge inside your contact database to tailor each conversation you have to the person you’re having it with. Rather than canned responses or content, adapt your messaging to speak to directly to the person you’re interacting with. 

Empathize for perspective :
Inbound is about being human and that means having empathy and being adaptable. Acknowledge that your prospects and customers are people, with valid emotions. As a result, you want to ensure you’re speaking to their emotional state at the same time that you are providing guidance and information. 

 

Together, these can help shape the way your brand communicates. But oftentimes, it’s not just about what your brand is actually saying. It’s about the reasoning behind those words. That brings us to your company’s purpose

Your company’s purpose is about what you’re doing for other people that’s truly making a difference. Having a clearly identified purpose helps your marketing, sales, and services teams really step into the shoes of your prospects and customers and remain connected to the people they’re serving, rather than just the numbers their working to move.

Speaking of numbers, let’s take a moment to talk about goals. What comes to mind when you hear the word "goal"? Maybe you think of the destination — the benefit of learning about the best ways to reach and align with your prospects or customers. Maybe you think of the journey — how every interaction gradually builds momentum until you’ve built a relationship on a foundation of trust and transparency. Maybe you just think of the now — the checklist for today and what you want to accomplish over your morning coffee. 

Now think about the marketing team, the sales team, and the services team within your organization: their checklists and their journeys to get there. If you’re not all ending in the same designation, that’s a lot of energy wasted when you could be working toward the same goals. Having a defined framework for aligning your teams and their goals can help ensure that everyone, from every executive to every individual contributor, is spending their time and effort working toward the same end.

That, of course, all falls apart, if you don’t have a unified sense of who you’re trying to attract, engage, and delight with your company. And that’s where buyer personas  come in. Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of an ideal customer, based on real data and some educated speculation about demographics, behaviors, motivations, and goals. Personas are created through research, analysis, and taking a close look at who’s already buying from you. They can help you get into the mindset of your potential buyers and create the right content.

That brings us to thebuyer’s journey. Every interaction your persona has with your organization should be tailored to where they are in the buyer’s journey. 

The buyer’s journey is the active research process someone goes through leading up to a purchase. Knowing the buyer’s journey for your persona will be key to creating the best content possible. Instead of moving someone through the funnel, the buyer’s journey is tailored to your buyer and the stages. The three stages are the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage that portray the experiences your potential customers go through.

How do you think Inbound Marketing can improve your business?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 


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