The Basics of Inbound Marketing
Reptile presents a series of articles to help you learn more about the inbound marketing methodology and its four main stages.
“If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words.”
Inbound marketing made its first appearance on the web in 2006. Credit goes to American company HubSpot, which first started successfully using this methodology and has become a true reference in the field.
In recent years, social media and blogs have grown in importance online, changing our browsing habits by the same token. Faced with this new reality, digital marketing was forced to reinvent itself. Traditional marketing solicits the customer through different types of advertisements, whereas inbound marketing takes a completely different approach, seeking to attract customers rather than speaking to them. With inbound marketing, potential customers (“prospects”) find you—not the other way around. The basic idea is to produce quality content likely to interest different personas which you’ve defined beforehand, and share it through multiple channels like your website, blog, and social networks. Once you have a proper content strategy in place and succeed in achieving high visibility with your target audience, the next goal is to convert anonymous visitors into prospects by encouraging them to act. For example, you could ask visitors to fill out a form to access exclusive content, or prompt them to contact you for more information on your products or services.
This process also helps you get to know your potential customers better, and provide them with information directly related to their needs. The idea behind this strategy is to become a reference in your field, so that when one of your prospects requires a product or service you offer, they automatically think of you and trust your brand.
The 4 stages of inbound marketing
Here are the key components of the four stages of inbound marketing, which we will be the focus of our next posts.
The idea is to attract visitors by creating quality content on your website and blog. For example, this could be informational content which is compelling to your target audience, but also related to your products and services. Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.) play a part in promoting the content you’ve shared. Another important aspect of this first stage is keyword optimization to help potential customers find you through search engines.
During this stage, you attempt to convert anonymous visitors into prospects by collecting their contact information through calls to action, landing pages for specific products or services, or a newsletter subscription form.
This is when you turn leads into customers. Depending on the products or services you offer, the amount of time between the different stages of the process may vary. Nurturing your contacts is all about guiding prospects through the discovery of your service offer to gain their trust and close a sale.
If a customer is satisfied with a product or service they’ve purchased from you, there are good chances they’ll buy from you again. It’s logical! Inbound marketing methodology recommends maintaining constant communication with your customers by establishing a trusting, long-term relationship.
Don’t miss our next post, which will cover the first stage of inbound marketing: attract.