Inbound Marketing – Why Does It Matter?
Inbound marketing has seen a strong rise in B2B agencies in recent years. There are several reasons as to why, but one of the most important ones might be that consumers are becoming experts at avoiding ads. Dvr's allows you to skip commercial brakes, and ad blockers remove ads from websites. That is why you seriously need to consider inbound marketing to be a part your business strategy for 2017.
Inbound marketing is all about making potential costumers come to you. By making content that is relevant and interesting to them you can generate traffic that you can later convert into sales. A software company that specializes in inbound marketing, called Hubspot, has a model of “the inbound methodology” on their website that I think every marketer should be familiar with. It’s a step-by-step to how you can transform a stranger into a promoter, and it’s divided into four actions: attract, convert, close, delight.
The first action, attract, focuses on directing consumers to your website. This is where you tailor your content to your dream customers, or buyer personas as Hubspot call them. You want to attract the people that are most likely to become costumers, and therefore you make content that they find interesting and relevant. Blogging is one of Hubspots recommended attraction tools. By writing articles that are relevant you can educate potential costumers, and at the same time show them that you pay attention to what’s happening in the world and that you know what you’re talking about.
After you’ve attracted your dream customers you need to convert them into leads. How to do this exactly is different for B2B and B2C companies but the main goal of the action is the same: to convert website visitors into leads. This is where you introduce a call-to-action. In a B2B situation you could ask a visitor to give you their email so you can follow up on them later on. In a B2C situation you could lead the visitor further in to your website so they can gain more knowledge about your company.
For the third action, you want to close the newly converted leads. You need to take the leads by the hand and walk them through the last step towards becoming a customer. Here you can use a CRM-system. A CRM (customer relationship management) allows you to keep track of your contacts and to organize the information, you’ve gathered about them. It makes it easier to follow up on leads, and to know exactly when the times is right for closing a specific lead.
Last but not least is delight. This action is really important, because it focuses on not forgetting the newly closed customers. Like Hubspot says on their website: “Inbound companies continue to engage with, delight, and (hopefully) upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of the organizations and products they love”. The keyword here is promoter – the goal is to make the customer so happy that they’re willing to share your companies content with others. Like I said in an article I wrote last week, most people from the baby-boomer and millennial generation prefer to see content made by, or shared by regular people.
If everything in this article is new to you, it might feel a bit overwhelming. But you don’t have to change to an inbound strategy over night, and you don’t have to completely abandon your outbound strategies either. The expression “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” certainly applies here, but I would still argue that you eventually should adopt the methodology of inbound marketing, because the perks are many. You can save money by using a CRM, so you can focus on the right leads, and you can attract more dedicated customers by making tailored content.
Here at Nordic.Agency we’ve implemented the inbound methodology in our marketing strategy. The picture at the top of this article is one of our own models that we use to map out the customer journey. The model makes it easier for us to identify what stage of the journey a customer has reached, and also helps us to work more efficiently with turning leads into satisfied customers and brand advocates.
I urge you to read more about inbound marketing, maybe visit Hubspot or similar sites, or at the very least ask yourself this: Am I really marketing, or am I being overlooked?