What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing… This ideology and marketing approach was coined by Hubspot a number of years ago, they define it as “a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want, inbound marketing forms connections they are looking for and solves problems they already have.” (Hubspot). But, how does it work? What do you need to get started with inbound? And what are some examples of techniques you can implement right now to get in on the Inbound marketing game? Let us break some of that down in this blog.
So… What is Inbound?
Inbound marketing focuses on making customers/leads come to you by offering them valuable content and experiences before asking for anything outwardly in return. It is not traditional ‘selling’. The model is focused on attracting ideal customers, through targeted ads and helpful/educational/personal content, then nurturing them until they become full customers. It is a great model to ensure businesses get the right kind of customer and the engagement rates will show higher quality leads, it can sometimes be seen as being a quality over quantity method, but with the right content, you can attract more leads and have a higher yield become fully fledged subscribers/customers.
As Gary Vee puts it, the idea revolves around a simple mantra, “Give, Give, Give… Ask”. In lemans this means you provide as much free content to your ideal customer as you can, you help them, you solve their problems, you earn their trust, then when they are so blown away by your knowledge and generosity, you ask if they want to purchase your product or service.
The Inbound Marketing Funnel…
The model focuses on content creation which positions the business as either an educational platform or an entertainment provider. Educating, inspiring and helping potential customers before asking them for anything in return. The idea being that, because of the great tools you have equipped them with, and the Brand Experience you have alluded to, the leads will be more likely to convert into subscribers/customers.
Attract Stage (Give)
Attention grabbing content which can highlight what people are to gain from your product/service. A value proposition, and then some free content along with it.
Convert Stage (Give)
Slightly longer content, lessons, workshops, blog posts etc, which build on the Brand Experience teased in the ATTRACT stage. This content will highlight in more detail why someone should research your company more, without overtly asking.
Close Stage (Ask)
Now we reach the point where you can show that in order to continue on this journey, grow and expand their knowledge, the lead has to move to the next stage and either submit details (Subscribe etc) or purchase a product. This is the ASK part, and any sales will be in a much stronger starting position if each lead has gone through the funnel. It not only means that people like what you are offering and want to see more, it helps to filter out those who would not be interested in what you offer, so the final converts will be made up of the most valuable leads, and hence, the most likely to go through the whole process and gain from it in the end. The right kind of customer.
We have broken down some quick examples of content you can use at each stage of the funnel. There is a lot of room to experiment and try new things, but it is always of upmost importance to keep in mind who your ideal customer is, and ensure you are creating content which will catch their attention no matter what stage of the funnel they are at.
Short, Snackable, Promotional content – For Paid Ads:
‘Behind the scenes’ on set – Videos and photos
Attention grabbing promotional content
Organic Reach Content:
Inspirational content showing the benefits to be gained from using your product/service.
eBook – Take all your blogs on a particular topic and make it a downloadable eBook. Podcast on relevant topics to your target customers.
Calls to action