The Nuts and Bolts of Inbound Marketing Methodology

    So many small businesses dabble with different online marketing resources. They build websites, collect emails and start social media pages. But very few put all the pieces together into a coherent strategy. Inbound marketing methodology is great way to put these elements together and make them work for your business. Here are the basic nuts and bolts of inbound marketing to get you started.

    HubSpot has identified four basic activities associated with inbound marketing methodology. They are:

    • Attract

    • Convert

    • Close

    • Delight

    Attract

    Today people are using the Internet to search for the goods and services they need to satisfy desires, fulfill needs and solve problems. Instead of pushing out messages on mass media, your business must use the Internet to pull people toward you by providing valuable content on digital channels.

    The first step is profile your ideal customers. These profiles, called buyer personas, help you to understand what content you will need to attract these customers to your site. Once you have a basic understanding of your customers, then you can set up your Internet presence to attract these kinds of people.

    Here are some basic tools for doing this:

    • Your webpage is the center of your online marketing activities. You want an attractive site that is easy to navigate.

    • A blog is the basic platform for inbound marketing. By updating your blog with valuable content, people come to recognize that you are an expert in your field.

    • Search engine optimization is a set of tactics that helps your site show up on search engine results for relevant key words.

    • Use social media to promote your content and amplify the reach of your content.

    Convert

    Once people are visiting your site, you want to begin developing an ongoing relationship with them. You need to get their permission to continue to share content with them. Usually this is done by offering them some premium content in exchange for their contact information. This process is know as conversion.

    • Premium content is more in depth than what appears on your blog. It may be a white paper, an ebook or a webinar. It has to offer real value to make it worth it for the visitor to enter his contact information.

    • Calls-to-action are appeals to visitors to respond to the offer with an action. These buttons or links invite the visitor to subscribe to a newsletter, download a white paper or view a webinar.

    • Landing pages are where people who respond to the call-to-action are directed. These usually contain forms for people to enter their contact information.

    Close

    At this stage, you are looking to take the leads you generate through the conversion process and continue your relationship with them until they are ready to become customers.

    • This means having a good Customer Relationship Management system. This software helps you to track your leads as they move through their buying journey. It tracks their activities so that you can know what content is appropriate for them and when they might be ready to make a purchase.

    • You will need to develop a lead nurturing campaign. This can be a series of automated emails designed to engage and educate the people on your contact list.

    Delight

    The final stage of inbound marketing methodology continues to build your relationship with your customers and to transform them into promoters. By continuing to supply your customers with valuable content, you continue to delight and serve them. By offering your customers opportunities to share your content on their own social media, they can become promoters of your business.

    Analytics

    Inbound marketing methodology relies on solid analytics at each stage of the process. You can measure increases in traffic to your site. You want to know how much of this traffic converts to leads and how many leads convert to customers. You can also track how your customers are sharing your content in order to reward your best promoters. By measuring everything, you can make changes and measure how much these changes improve the results.

    Many small businesses hear about how great online marketing is for generating new customers. They jump right into blogging or social media without a strategy. Instead, your business should take the time to implement inbound marketing methodology in order to achieve the best results.

    Topics: Inbound Marketing Methodology

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