What is Inbound Marketing? In short, it is to market your business through e-books, blog posts, social media and other targeted content in order to attract customers.
This is the opposite of running a campaign on TV, which is more of a scattergun approach.
With Inbound Marketing it's all about content, content, content. The aim is to build such good content on your website that potential customers become interested and want to buy from you.
The key is to offer them personalised content that then leads them through the sales cycle with your company. There are couple of main reasons why this is becoming more and more popular, one is that it is difficult to measure the effect of marketing and the other is that all companies need leads.
Some companies believe cold calling no longer works and that the future is digital. Many companies can probably work exclusively digitally in good times, but one does not exclude the other. If you base your marketing strategy on only digital methods, you will miss out on many opportunities, and it will affect you negatively in bad times. Companies with a parallel investment in cold-calling and appointment setting have a great advantage – even in market downturns, the right customers can be found, targeted and nurtured at all stages of the sales cycle.
Inbound marketing has four steps on which they are based:
- Attract prospects.
- Conversion of prospects to become customers.
- Sell ??to new and existing customers.
- Encourage customers to buy again.
Attract new customers
Attracting prospects and new customers requires that you are willing to take the time to create good content. Excellent content is essential to getting the most out of Inbound Marketing strategies. Articles, white papers, blogs and the like must be produced on a regular basis. Social media must be used as well as search engine optimization, and then primarily in Google. Surveys show that close to 80% of all B2B purchases start with a Google search.
You have now started to get more visitors to your website, you have traffic from social media, and more and more people are reading your blog. What is important is that you attract readers here by offering them premium content that shows that you are offering them information that is of high value.
At this stage, ideally you will identify who these customers are. You need at least their email address so that you can start communicating with them directly. To ensure this, we use a "Call to Action" (CTA) where they download your valuable content in exchange for their email address. This is often done on what are called "landing pages”.
Until now, the marketing department has done the job of generating interest. The next step is to capture the sales. This is where many people misunderstand and believe that the future is exclusively digital and that one should only reap the benefits of digital marketing. Operating in this manner is very reactive and does not really benefit your company if it is aiming to grow market share, sales and profits. It is still necessary to call out as well.
At Venezu, we have dozens of digital campaigns in combination with follow-ups over the phone and appointment scheduling that we can refer to. Especially in bad times, it will be absolutely crucial that you still have contact with prospects and have opportunities to meet with them, in combination with digital marketing and classic telemarketing and sales activities.
In theory, one should set up workflows (customized emails based on interest) and then set up lead scoring (points based on what they read on your website) which indicates when someone is in purchase mode. Here, the person should be called so that marketing activities can be leveraged to maximise sales.
The last point is to be able to excite your customers by doing so well, treating them so well that they become future ambassadors for you and your company. By bragging about you and your company to others, it will give you new leads and customers.