Inbound marketing positions your company and your brand as the go-to experts in your area of specialization. It draws prospects in, demonstrates your experience and expertise, and gradually leads them to the conclusion that your company, product, or service is the one that they need.
With inbound marketing, the focus is on the prospect. You earn attention by offering helpful, quality content that motivates prospects to read, share, and engage. Traditional marketing pursues the prospect. Inbound marketing attracts and persuades the prospect. Traditional marketing can be effectively combined with inbound marketing, but because the way people buy has changed, traditional marketing rarely works well on its own.
The power behind inbound marketing is information. Helpful content in the form of blog posts, e-books, white papers, one-sheets, videos, webinars, podcasts, and infographics attract potential customers. When prospects want to download one of your informational items, they’re prompted to submit an email address to receive the item. Once you’ve captured an email address, you can send additional emails offering related, helpful information to the prospect.
A successful inbound campaign will follow customers along a carefully orchestrated journey where they are transformed from a visitor to a customer into a proud promoter of your brand. There is no more valuable way to invest your marketing and advertising dollars, because the inbound strategy snowballs in effectiveness.
Let’s say you own a company that sells innovative ergonomic office furniture online. You want to attract more people to your website so you’ll gain more customers. How are you going to make sure that a customer in California, who is trying to decide whether he should invest in a new treadmill desk, ends up browsing options from your company, which is based out of Charlotte, NC?
If you are a smart furniture company, then you have a blog that covers topics of interest to your target audience, like “What Ergonomic Experts Have to Say About Treadmill Desks,” “Is a Treadmill Desk the Right Choice for You?” or “Five Things to Consider before Purchasing a Treadmill Desk.” These articles organically incorporate keywords that prospects are searching for online.
As search engines work to find relevant results to present to our prospect in California, they pick up on the keywords, consider how many people have read and shared the article, scan through and find lots of helpful pictures and diagrams, and decide that your article is a high-quality piece of information that would serve the prospect well. The prospect clicks on your site’s search result and — Boom! A complete stranger is now a visitor to your site.
The next step in your inbound marketing strategy involves taking that visitor and turning him or her into a customer. You might include a pop-up form on your website that asks the visitor to share an email address in exchange for a comprehensive guide on how to stay active in an office environment or a 10% discount off their next purchase.
If the prospect is still in the decision-making process of their shopping experience, he or she may not immediately make a purchase. That’s ok. You can continue to nurture this lead and work to close the sale by sending emailed spaced out weekly, sharing helpful articles and information about upcoming sales. Eventually, the individual will conclude that a treadmill desk is a smart investment and will make an order.
At this point, just because money has been exchange doesn’t mean that the relationship is over. A truly comprehensive inbound marketing strategy will continue to strengthen that relationship with additional helpful articles and videos, surveys, social sharing incentives, and other tools, until that customer has become a promoter of your brand.
After a month of using their treadmill desk, this individual has lost ten pounds. He or she is feeling great and posting photos on social media, calling out your brand and saying positive things about the treadmill desk. Your brand exposure has just exploded, and the individual isn’t even being paid to promote your business! Inbound marketing has allowed you to turn a stranger into free advertising.
While this is certainly a simplified version of how inbound marketing works, it highlights all the essential features:
RiseFuel specializes in crafting successful inbound marketing strategies that help our customers succeed. We are experts at helping companies connect with customers and build their brand.
Contact us today to get started on crafting your custom plan, perfecting your strategies and building an army of brand ambassadors.
Let’s chat about how inbound marketing can grow your business.