Over the past decade, marketing has evolved to become a more technologically and data driven industry. Traditional techniques of attracting and converting customers have gradually become outdated or ineffective.
This is largely due to modern consumer trends that involve prospects conducting active research before buying. Prospects first go online to find out more about their problem, then they begin researching possible solutions to that problem, and finally, they shortlist companies that can solve the problem.
The best way for today’s marketer to run a successful marketing campaign that generates return on investment (ROI) is by using the Inbound Methodology. The inbound methodology is a framework designed by HubSpot that focuses on four strategic steps that is meant to guide prospects through the sales funnel. These steps are outlined below:
- Attract: This is the first step of the methodology and it happens at the top of the funnel. This step involves using educational and informative content to attract a clearly defined target audience, usually called buyer personas.
- Convert: In this digital age, contact information is more important than ever before for marketers. That is why it is crucial to capture contact information of your website visitors. Naturally, there will be resistance, but you can easily overcome that with a free content offer like an eBook, whitepaper or cheat-sheet template.
- Close: The next step on the inbound methodology is to convert your newly acquired leads into customers. To do that, you need to nurture them through the sales cycle with content that answers their questions along the way. Your goal here is to educate them through their research process and when they’re ready to buy, you are top of mind for them.
- Delight: Unlike traditional marketing funnels that end with sales, the inbound methodology goes a step further. After successfully selling to your customer, you need to follow up with them with more valuable post-sale content to help make better use of your product or service. The goal is to delight them and warm them up for an up-sell or referral.
This methodology revolves around you creating content to fuel the prospect’s research throughout their buyer’s journey. There are many benefits with using inbound marketing and I have listed my top five benefits below:
Benefit 1 – Easy Collaboration between Sales and Marketing
It is no longer news that Marketing and Sales don’t always see eye to eye, but inbound marketing has changed all that. With the concept of a sales and marketing funnel, both departments can actually work together to create very powerful content for their target audiences.
This is because the Sales team have valuable information about what customers want and need at different stages in their buying journey. Marketers can use that information to create highly targeted content that will educate their potential buyers, answer their questions and even solve their problems. This increases conversion rates, making your campaigns more likely to succeed.
Benefit 2 – Increase in Brand Awareness
The internet has made it literally possible for even the smallest start-ups to gain worldwide recognition overnight. Marketers can take advantage of this fact by using the inbound methodology to create content that their target audience will find valuable to their research.
If they find your content helpful, they will share it with their network which increases your brand’s visibility and also improves your credibility. People are more likely to trust your brand if it comes from someone they’re familiar with.
Benefit 3 – Increases Trust and Credibility
Traditional marketing techniques of cold-calling or cold-emailing prospects are outdated, annoying and time-consuming. Nobody trust adverts anymore and overly promotional content has no place in today’s world.
Instead, prospects want to take their time to conduct their own research without any form of interruptions. Which means to get their attention, you need to create content that they care about. This is what the inbound marketing philosophy is all about; putting your customers first. When prospects notice your content is unbiased and educational, you will gain their trust and will the first option when they’re ready to buy.
Benefit 4 – Lowers Customer Acquisition Costs
One of the major benefits of inbound marketing is its cost effectiveness. Unlike traditional marketing that uses the “spends money to make money” approach by pumping huge marketing dollars (or pounds) into marketing campaigns, inbound marketing focuses on creating valuable content to attract their buyer personas.
Landing pages, content creation and lead nurturing tools are fairly inexpensive compared to banner ads, television, radio and newspaper adverts. As a result, the cost of acquiring new customers with inbound marketing is extremely low compared to traditional marketing.
Benefit 5 – Generates High-Quality Traffic and Leads
Because inbound marketing focuses on creating content for a clearly defined audience, focusing on their pain points, demographic and aspiration, the quality of traffic and leads generated will be highly valuable.
However, converting those leads to customers is another case entirely. Not every converted lead will transform into a sale. The key to increasing your lead-to-customer conversion rate is to have a clearly outlined inbound marketing strategy strategically maps out content to your buyer’s journey.
This ensures that you are able to properly nurture your leads through your sales funnel, from the top of the funnel all the way to the bottom. My new book, Inbound Marketing for Traditional Marketers: A Beginner’s Guide to Delighting Customers https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071WPZFFY, offers a step by step guide to help you create a winning inbound marketing strategy that will attract, convert, close and delight your potential customers.
What other benefits did I leave out? Join the conversation and leave your comments below.