Here is a question to ask yourself. What steps do you normally go through as a customer before purchasing a product or service? More than likely, you will need to do your research to find out what you even need in order to achieve your goal. Majority of the time, yourself and others are unaware of the multitude of services out that you can benefit from and this is where Inbound Marketing thrives.
Inbound Marketing is all about having potential customers come to you through providing valuable content so that your audience can apply what they just learned! Creating leads that can become more than just potential prospects. You want to educate your audience about your product or service and how they can utilize it. But in order to do so, you need a process in place. Inbound methodology stages provide a funnel for potential customers as such:
This approach is a modern take on marketing. In the past, Outbound Marketing was used by majority of marketing professionals. Why? Because Outbound Marketing has been around forever, with print ads, television commercials, and radio. This form of marketing is a more generalized take on marketing, attempting to reach to the masses, which lead to very few leads, majority of the time. The issue with Outbound Marketing is that everyone you are marketing toward, are generally not interested in your product. This creates more issues for marketing professionals because now people will begin to screen what is being shown to them, making it harder to get in front of your potential customer.
But enough about Outbound, let’s talk Inbound! In this article, we’ll go over Inbound Marketing and the Inbound Methodology Stages that apply.
As a marketing professional, your job is to appeal your service or product to your audience. It’s not just about appealing to everyone though, you need to attract the correct audience and not market by the masses. Why? Because then you will begin to fall under the category of spam in the audience’s eyes if you don’t target the correct people with needs that suit your product or service. You want to create an awareness of your service and provide insight to why this service is beneficial to their need indirectly, in short. This is where buyer personas are applied.
The best form for attracting your targeted audience in by providing quality, applicable content. There are different forms of attracting your potential customers, such as; Opt-In email, blogs, and social media. These platforms to showcase your content only go so far though, the extra boost that’s needed is optimizing your content with special keywords to match what your ideal customers are searching for. This is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO, for short. SEO is a necessity for digital marketing and is a crucial part to having your content show up as a top result instead of the bottom of the barrel. Now that we attracted the ideal audience, what’s next?
Once your ideal customer finishes consuming your ever so awesome piece of content. It’s now time to provide an equal trade, so to speak. This can take many forms, such as landing pages, call-to-actions and contact tracking. Aside from your amazing content, you want your audience to walk away with something. Think of it like the cherry on top from nice ice cream you just devoured. By providing whatever it may be to your audience, you will then receive their contact information as a tradeoff. This just created a potential lead!
The goal of this stage is to convert your audience into a potential lead. This creates trust with you and your potential customer, leading you one step closer to your goal. Rubs hands* Call-to-actions can take many different forms, such as providing a free eBook, eGuide or Survey. Your audience may not receive any of these actionable items without providing the appropriate information necessary for your business such as name, address, email address, company, and title.
Here comes a tricky part of the process. Closing the deal. It’s not always about having the most leads, but the most qualified leads. At this stage, your lead in now a potential customer, so what do you do? Your goal is to close the deal and turn them into a paying customer! This can be achieved in many different ways, such as lead nurturing, lead scoring, providing deals or promotions, and more. This can either be achieved through 1-on-1 contact or through your website.
Closing the deal is the make or break moment between you and the potential customer. Potential leads are not always ready to buy right then and there, and in those cases, you nurture your leads through lead nurturing, it’s just as it sounds! This is where you send the right content to the right persona.
Now that you have turned your potential customer into a paying customer, it’s time to delight! This stage is overlooked by majority of businesses and marketing professionals. It’s important to delight your customers and making sure they have a pleasant time with your product or service. Why? Because word of mouth travels faster than you think. If your customer is having a great time with your product or service, you are creating trust, opening the possible chance that your customers will speak highly of you through reference. Aside from word of mouth, customer retention is one of the most important aspects of your business. When all you care about is making the sale, you’re missing out on a lot more opportunity to have the customer repeat business with you.
One way to make sure your customers are happy is gathering feedback. You could utilize surveys through email, phone calls, or in person! Gathering feedback is a strong form of getting to know how you customers are feeling so that you could better your service or product and adjust to the needs of your consumers. Social media can also be a big asset to understanding if people are happy with your product or service.
Marketing involves a lot of process and attention to detail. In the past, majority of businesses would market toward the masses, but that does not work anymore. Creating buyer personas and targeting the correct audience is key to becoming a successful marketer. Content marketing has been on the rise and does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. When consumers are researching for potential help to their need, you want to be the one front and center providing quality content so that your reader will walk away happy and interested in more. Content marketing with SEO is a viable solution to helping you receive the quality leads you are looking for. Remember, it’s not about how many leads you have, it’s about the quality of your leads.
Responsify is an all-in-one content and inbound service provider. We create a scalable strategy from the 4 Inbound methodology stages and help produce quality content through SEO to help you gain the quality leads you want. For a typical business to pursue Inbound marketing, they typically need to hire a writer, editor, strategist, and social expert for starters. Responsify takes away the burden of hiring a full-stacked team and is here to make a difference for your business
To learn more about content marketing and how Responsify can help you attain your goals, feel free to reach out for a 1-on-1 strategy session today!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Inbound Methodology Stages, and are here to help.