Inbound Marketing is a modern way or marketing, unlike the traditional marketing techniques. It is a way to attract a potential audience using blog posts, videos, and social media. It’s a non-intrusive way of getting customers which is basically a long-term game but very much effective. Unlike the traditional way of marketing which includes newspaper, TV Ads or social media paid ads where a huge sum is invested, an inbound marketing basically focuses on providing relevant information and problem-solving of a customer that he is facing.
An inbound marketing funnel is usually divided into four phase viz. Attract, Convert, Close and Delight. These four phases represent the whole journey of a person from being a stranger to being an advocate for a company or its product.
Phase 1. Attract
In the Attract phase, a stranger looking for a solution finds his solution by searching on Google and landing to our blog post or by searching on YouTube and watched our video that solves his problem. In order to make sure that our potential customers find or articles or videos whenever they need, we need to have a content strategy. We need to optimize our blog posts for SEO and should have a presence in relevant groups on relevant social media. We should engage and interact without potential customers wherever possible.
Platforms like Facebook Groups, Quora, LinkedIn Groups and Twitter are one of the most obvious platforms where users go. Google holds the first place as a search engine with a 66% share. And it has about a 93% share of mobile/tablet traffic. Going by my experience, I’ve seen almost 90% traffic to any organic or paid campaigns are mobile. Thus we need to make sure that we rank on Google, at least on the first page.
Tip: We can now target a custom audience using Facebook News Feed organically.
Leverage Virtual Assistants
The latest trend is of virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. More people are now asking questions of these virtual assistants as compared to just a year ago. As can be seen from the image, for long tail keywords, people generally tend to use Voice Assistants instead of typing, so we need to tailor our content as per the Voice. This would tremendously boost the traffic to our content.
One example of where I implemented this technique on my blog brandnol.com is shown in the image above. If implemented perfectly, the main objective of this phase will be completed perfectly i.e. attracting our potential customer and converting them into visitors.
Phase 2. Convert
When a person finds our content genuine and worth sharing, he ends up subscribing to the newsletter or channel. And completes the goal of Phase 2 i.e. Lead Generation.
There are several ways to implement this. We can provide forms on our website which can be used to track conversions using Google Analytics. We should make this process as easy as possible as manually filling out a form is a tedious job. So I’d recommend asking for details that are absolutely necessary just to establish a contact. Other details can be filled out at a later stage gradually. Tracking conversions from these form has been made easy by Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager which lets us track form submission in both the cases, AJAX and non-AJAX forms. We can set up a Goal and even check the whole Goal flow and optimize it further if necessary just to make form submission as easy as possible.
More ways to generate leads in Inbound Marketing
Another way to generate lead is through giving them options to books a slot on the website itself to talk to you or the customer care. This makes sure that the call is consensual and is not intrusive in nature. Customers would be expecting out a call this way. We can also provide them with a customer care number, if possible so that they can themselves contact us as per their convenience.
One can utilize the various messengers available in the market out there. Most popular of them are Facebook Messenger, Hubspot Chat, and Freshdesk’s Freshchat. These tools have proved to be a major player in lead generation not just because it is interactive just as we chat with our friends on WhatsApp, also because it’s not boring like filling out a form. We can utilize the power of Artificial Intelligence, minimize the human involvement and reduce the overall cost of manpower by implementing Bots. All of the tools mentioned above have the option of Bots and can be configured as desired. I’ve implemented this on my company’s website and this is really effective in lead generation. We don’t need to chat with customers at least for lead generation and we can focus on growing our business more.
Leverage a CRM for Inbound Marketing
On the top of these methods, we need a platform which can act as a central database for us where we can track all the lead and their journey. Popular CRM like Hubspot and Marketo are really effective. I’ve been using Hubspot for almost two years now and it has made my life much easier. It helps in making all the four phases of Inbound Marketing much easier than ever. We can have all the details of the leads and our customers at a single place, make a call, track it, send them an email and much more at a very cheap price as compared to the expense to the manpower as before.
Phase 3: Close
Now comes the third stage of Inbound Marketing Methodology. In this stage, the main focus is to convert the leads generated to our customers using a series of methods and techniques.
Leads generated by the Marketing team is now accessed by the Sales team and a CRM is a mind-blowing tool to get help in that. We need to make sure that the leads generated are nurtured properly in case they don’t become our customer at present. Nurturing them may include a series of an email providing them with helpful content or a trial package if possible. The main focus should be on building trust and credibility. Marketing is making people understand why our product is the best choice they have. We need to utilize this and imbibe their minds with the benefits they can have and consequently convert them into our customers.
Phase 4: Delight
The lifeline of Inbound Marketing Method is proving a mind-blowing experience to potential customers, build trust and credibility. Thus even after converting someone into our customer, we must help them further so that they can become our advocates. As a matter of fact, word of mouth is the most effective and free way to growth hacking.
Delighting our customers with a tailored content and experience post sales will help us both. They will become our advocates and would definitely refer our products to their colleagues, friends, and family. They would indirectly help in increasing engagement on Social Media as well. This would help in reducing our advertising costs and thus improve ROI tremendously. Responding to them via mail/chat/call can have an everlasting effect on them.