THE PROCESS OF INBOUND MARKETING STRATEGY

By Asiphile Qulu · Jan 8, 2021

Inbound marketing is one of the digital marketing strategy which is used to attract potential customers, retain existing customers, convert them into buying customers, generate leads, and increase sales.

Today, I will be sharing with you the process/steps of the inbound marketing. After reading this article, you will know how inbound marketing helps in growing a brand or business and which steps should be followed in order to achieve the desired marketing results.

When performing inbound marketing, there are steps that must be followed in order to attract new customers, retain the existing customers, get more visitors, and to increase the number of leads and sales. Inbound marketing needs a very clear process that will benefit the business or marketer. The process is made up of four steps. Namely: attract, convert, close, and delight.

These steps are very crucial, they can help the business to grow, achieve its desired goals, improve its performance, and overcome growth challenges. 

   1. Attract

Attracting relevant customers to a website, blog, social, or YouTube channel is of vital importance. Businesses strive to attract the right people at the right time with valuable content. Inbound marketing has made it easy for big businesses and small businesses to attract potential customers through using the inbound marketing strategies, and companies are aware of the importance of great and valuable content. Attract does not just mean attracting random people, but means attracting relevant people who are seeking out and willing to consume the content. People visit sites that give them the most valuable content. 

There are plenty of companies which are able to attract traffic but still struggle to convert the traffic to buying customers, this may be due to poor content and engagement with customers. Let me share with you a short story of a client that consulted with us at Growit Management Consulting.

 In 2019, we were approached by an e-commerce company that was struggling to generate sales. The company was faced with growth challenges and struggling to anticipate and overcome them. Fortunate enough we were ready to help it grow and overcome its growth challenges. We used our frameworks to identify issues which were preventing it to reach its full potential. In our findings we noticed that this company was able to attract traffic, but it was also struggling to convert the visitors to buying customers. That was due to a very poor content and interaction with customers. Potential customers were visiting the site but not taking any action in terms of purchasing or showing interest in products. We also noticed that 70% of the traffic was irrelevant people. Thanks to digital marketing, we were able to help it by using the inbound marketing techniques, and I am proud to say that the company is now growing each and every day.

The point of sharing this story with you, is to show you that it is not enough to just generate traffic. You must be able to attract the right people who will be willing to buy from you over time. A business can be able to attract traffic but if the content is not persuasive enough or attracting wrong people, the business might not get its return on investment (ROI). Great and valuable content plays a very crucial role in building organic traffic to websites or blogs. A freandly, responsive, and healthy wevsite can help you in converting traffic into buyig customers.

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      2.Convert

 Attracting traffic is vital because it helps in generating leads. Companies must ensure that they attract the relevant traffic at all times. After attracting traffic, a company will be ready to convert the traffic into prospect gathering their contact information in order to stay in contact with them, and win them over as customers over time. Emails are the most common tools which are used by the inbound marketers to transform prospects into customers. Companies do this by exchanging something valuable with visitors in order to get their contact details. 

Many business websites ask visitors to sign up or subscribe. For example, companies exchange something valuable such as an eBook to a visitor so he/she will be glad to give his/her email address in return. Another example, some inbound marketers share valuable tutorial videos with their website visitors. They ask interested visitors to subscribe or to sign up with their email. This helps the marketer to get the visitors email address in return. The email address may be used or kept for future marketing purposes, and content related to the video may be distributed to visitors who signed up and watched the video. This helps the inbound marketer to share offers to the right people with an aim of turning them into customers in the long run. This step is crucial for gathering the potential customer’s information for future marketing purposes, to know who is interested in a certain product or service, and to stay in contact with him/her.

     3. Close

Once the potential customer’s information is collected, it is very important to stay in contact with the prospects. Inbound marketers stay in contact with prospects hoping that they will develop a favorable disposition towards the brand. Remember, it is crucial to distribute the content to the right people at the right time because sending offers to wrong people may develop unfavorable disposition towards the brand, which is why the last discussed steps are very important. Traffic attracted by the business or inbound marketer may include first time visitors, so staying in contact with potential customers gives the consumers the opportunity to learn more about the brand, service, or product. They may begin to rate one brand above other comparable brands, then later demonstrate a desire to purchase. 

Here is an example, most of website development companies such as Shopify and Wix offer a 14 day free trial. The purpose is to give the consumers a great experience so they can later demonstrate a desire to purchase or become loyal customers. There are various tools which inbound marketer use to transform prospects into customers. These tools include integrated emails with call-to-action button, marketing reporting, customer relationship management (CRM), etc.

  • Integrated email with call- to- action button

Marketers use call-to-action buttons to influence a customer to take action that the marketer likes. Businesses often use call-to-action buttons like call now, click here, shop now, follow the link, learn more, book now, etc. This powerful tool can help the inbound marketer to generate a positive cycle that generates value for both a marketer and customer. Generating useful and valuable contents and staying in contact with prospect plays a crucial role in creating brand awareness, building trust, and also in making customer to be ready to buy something. Call-to-action are very useful and powerful to let customer complete an action that benefits the inbound marketer. 

  • Marketing reporting

 Marketing report is a list of sales and marketing. With marketing report you know how your marketing strategy has performed and who reacted to your ad. It allows you to track the sales that the business has generated through a marketing strategy which has been applied. This enables the sales departments to know the perfect time to close the deal with a customer. 

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)

With CRM, it possible to send the right content at the right time, to the right person. CRM systems helps to track the various steps of customer acquisition, and to track information regarding customer, partner companies etc. This helps to retain the existing customers, clients, or partners. 

      4. Delight

After going through all the steps mentioned above, the company needs to keep in touch with its customers by continuing providing good and valuable contents with the hope of doing up-selling. Getting customers is not easy and getting them to purchase something is challenging. Therefore, companies need to ensure that they retain the customers they already have. Companies must always stay in touch with their customers and provide them with valuable contents as much as they can to avoid losing them.

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