If you either work in marketing or are looking for an effective way to market your business online there is a good chance you’ve heard the term "Inbound Marketing". But if you haven’t, or you’re not exactly sure what it is, I’m here to give you a quick introduction to Inbound Marketing, and what it can do for your business.
The term “Inbound Marketing” was coined about a decade ago by marketing software company, HubSpot. As a HubSpot agency, E-Power Marketing believes in the power of Inbound Marketing and HubSpot's approach to the discipline. HubSpot takes a four stage approach to Inbound Marketing: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight.
Let’s talk about what these stages mean.
First you need to attract visitors to your brand. This can be done a multitude of ways. One of the best ways is through Content Marketing. Creating things like Blogs and promoting them through Social content is a great way to attract visitors to your website. As a matter of fact, there’s a good chance you’re reading this Blog as a result of our Social Media work.
I would also like to note that the team at E-Power believes Online Advertising can also be a vital asset to an Inbound Marketing campaign. Promotion, paid or not, can drive visitors, which is the goal of the attract stage. Organic SEO is another awesome opportunity to attract the right visitors to your website through strong organic search visibility and quality inbound links.
Secondly, you have to convert those visitors into leads. Having engaging calls-to-actions (CTAs) within all of your content, or forms on your website once the consumer gets there is crucial. You also have to have a reason for that visitor to fill out the form or click the CTA. This could be done by creating an eBook, or offering a free consultation. Ultimately there needs to be some sort of value proposition for the visitor. Your content and brand has to solve a problem for your visitors, in doing so, they will convert into leads or sales.
Next, it’s time to close the prospect. Closing business in 2016 is not the same as it was even 10 years ago. With the continual evolution of the Internet, consumers are much more informed, and they hold most of the cards in the sales process. Brands today have to provide the right content at the right time and answer the questions consumers are asking in the research and sales process.
Staying in front of your consumer throughout the buying cycle is important. This can be done by creating a strategic workflow, planning your content effectively and engaging your potential customers every step of the way. Plan when you’ll follow up with your desired consumer, and create an effective email campaign with valuable information for the consumer. It’s all about helping, and by providing value that others in your industry may not be, can give you the upper hand.
Finally, the delight stage. Just because you have a consumer's business, doesn’t mean you’ll keep it or that they’ll come back for more. Delighting is all about customer feedback and continuing to provide useful information and ongoing value to your customers. E-Power for example provides a monthly newsletter to keep our clients and perspective clients up to date on the latest with E-Power and the Online Marketing industry.
Often times Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are used synonymously, but hopefully the above explanation helps clarify some of the differences. In short, Inbound Marketing is a process or method, and Content Marketing is a very important piece to that process, arguably the most important piece.
So whether you’re currently thinking about how to revamp your Online Marketing or will be down the road, consider using the tactical approach of Inbound Marketing. You might already be using several pieces. It then becomes about putting those pieces together to create an impactful marketing program.
If you’d like more information on Inbound Marketing or you have questions, the team at E-Power Marketing is here to help.