What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by tailoring their experiences with your brand by creating valuable content. The more traditional outbound marketing process interrupts your audience with content they are not asking for, inbound marketing brings connections to what they are looking for. Thus solving the problems they already have.
What Is the Inbound Methodology?
The inbound methodology is the method of growing your organization by leveraging meaningful, lasting relationships with consumers and prospects. It’s about valuing and empowering them to reach their goals at any stage in their customer journey with your brand.
Why focus on the inbound methodology you ask? Because when your customers succeed, ultimately your business succeeds.
There are three quick approaches to apply the inbound methodology:
Raving fans want to share and when customers share their success with others, it attracts new prospects to your organization on autopilot, creating a self-sustaining loop. This is how your organization builds momentum, and this is why the inbound methodology serves the foundation for your flywheel.
Like a magnet pulls towards itself, your business’s ability to pull in your ideal customer with value-driven content and conversations is key to establishing your brand as the trusted expert they want to engage with.
Positioning solutions and experience that are focused on the pain points and goals your avatar is experiencing so they feel safe and grow in trust with your brand. Setting them up to want to do business with you.
The service doesn’t stop at the sale. Continuing to provide support and help that empowers your customers to find success with the decision they made. This is where those raving fans are created.
Flywheel? What is That?
The flywheel is a business model and is not one you will find taught in marketing courses for those in college. The flywheel was adopted by HubSpot to illustrate the momentum your organization can gain by prioritizing and delivering exceptional customer experience.
You can spin and build momentum in your flywheel. The faster your flywheel spins, the faster you attract new prospects. You do this by investing in strategies, not tactics. Strategies that acquire and retain customers. These are the forces that drive your flywheel clockwise.
When you focus your businesses flywheel on the inbound methodology, your marketing, sales, and service functions work in synchronization and add positive force. Thus eliminating friction in the attract, engage and delight phases. Responsible for removing friction from your flywheel, falls with every element of your organization. No one team is single handedly responsible for this success.
For example, when in the attract phase, your marketing will likely play the biggest role. Actions like blogging, social media, Youtube videos and running paid ads are some of the common attract phase elements. Yet your sales team can also add force by engaging in your company’s social media focus by leveraging social selling techniques. Your customer service team can add positive force by creating an easy followup and ability for current customers to make referrals.
The power comes once you attract, engage and delight enough customers. They alone can keep your flywheel spinning simply by promoting your brand and bringing new opportunities to you. In time, the flywheel gives your business the ability to grow, without a constant investment into customer acquisition.
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Inbound Marketing Strategies
To reach your ideal audience, start by creating and publishing fresh valuable content. Content such as blog articles, content offers, and social media posts that focus on giving value over sales. Some examples may include how-to guide, information about how your solution or your process solves their #1 challenge, customer testimonials about your products or services, and details around promotions or discounts you have coming up.
To attract your ideal customer on a deeper level through inbound marketing, you want to optimize all of this content with a focused SEO strategy. SEO will require you to target specific keywords and phrases that are related to your company’s products or services. This will challenge you to solve the problem your customers are facing. Overall helping your target audience members.
This will allow your content and information to organically appear on the search engine results of Google, Bing and Yahoo, for your target audience who is out there searching.
Some specific engagement strategies may include your inbound sales process. Focus on how your business prioritizes customer service for current clients and prospects. Additionally, be sure you’re always selling solutions rather than selling a product. This will help ensure your opportunities end in a mutually beneficial agreement for customers and your business.
Using thoughtful, well-timed chatbots and even surveys to assist, support, and request feedback from customers is a great way to delight your customers. Bots, surveys, and even email follow-ups should be shared at specific points along the customer’s journey. This will ensure they are done at a time that makes sense for your overall business process and bring actual value to your customers.
For example, chatbots may help current customers set up a new technique or tactic you’ve started offering that they’d like to take advantage of. Additionally, a satisfaction survey may be sent out three or six months after customers made a purchase to get their feedback and review ideas for improvement.
Social media listening is another important strategy and often overlooked when it comes to delighting customers. Social media followers may use one of your profiles to provide feedback. Respond to these interactions with information that helps, supports, and encourages followers. This shows you hear and care about them. Remember the Inbound Methodology is about valuing and empowering them to reach their goals at any stage in their customer journey with your brand.
Finally, the mark of an inbound strategy focused on delighting customers is whether or not your business gets any value out of it, you still assists and supports customers in any situation. Remember, a delighted customer becomes a brand advocate and promoter, so handle all interactions, both big and small, with the same level of importance.
Using the Inbound Methodology in Marketing
You as the marketer also partner with your sales and services teams to keep the flywheel spinning effectively and help the business grow. No matter if you are a solo entrepreneur or a member of a larger team. It’s a big job, but the inbound methodology and Top Results Consulting have you covered.