All About Inbound Marketing for Beginners

A detailed description of what this wonderful strategy is all about

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is when your customers or prospects search for your business, products that you offer, or services that you offer by themselves and come to you.

Like: browsing your website, downloading an E-book or watching a video.

In a way, when they make the first move is what is inbound marketing all about.

Inbound marketing is all about establishing relationships rather than just pushing yourself, you’re your customers or selling. It is meeting them where they are with the content and services optimized in a way that attracts them to you rather than you forcing yourself onto them.

This is one of the best digital marketing techniques in today’s era, when people place high priority on their privacy and time.

Inbound is all about respecting people’s time and providing them with the content not just with the intent of selling, but with the intent of adding value in their lives.

It is focussed on building relationship with your customers, and meeting them in the right place at the right time.

Drawing people’s attention subtly, non-invasively is what inbound marketing efforts are.

Whatever content piece you create, it all should be intended to serve your customers and adding value to them.  It is all about how you can be a helping hand to them for their problems.

With this strategy implemented correctly, you can make yourself stand out in the crowd.

Ensure that what you have created is thoughtful at each point in their customer journey.  

Inbound marketing helps you to-

  • Build long-term relationships with your customers
  • Generate quality leads
  • Provide thoughtful, valuable, & engaging content
  • Draw prospects to your brand, rather than pushing yourself to them to gain attention.

The Benefits of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing can work on your favor very well if you do it CORRECTLY.

  • Draw customers/prospects subtly towards your business — Without invading into people’s personal space you draw them to you. For example: Optimizing content so that they find you and read the content or watch the video you created for your target audience.
  • Informational or Engaging Content— Because the ultimate motive of the Inbound Marketing is to draw people in, it is therefore designed keeping the target audience in the centre. Thus, chances of generating quality leads are higher.
  • Quantifiable results ? You can measure the efforts of inbound marketing since it is all digital.

What Is the Purpose of Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing cuts down on the efforts to look for new readers or users. It saves you time and money since the customers come to you by themselves, i.e., organically. When they themselves reach out to you, the chances of them converting are higher.

This strategy also helps you to be more reliable and trustworthy. Look at it this way: When someone keeps coming to you saying, “Hey I will help you”, “Hey I can give you this remarkable thing”, you feel fishy or you might become uninterested straightaway even when you are in need of the product or service, simply because they were pushing themselves on you.

On the other hand, when you are in need of say,” a bottle of water”, and you spot a small shop across the street selling water bottles, with a banner hung on the top stating the price and brand name, you would yourself go to them and make the purchase.

If you imagine the water bottle seller going after people to make the purchase, most people will ignore him or ask him to not bother them. They might not even trust him for the quality of the product he is selling. This will drain his time, money and energy. And he will make very minimal sale.

This strategy increases trust in your brand.

Therefore, the bottom-line is, optimize and create for your customers, and they will be drawn towards you.

Stages of Inbound Marketing

The inbound marketing strategy is divided into four stages: attract→ convert→ close→ delight.

  • Attract: As the word suggests, this stage is about attracting your prospects or customers. The simple way to do this is to optimize your content with relevant keywords. Also, optimize the design of your blogs, website, articles, etc. so that people see exactly what they are looking for and not get lost in a lot of tabs, buttons or options.
  • Convert: After attracting them, you don’t want them to leave. You want them to take the next action-subscribe, or like, or share, or download, or fill up a form. You need to add the right CTA wherever your customers are visiting. Ensure that you have set up a form or a button stating sign up or subscribe wherever it is required.
  • Close: You have now reached the third stage of inbound marketing, wherein you want to close the converted prospects. For those of you who do not know what close means in marketing aspect, closing means when a prospect decides to make the final purchase.  You can use many strategies to induce the customer to make the final move and make the purchase, like: using an automated email for prompting people to make the purchase after they added items and abandoned the cart without checking out. Always keep in mind, never leave your prospects after the convert stage, you have to be proactive in ensuring you reach out to them with reminders or the appropriate content based on what stage are they on their customer journey.
  • Delight: Moving on to the last stage of Inbound Marketing, the Delight Stage. As the term is self-explanatory, this stage is where you practice all your after-sales service. Now, the after-sales services not necessarily include anything technical or complicated. It could be a simple “Thank You” message and asking for feedback, or offering them a discount or vouchers to them for their next purchase, and so on. 

This is a very important stage, as it shows that you didn’t forget your customers after they purchased from you. It shows:

  • That you are grateful to them, and you are with them in every stage of their customer journey.
  • That you are still keeping them in the relationship
  • That you care about them and their experience after they purchased from you.

Here are some tips you can use in your strategy to get started with Inbound marketing:

  • Survey: Start a survey about your target audience using tools like SurveyMonkey. Your ultimate goal is to find their pain-points and know their struggles, so that you can provide a solution to them.
  • Compelling Content: Start creating compelling and creative content optimized with right keywords. Doing so will start ranking your business and in turn you will get the customers coming to you as they put in the relevant search query. Thereby, providing you with quality leads.
  • Hooking Headlines: Another very essential aspect of writing is to first grab their attention so that they go on and read your content or go further in their inquiry with you. So learn how to write enticing headlines so that you first grab their attention then take them to the next line, and so on.
  • Visual Content: As humans, we like visual content as it is easier for us to comprehend. A plain block of text is not going to do any good to your business. Make it more readable and add images, charts, graphs wherever necessary to make it even more compelling.
  • Master Storytelling: Even if you write great content, enticing headlines and add visuals, but if the content is not adding up and taking the reader through a journey with a story, it is not going to give you results.

So, ensure that whatever you are putting across has a nice story around it so that the customer is engaged with you throughout.

Now that you have a good hold of what inbound marketing is, use these tips to make a stellar strategy and win at your business.