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You Know You Need It, but What Is Inbound Marketing?

It seems like everyone in the business world has been talking about the gold mine that is inbound marketing. You’ve heard repeatedly from colleagues, friends, family members, and other professionals in the industry that you need to implement it into your overall marketing strategy if you want your company to survive and thrive in the digital world.

But no matter how much you have heard about it and have come to understand that you need it to generate leads, convert prospects, and close more sales, you’re still asking yourself “what is inbound marketing?”

You’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know if you’ve ever asked yourself the question “what is inbound marketing?” 

What Is Inbound Marketing? In a Nutshell

Inbound marketing, in a nutshell, is about creating content that appeals to your target customers and then sharing that content online for the world to see in order to attract qualified prospects to your company. It has proven to be the most effective marketing method in today’s digital world.

Inbound marketing is about pulling people towards your brand with quality content, instead of spending money on advertising and email lists and intruding on customers’ lives with aggressive outbound tactics. It’s about publishing the right content at the right time and in the right place so it’s helpful and relevant to your prospects, rather than interruptive.

In today’s business world, customers want to be in charge of the buying process. They want to do their research online ahead of time—researching companies, reading reviews, and comparing products—before they even talk to a sales rep. And if you’re there to provide the content these customers are looking for when they’re in the research stage, you have a higher chance of gaining their loyalty once they’re ready to buy.

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Inbound marketing consists of four separate but interrelated parts:

Attracting the Right Leads

Getting a bunch of traffic to your website isn’t very useful if it isn’t the right kind of traffic. The first step of inbound marketing is about determining who your buyer personas are—the people who are most likely to buy from your company—and then targeting that specific audience with blogging, search engine optimization, and social publishing.

Converting Visitors into Leads

The second step, after you’ve attracted the right kind of website visitors, is to convert them into leads. This consists of offering them something—like great content—in return for their contact information. At the very least, you’ll want their email addresses so you can stay in contact with them. The tools needed for this step include forms, calls-to-action, and landing pages.

Closing the Deal

So you’ve converted your visitors into leads. The next step is to turn those leads into paying customers. To do this, you’ll nurture them with tailored email messages to move them along the sales pipeline until they’re ready to buy from you.

Delighting Your Customers

Many companies make the mistake of quitting once a customer has written them a cheque. But the inbound marketing process isn’t over yet. You still need to delight your customers in order to upsell to them, have them promote your company and products or services to their networks, get feedback, and hopefully turn them into loyal long-term customers.

Sell More Effectively

There you have it. All of the information anyone who’s ever asked “what is inbound marketing?” needs to know about the best marketing method of the twenty-first century. Inbound marketing empowers business owners to attract web visitors, convert them into qualified leads, turn them into paying customers, and delight them to gain their loyalty.

Inbound marketing is about quality content, at the right place, at the right time. By creating informative content that appeals to your buyer personas, delivering it on the right channels, and during the right lifecycle stages, you can sell more effectively.

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