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It's been 10 years since the inbound marketing method debuted into the world. It's been the most effective marketing method for businesses and brands marketing themselves online, generating leads, and decreasing conversion time.
What is the inbound marketing method and how does it differ from traditional marketing?
The Inbound marketing method takes your digital strategy to the next level of lead generation and customer engagement. Instead of the old traditional marketing methods (outbound marketing) of buying paid advertisements, buying email lists, and hoping for leads (that are more than likely not qualified leads), inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls your ideal customer toward your company and product by delivering relevant content at the most perfect moment.
"Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls your ideal customer toward your company and product by delivering relevant content at the most perfect moment."
By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time. You can think of Inbound marketing as a strategy to connect with potential customers by providing materials and experiences they find useful.
Using different facets of media such as blogs, social media, and freebies like E-books, marketers can entertain and inform their potential customers with content they are already looking for.
Does your business have a social media strategy? Learn the 3 most important parts to a killer social media strategy here.
THE INBOUND MARKETING METHODOLOGY
According to the methodology, Inbound Marketing is broken up into four sections:
Hubspot explains the inbound methodology as follows, “Along the top are the four actions inbound companies must take in order to obtain visitors, leads, customers, and promoters. Along the bottom are the tools companies use to accomplish these actions. "
Note the tools are listed under the action where they first come into play, but that’s not the only place they’re applicable. Several tools, like email, can be essential in several stages of the inbound methodology.
The Inbound Marketing Methodology
The first step in the inbound methodology is Attract. You don’t want unqualified leads sent to your website, you want quality traffic. People who are most likely to convert and be a happy customer that returns.
Examples of important tools used to attract qualified customers to your website are:
Once you’ve attracted the right customers to your website your next step is to get their information and convert them. At the least bit, you’ll want an email address. After all, a person’s contact information is the most valuable currency there is to a business, right?
Examples of important tools in converting visitors to leads are:
You’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, now you just need to close and you’ve got a customer! Did you know there’s tools out there to help you make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right time?
According to the Inbound Methodology, every company should continue to delight their customers even after they’ve become a customer. Keep providing exceptional and delightful service so that your current customers become your company promoters.
Examples of important tools in delighting your customers:
"Keep providing exceptional and delightful service so that your current customers become your company promoters."
The Inbound Marketing Method is Permission-Based
When you step back and look at the big picture, Inbound marketing can be a daunting project. It’s essentially a “go all in” project. It’s not like traditional marketing where you pick a prime time to run your commercial ads. Instead, it’s a mix of marketing techniques that all piggy back off of one another.
With inbound marketing, you provide valuable content like infographics, social media marketing, and blog posts that help attract your ideal customer. (Or buyer persona as Hubspot calls it.) It’s not “selling” in the traditional sense, so it’s more appealing to those who hate the image of a pushy salesman.
Marketing strategist David Meerman Scott says that inbound marketing allows marketers to "earn their way" into a customers awareness rather than invading their awareness through paid advertisements. We agree that by creating and sharing the most appropriate content at the most appropriate time, your marketing becomes relevant and useful to your customers.
And that my friends, is what real marketing is all about. Through different facets of content marketing, social media, and SEO, customers are drawn to your product in a natural way.