How Inbound Marketing Can Transform Your Business
What is the inbound sales process?
What is the buyer persona?
What is the buyer's journey?
Awareness Stage. Whether he knows it or not, the buyer has a problem. In the beginning, he may not even know your business exists. In order to ease the pain of the problem, the customer begins researching, learning, and trying to find a solution to his problem. You want to become a trusted resource for the customer. You may do this by educating him or her, using blogs, white papers, or other content that addresses the problem or answers questions. Instead of loud, intrusive ads, or spam emails, you can have a helpful dialog with your visitor.
Consideration Stage. At this stage, the customer has a clearer idea of the problem. Now he or she begins to actively look for options to solve it. Gradually, they will narrow the choices down to a few companies, approaches, or methods to solve the problem. Then the research begins again, but with more direction. Most buyers return to a search engine several times over the course of their research, each time focusing on more specific questions.
Decision Stage. The buyer has chosen a solution. There are still considerations, such as implementation, budget and customer support. Further research may include reviews, data, and any other materials that ensure he is making the right decision. At this stage, the business should serve as a reliable resource, offering product comparisons or perhaps a free trial, rather than making a hard sales pitch.
The stages of inbound marketing
Attract. To have a successful inbound marketing strategy, you must provide information that people want and need. You need to provide information when they need it and are looking for it. The key is creating exceptional content that draws people to you. You also have to make sure people find your content. As more people benefit from your great content, your online presence will grow. Three important ways to attract customers are keywords, social media sites and blogging.
Convert visitors into leads. Once you have online visitors, it's time to turn those new visitors into leads by getting their contact information. Contact information is valuable, however, many companies fail to take this critical step. If you want a visitor to provide contact information, you must offer something back, in the form of content. Content may be as varied as checklists, videos, eBooks, webinars, white papers, and more. You should provide at least one piece of content for each buyer persona. Buyers are converted by such methods as forms, landing pages and calls-to-action.
Close. Now all of your hard work pays off. The closing stage is where leads are transformed into customers. Marketing tools such as social media monitoring, lead nurturing, and marketing automation will help ensure that leads are closed at just the right time. During the close stage, you'll encourage each lead toward making a purchase in a way that fits their individual interests and circumstances. Some customers choose to buy immediately, without comparing brand features or prices. Others require extensive comparisons and persuasion. Knowing when to reach out to customers can make the difference between closing the deal and letting it slip through your fingers.
Delight. You want your customer's experience to go far beyond ordinary customer satisfaction. You want your customers to be delighted. You want them to be proud that they wisely chose you. You want them to be so elated by the product or service that they tell others about their fabulous discovery (you). It is much easier and less expensive to keep existing customers than to find new ones. The goal of this stage is to continue to engage with your customers so that they become enthusiastic promoters of your business. You may wish to create a customer newsletter, or even a blog specifically created for your customer base. Continuing to delight your customers will improve your ability to up-sell and cross-sell your products, as well as improving your retention rates.
How your business benefits from inbound marketing
Personal business engagement.
Cost effective marketing.
Tracking and measuring your budget and sales.
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As a results-oriented, client-focused professional, Paul has 20 years' international experience helping businesses increase their profitability through strategic marketing and digital campaigns. Working within full-service creative and digital agencies in both the UK and Australia, Paul has planned, managed and executed numerous strategic marketing and digital campaigns that increase sales for small to ASX listed businesses.