The Four Cornerstones of Building a Solid Inbound Marketing Foundation
“Inbound marketing,” a term coined by HubSpot in 2006, describes a modern approach to marketing and sales that focuses on attracting customers with informative content and quality customer-provider interactions. This strategy was created in response to the overall ineffectiveness of old outbound marketing methods, like knocking on doors, cold calling, and buying ads and email lists.
Rather than encouraging random people to buy a product or sign up for a service with a push, inbound marketing pulls in people who have already shown interest in a product or service with engaging content and conversations that revolve around the customer’s interest.
Through traffic generation, lead generation, lead nurturing, and analytical reporting techniques, inbound marketing provides a solid foundation for businesses who are looking for an effective marketing strategy in the digital age. Let’s explore each of these “inbound cornerstones” and how they work together to grow businesses better.
1. Traffic Generation
Not only is the Internet alive and well, it is the primary source of information for the majority of your customers. It is also the best way for you to communicate with your customers. This being said, your website is your biggest asset. Your website will allow you to share your company vision, showcase your products or services, offer helpful information and advice, and interact with both customers and potentials.
The best way to increase website traffic is to 1) produce digital content your customers can relate to and 2) promote this content on your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). Blogging is one of the easiest, least expensive, and most effective forms of digital content. For more information on how blogging can benefit your business, check out our blog post: 9 Reasons Why Blogging is the Key to Modern Marketing.
2. Lead Generation
The more people go to your website, the more leads you will generate. One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How do I convert website visitors into sales leads?” My answer: Primary Content Offers or PCOs for short.
While blogging and social media interactions are an excellent way to increase your website traffic, they are of very little practical use if they do not help you develop a longer client list.
PCOs allow you to connect with website visitors who are interested in your services by capturing their contact information. The best part about this process is that your potential customers are the ones giving you this information! You just have to provide opportunities for them to do so. PCOs are valuable resources that you can exchange for a potential’s contact information, usually his or her email address. PCOs can be anything from a downloadable eBook to an expense calculator to a decision-making quiz. To help you in your PCO journey, I’ve explained how to develop a downloadable eBook/PDF in this blog post.
3. Lead Nurturing
After you obtain a website visitor’s contact information, that person becomes a lead. Email is great way to get to know your potential customer and what he or she is looking for in a business-buyer relationship. Sending personal emails will gently remind your contacts that you are there to help them take the next step in the buyer’s journey. These emails will also help you establish a sense of trust and familiarity, so when your leads do choose to make a purchase, they’ll feel comfortable doing so. If you don’t have enough time on your hands to nurture your leads with individual emails, don’t worry! There are many tools you can use that will trigger an automatic generation of emails. For some friendly advice on how to get more people to read your emails, check out this blog post.
Keep in mind that some people prefer a more personal touch, so if the situation warrants, you can even call them directly (with the phone number they gave you!) to inquire about their product or service interests or to answer any questions they may have.
4. Marketing Analytics
Informed decisions almost always produce better results. After you set clear marketing goals, using reporting tools such as HubSpot, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, CallRail and others can help you track your progress. For example, HubSpot analytics will show you the online path your website visitor took before he or she requested an appointment.
Staying informed with marketing analytics will give you the direction you need to grow your business with confidence. With data, you can continue or adjust your inbound marketing strategy to reach your goals better, so you can fix what didn’t work or improve what did.
For more information on how you can implement these four cornerstones of inbound marketing into your business model with the tools mentioned above, contact us. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about inbound marketing and the software we use to help businesses thrive.