Inbound marketing (or indirect marketing) is currently one of the most efficient ways to acquire new customers and keep existing ones. In this article we explain what are the main concepts of this technique, how it is applied and what tools provide this service.
Let’s start by explaining what inbound marketing is. hubspot, one of the companies that developed the inbound concept, defines this strategy as any marketing tactic based on getting people interested rather than buying it. This new concept was born in response to the changes in consumer behavior They stopped being passive to commercial breaks from traditional media and became more sophisticated over time.
In fact, today it is difficult to see advertising strategies that really excite and arouse the interest of the user instead of buying them. On the contrary, it’s common to be followed by retargeting banners across the web or to see our email inboxes full of useless messages about products that we don’t even care about. Today’s consumer prefers to research what they are buying before doing so. Inbound marketing is the solution to the new consumption paradigm.
How does inbound marketing work?
Imagine the following: You want to buy a new mobile phone, but you don’t know which model to choose. To clear your doubts, Google “which is the best smartphone” and browse a few websites that will tell you about the characteristics of each model. In one of these stores you can find a free e-book (or access other types of content) that explains the pros and cons of the main smartphones on the market. You download the e-book, you will receive an email from the store a few days later asking you if you liked this content, and you will also be offered new articles on this topic. Amazing right?
That’s basically the concept of inbound marketing. You will make customers like you by being helpful and friendly towards them. But to create that impression, you need to deliver the right content at the right time. Imagine receiving a random email from a brand you don’t know. There is a high probability that the email will be deleted without even reading it. With that in mind, there are a few pillars that need to be worked on to ensure this content arrives at exactly the right time:
1. Match your potential customers
The first step you need to take is to define your target audience well. What type of person is consuming your product or service? What content are your customers interested in? How are they currently consuming this content? Where? Try to know all of these answers, and from there Divide your current and potential customers into different groups to then offer them what everyone wants and needs.
2. Invest in content
A content strategy is essential. If you have the budget, hire someone to produce the material for you. Invest in the visual appeal of infographics and the impact of how-to videos. The world of the Internet is constantly evolving and changing, users need to be well informed in order not to be left behind. If you manage to become the quintessential educational resource for your customers, they will surely remain loyal to your brand.
3. Understand the customer’s buying cycle
Inbound marketing helps you generate new leads (visits that interact with your page). But what do we do with them? After deciphering your prospects, you need to design a buying cycle for each group. What is a group? A group of people who are in the same buying phase, there are many groups in different parts of the process. Because of this, you’ll have to interact with each of them differently. Understanding your entire buying cycle is a big step in converting those users into customers.
4. Be present where your customer is
Does your customer spend a lot of time on Facebook? Be present on Facebook! Does your customer like to search for news in blogs? make one! Above all, it is important that you understand the area in which your customer moves. To run a successful business you need to be where the money is, ie where the consumer is.
Means to do inbound marketing
There are several ways to do indirect marketing, here we share the most common ones:
It’s important to be well positioned when someone views a search engine (Google, Bing, Ask, etc.) related to your business’ keywords. When used well, the SEO technique can help you appear at the top of the results pages. Remember what we said earlier about changing user consumption habits? Spring, Today’s consumer does a lot of research before deciding on a product; Therefore, it is extremely important to appear as high up in the search engines as possible.
2. Landing page
What is the first reaction of someone who searches for something, enters a page and sees bad content? Get off the site and look for other better sites, right? Think of your landing pages as gateways to your store. If they are attractive and have good content, they are more likely to hold potential customers’ attention for longer and therefore move them forward in the buying process.
3. Social Networks
Latino consumers are internet and social media fanatics. Comscore announced that they spend more than 10 hours a month online on social networking sites, doubling of average global consumption; and that 5 of the 10 most social content markets in the world are in Latin America. For these reasons, it is necessary to be present as a brand on social networks. Today’s consumer is on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc. Use your content to send it to users via social networks, invite them to enter a prize draw, invite them and ask for their opinion . In short, earn their trust and interest, don’t buy it.
A blog is the best way to catch the attention of new visitors. This is where inbound marketing begins. Create quality content and connect it to the users you identified during prospect matching (see above).
5. Conversion of visits into leads
There will come a time when your online store gets significant traffic, but you struggle to convert those visits into leads (visits that interact with your page). Calm down, this process is normal and there are ways to reverse it.
The first thing you should do is encourage visitors to interact with your site, that can happen through Calls to Action (CTA). For example, if you have created an e-book, place an attractive button on your website that encourages the user to click and download the material. When the CTA and content are good, your chances of converting visitors into leads increase.
Getting the click from the prospect is the hardest part of this conversion process, but there’s an important part left. Once the person clicks on your CTA, they will be taken to a landing page with a form where they need to fill out basic information like name, email, phone, etc.
Forms are scary. With this in mind, request only the data you need. If you only need the name and email address for your database, avoid asking for the phone number. Remember that The smaller the form, the more likely people are to fill it out to the end.
6. Convert leads into customers
After you get a consumer’s details, you have an opportunity to engage with them and convert them into a customer. Invest in this relationship and Keep offering them qualified content so they perceive your product as valuable.
Coming back to the first example of the consumer who wants the best smartphone on the market: he has already downloaded the e-book, but maybe he still has some reservations about making a big investment in a cell phone. Is it time to make him a good offer or is it better to keep the relationship going?
The first alternative seems good, but what if you email him first and ask if the content was helpful in choosing the phone? Based on their answer, you will then have more information to make the right decision. If they tell you they liked a particular phone, you can offer them a promotion on that model.
Remember when we talked about designing the buying cycle for prospects? Now is the time to put that into action. Going back to the smartphone example, for the person who replied to the second email, it might be time to make them a tempting offer. On the other hand, the user who didn’t respond to the message is at a different stage in the cycle and has yet to establish a trust relationship with your website before purchasing the product.
Inbound Marketing Tools
There are platforms that can facilitate and integrate all of this that we talked about in the article. In addition to the points already mentioned, they also allow:
1. Automate marketing campaigns
When the potential customer downloads the e-book on smartphones, they will automatically receive content related to mobile devices, this is essential. These tools can detect if a person has changed their behavior (e.g. started visiting video game-related sites) and immediately start sending content about games to their mailbox.
2. Separate leads based on settings
The person who downloaded the e-book and replied to your email with their favorite mobile phone is certainly at a different stage than the person who just downloaded the content and ignored your message. Use inbound marketing tools to assign values related to prospect activities and categorize them into different categories.
3. Display different CTAs for different customers
Showing a call-to-action encouraging someone who has already downloaded an e-book to download an e-book may sound redundant. Use inbound marketing tools to create intelligent CTAs, meaning they understand that a specific person has already clicked on that material, and then display a different CTA.
Many of the inbound marketing tools integrate monitoring into their services. There are platforms dedicated solely to monitoring, but it’s good to know that there are also indirect marketing services that play this role.
You like me? Are you already doing inbound marketing and want to streamline your efforts? Get to know some tools that can help you:
The advantages mentioned in the text speak for themselves: Make indirect marketing independent of the phase of your company! When you start selling in the online world, start by creating a blog and creating relevant content, applying some SEO techniques and having a presence on social networks. If your business is at a more advanced stage, hire an inbound marketing tool and reap all the benefits it can offer you.