In this post you will know the meaning of inbound marketing, how you can use it and when to use it, I invite you to read this article below.
I will begin by telling a story: In the past, there were a lot of big companies that were strengthened and established a very strong organizational structure. Many of these companies used intrusive advertising techniques such as television, radio, magazines, newspapers, etc. The contents generated were 100% focused on the product, all the time in consumer actions, they did not focus on the problems of the users and their needs.
Such form also applied internally within the organization over exploiting their employees in order to drastically reduce their costs. By having lower costs and a liquid purchasing power, they generated aggressive market penetration techniques, in such a way to break the market, getting their competition to retire, over time those companies became Monopolies.
All these aggressive advertising techniques generated were well regarded by society until consumers began to realize that it was not the best way to transmit information. These actions generated in an aggressive way we can call methods and use of traditional tools.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Analyzing the history of inbound marketing in USA we can say that it is the opposite, it is a methodology used in complex marketing systematizing a series of techniques and marketing actions in a non-intrusive way, in order to create quality content, generating value to the user to attract it. , then convert it, then educate it and finally delight it.
As a methodology, it is the only system that allows the purchase cycle to be worked from beginning to end. There are endless marketing techniques, many of them known and used individually, with inbound marketing we generate a series of strategies focused on a clear objective, by making the plan we make use of digital marketing tools, that combination makes the inbound a complete and different methodology.
The most used techniques in inbound marketing are:
- Content Marketing
- Social networks.
- Email Marketing
- Web analytics and others.
Within the selection of techniques the most important in the inbound project are: The business blog where we spoke in the previous post and its importance in the company.
The other technique is the realization of marketing quality content that generate value in communication and finally the sales department must be aligned.
The rest of the techniques complement the process of accelerating the result, such as digital or traditional techniques (advertising, email marketing, SEO, SEM, public relations).
You have to be clear about a point, from my point of view, what is important in inbound marketing when actions are generated, no matter how you attract people to your website or blog or any action generated, the key is to attract but in a way not intrusive
Based on my research, workshops, courses, seminars and cross-information with people specialized in the subject, inbound marketing is not achieved in the short term, it is a medium and long-term job, working in alignment with the team of the company or the specialist marketing agency, so that everything must be aligned based on a single objective established at the time of generating the established strategies.
Currently companies demand results at a shorter time, for this reason the inbound marketing agencies must generate promotional advertising actions in different media in order to obtain faster results and accelerate the project, but always maintaining a line of work and objective established.
Traditionally, marketing has used intrusive techniques to attract customers, these aggressive techniques as we had mentioned at the beginning of the post are known as push or outbound techniques.
This form of traditional marketing based on the purchase in spaces in different channels where they expected to find their audience in a massive way without achieving a desired segmentation based on the target, including also online channels since the way of working traditionally is paying advertising makes it in competitive and at the same time costly means, becoming dependent on the payment sector. If a channel obtains good results, companies will compete to be in that place and will be more competitive, therefore prices will rise.
Inbound marketing seeks to structure its own channels of attraction so that the company generates greater autonomy in long term time. How are we going to generate that relationship? Providing value to our customers to fall in love with that brand, company or product.
The inbound marketing in USA coordinates a series of marketing techniques, public relations and advertising, with this methodology we seek to attract traffic to our website and get lead to start a communication process with the client.
All these techniques work in the purchase cycle a specific phase, companies capture people going to the database and then during the process become a customer. For companies, their most valuable asset is the data base, because with it they will start working and may generate more satisfied customers towards the company.
Now, companies when they get to know and work throughout the entire purchase process, get to get a strong relationship with the customer, because he manages to know all the needs and really knows what the customer feels, analyze how he would live his purchase process , how it would be shared in its phases of appearance of need, investigation, comparison and finally action.
What we achieve within these phases in the purchase process is to generate content of each one accompanying the client to perform a good action, so that the client feels that he is making the right decision and does not feel pressured to buy but to feel comfortable inside the process. This methodology in the way the phases are structured and how they work, for the market is a great innovation in the field of marketing.
Phases of the Inbound Marketing methodology
Inbound marketing is based on 4 phases that correspond to the stages of the user’s purchase process.
Attraction of traffic.
The initial phase in the methodology of inbound, is the attraction of traffic, is to capture as many visitors as possible within our website, there are a series of important tools to attract this traffic such as:
Have a blog and make quality content marketing that generates value to the user.
As we mentioned in our previous post. The blog is the backbone of inbound marketing, through this tool a series of relevant content is generated within the strategies of inbound marketing.
The term content is very important in all companies, the contents are those that generate the right information to the client, a communication must have content that impacts in some way the mind of the users.
To use all the tools you should always focus on the content as a starting point. Now we will talk a little about content.
What is quality content
The definition of content is defined as its ability to meet the needs of users in each of the stages of its purchase cycle. To fulfill that need, the creative capacity of the person in charge is needed, another point to take into account is to use textual content, being more efficient, downloading quickly and adjusting to the need.
The maturity of the market and the need to obtain a greater impact to the consumer has been made in developing contents in different formats such as: photographs, infographics, videos, podcasts, applications, etc.
The blog as a dissemination center
At the time of the dissemination of quality content that will be part of the inbound marketing project, we will name some reasons why the blog is ideal for the dissemination of the contents:
It is a very widespread channel: Easy to learn about topics, everyone knows how they work and the location of information is simple.
Centralization of information: Serves as a central content repository, where they are located in other specialized sites, being an ideal system within the marketing strategy.
Usefulness of its functionalities: With the objective that the information is easily found by the user.
Independence of technology: It is a tool that does not need to hire technology to make use of it, there is a form of payment or free.
Ease of update: Quickly update the contents generated being an advantage for the marketing department.
Nature of the content: It is very important that the user perceives the business blog as an informative channel on topics of interest, in which case it is demonstrated the ability of the company to generate content that dominates and can meet their needs.
Subscription: With a blog it is possible to subscribe or to program an RSS in order to keep the contents updated without having to go to the website.
It can be said that the blog is one of the essential tools to carry out an inbound marketing strategy.
The SEO (Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Optimization), consists of optimizing the contents and the website of a company for search engines. It is one of the techniques used to accelerate the dissemination of content. You must distinguish between SEO on page and SEO off page.
SEO on page: It is the meeting of all the techniques used in the website of the company in order that the search engines index it better, focusing on the optimization of the structural elements of the web page such as:
- General structure of the page
- Hierarchy of the sections
- Information architecture, classification of content into categories.
- Tags of each page (Titles, descriptions)
- Images: labels and descriptions
- Other contents
- Internal and external links
- Usability and accessibility
All these elements must be taken into account because a search engine is nothing more than a robot, it is necessary to give the instructions and information you need so that with the search the user can search the best possible result.
SEO off page: These are a series of actions carried out outside the website to try to get other websites to talk about it. Search engines consider a page as the most relevant results when other pages have links to it.
Social media marketing
Being an important tool to attract traffic within inbound marketing, it is also used to layer organic traffic from search engines, in this case we seek to create a community of our ideal profile for the company.
Social media marketing is again the construction of an asset, where a channel of communication and interaction is created that will generate traffic and therefore economic value at the time of becoming a customer.
At the moment of creating a community, it is a platform for disseminating content, taking into account a series of requirements to structure the network, such as followers and building good relationships with relevant people in the business area.
It is said that the database of the company is the most valuable asset that can be had, a quality database will generate a constant flow of information being another source of attraction of traffic and then sales for the company.
You have to take into account having a qualified database, it is not only generate traffic but they become contacts of your own database. The contacts of our database also become dynamizers and diffusers of content in their own networks.
The SEM (Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Marketing) to be an excellent way of attracting traffic paid and by which allows the company to attract more visitors in less time. It consists of making an economic investment in search engines to appear in them until the budget runs out. Being a means of visibility of brand, content or products within a certain time, is an important source for companies to make use of it in the initial phase.
The ideal is to combine the perspective of inbound marketing (with techniques of non-payment), which is the most weight should have because it contributes to the sustainability of customer acquisition, with other elements of type of payment per click. Conversion of the lead.
Conversion is the second phase of the process within the methodology Inbound Marketing. In this phase which works after the attraction phase where we convert the leads into real data under a form, becoming part of the company’s database.
In order to capture the data of the users, it is necessary to make an attractive offer and a landing page in which the form will be placed that will capture the data prior to the download. You must use a call to action (CTA or call to action).
The offer is the content that is offered to anonymous users who arrive at the website through traffic generated through sources (SEO, SMM, SEM). People who come to the website is looking for some content of interest in order to solve their problems or doubts, the concept of offer is a content that can come in different types of formats such as:
- Downloadable guide
- White paper
- Case of success
- Access to a tool that fulfills a function
CTA or Call to Action – call to action
The CTA “Call to Action” is a very used in the Inbound Marketing, specifically with the offer where in a line it is explained that you can download an offer, it contains a link to the download page.
Different types of CTAs can be built:
- Text integrated within a content.
- Simple button
- Animated gift.
- Large and visual graphic.
The call to action of an Inbound Marketing campaign is as important as a well-constructed call. Some strategies to implement a call to action that are impressive are:
Action: It is built with imperative (download, get, update and discover). Very short text, very direct, very easy to understand.
Contrasting colors: The button must be so visible that it attracts attention at first sight.
Urgency: Phrases like “click now” or “last three days”
Position on the screen: There are areas on the screen that are more visible than others, there are studies that say in the upper part of the left sidebar. The important thing that is visible, striking and this generates action.
Landing pages called “Landing pages” are used for the conversion of visits generated by a traffic to contact “leads”. A format for a landing page can be:
A form: Space where the user enters the data to get their offer.
Description: Text by which the user is informed of the content that will be downloaded.
On the landing page the design is very specific due to its objective of capture. It is important to study each point to generate a good structure, we must take into account:
- The menu disappears
- No links
- You can not exit if the browser is not closed.
In the Inbound Marketing one of the most interesting metrics is the conversion, it is measured how many users are contacts in the database.
Thank you page
The thank-you page is part of the last step of the process, it is the page where the user arrives after filling out the form of a Landing page, the steps would be the following:
- The user performs a search or sees an advertisement.
- The piece you see contains a CTA.
- At the moment of clicking, it arrives at a Landing page that contains an offer.
- Fill in a form to access the offer.
- Get to the Thank you page page and download the content of the offer.
The page contains messages that inform the user how to access information such as:
- The direct link to download or view the content is provided.
- The content is reported to your email inbox.
- In the webinar they are informed of their registration request and the instructions on how to access are provided.
In these thank-you pages you can use it to show other links or other services that you can access.
The qualification in the inbound marketing.
The qualification is the third phase of the methodology of Inbound Marketing and happens after the attraction and followed by the conversion to fall in love within the education process, where we will create contents of interest to convert them into followers of our brand. In this phase, shipments of marketing impacts are generated in some way to the possible customer in a mechanized or automatic way.
Marketing automation has begun to take off, although in some countries not so much. There are marketing automation software like (Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot), there are even less automated ones but they provide similar functions.
The qualification works through a database of the company, they are potential customers who carry a purchase process and are living a maturation process. Being a user that carries a constant behavior in the matter of downloading information more and more specific.
Qualifying a database involves two actions, both work the database to know the user where they identify what they are ready for the decision making to become a customer. We have two tools to work the Lead scoring and Lead nurturing.
Taking into account the assets of the company in this case the database, we must analyze the level of qualification they are. In the Inbound Marketing the company can guess at what level it is at the time of downloading the offer, even it is not a very real fact since we do not know if the client only saved the information to later read it.
That is why a system is necessary that establishes in what part of the purchase cycle is found, in this order of ideas, the score of the contacts is a methodology that allows to create automatic rules and give a score on the level of qualification of each contact. There are two criteria:
- Demographic: If the company has defined the target client based on some criteria, it will obtain a score higher than the others, it is analyzed based on the data provided by the person.
- Behavioral: Based on your behavior, interactions, you will get a score, this is done with a tool that allows a tracking system and identifies the times you have downloaded an ebook or entered the website, etc.
The nurturing lead serves to work with those contacts who are low skilled, with a lower score. This strategy serves to help those users to accompany them in the purchase cycle, sending a sequence of emails that will help reach the purchase cycle.
The company designs an automated email communication sequence, accompanied to the user in each of the moment that they will live the purchase cycle until they decide to buy or not the product.
It is an exhaustive technique of the database, in inbound marketing you get to know perfectly the cycle of purchase and design very precise actions for each phase. For this reason at the end, the entire purchase cycle is worked on, from the moment the user is anonymous until he becomes a customer.
Analytical and delight.
The last phase of inbound marketing, analytics is a key element in the online project, allowing companies to analyze the results of the actions, based on this result it is possible to evaluate improvement mechanism and work the efforts to these actions that have given better results results
Taking into account the analysis the company determines in some way how is the way to generate content, knows better its purchase process and generates valuable content that really meets the needs of the client.
When we delight our ideal client, it is about loyalty in some way that identifies us in the top of the mind, in this phase we continue to delight or maintain with social networks, Smart content, events, related content in videos such as educational courses, training about products.
Inbound marketing is a super interesting methodology to be taken into account in projects that are related to the attraction of traffic and a series of actions that are part of the purchase process within the inbound funnel. You have to know how to select an agency that knows the subject and is a specialist, not all marketing agencies know the operandi form of inbound marketing, in some cases you can get to know the terminology, but how it works and how to make the strategies to work with the The purpose of accompanying the user and turning him into a promoter of the company is another world. For GPS Marketing it is a pleasure to know the methodology and day by day we learn and develop skills, every day we learn new things and in the Inbound Marketing it forces us to prepare more every day.
Companies like Metroblock and SFC STRIKER use this Inbound Marketing methodology to channel all their new prospects, current customers and improve their sales every day, generating an automation of digital marketing.