Inbound Marketing is a marketing strategy that makes a brand, product and/or service visible to (potential) customers. Of course, the goal of any marketing strategy is to bring your products and services to the attention of potential buyers. Where inbound marketing is different is that this marketing strategy works much more naturally.
“Don’t you almost always use Google to look for a new service or product? That is the start of an inbound Marketing strategy”
Being findable when someone is looking for your services and products, that is the basis of Inbound Marketing.
Many marketers think that inbound marketing is a new strategy. This is not completely true. This strategy was first implemented some time ago, in 2005. However, inbound Marketing is only now a fully developed (mature) strategy.
Now a good Inbound Marketing strategy goes much further than just being found in Google. If you really want to be successful with Inbound Marketing, you have to excel in the following four phases.
Today we live in a world where (potential) customers are in charge. Starting with inbound marketing will help you build a better relationship with these customers. That is not very strange, because it is a much friendlier way of marketing for both the customer and for you as a marketer yourself. Inbound Marketing consists of 4 phases:
We explain exactly what inbound marketing entails on the basis of the four phases:
SEO: Search engines are used in 89% of the cases when purchasing a product or service. Inbound Marketing therefore starts with a strong website that scores well in search engines (SEO). It is important to implement a good SEO strategy, where you really claim relevant themes. You or your company is the online authority for your products or services. Appearing in Google is not easy.
Texts of this size are also called “pillar pages”. On a pillar page you can really show your knowledge about a certain subject. Of course it is important to keep the user experience good when you publish a pillar page. So, in addition to text, also place relevant images, videos and, for example, infographics on this page.
Blogs: Research interesting topics for your target group and work this out in a schedule with new blogs. Now you think, but how do I know what my target group finds interesting? Then you are not alone. We always start by mapping out the different “buyer personas.” After the buyer personas have been developed, we use tools such as Ahrefs , Ubersuggest and SEMrush to map the monthly search volume of relevant topics. With this approach you create content that your target audience is looking for and you ensure inbound traffic to your website.
A website: Having a good website made is of course also an important part of Inbound Marketing. A website where you can also post a lot of SEO content and blogs in a good design. Websites with only a homepage and some product/service pages do not fit an inbound marketing approach. Think in the design at different levels and work out the internal link hierarchy well.
To let your customers convert on your website (step 2 in the inbound marketing funnel) you also need to place good calls-to-actions, landing pages and forms on your website.
Social Media: Social Media is of course also a strong channel to attract organic traffic to your website. Especially if you have cool content to share. New product innovations and strong offers often do well. Don’t you have any cool products to share on social media? You’re really not the only one experiencing this. In fact, many companies suffer from this. That is why it is smart to not only bet on organic reach and certainly also on paid reach. Did you know that since 2011, Facebook’s organic reach has only continued to decline? Instagram and LinkedIn follow this pattern.
If you want to stand out on social media, you can reserve the best media budget to promote content. It’s a shame to first invest in great content and then barely bring it to the attention of your target audience.
Ads: Google Ads is indispensable in the inbound marketing strategy. This is the number one route for those with a purchase intent. Almost everyone knows this and that is why it is pushing for the top advertisements. We help many customers on a daily basis to optimize their Google Ads campaigns. Because we and many other agencies work with many automated scripts, we quickly beat companies without certified ads specialists. Yet it remains impossible to convert all visitors into interesting leads. Therefore, try to test with different ways to convert visitors. We do this in the second phase, Converting, of inbound Marketing.
What do you do when someone shows an interest in your brand or product? You try to encourage this person to keep following you.
In this phase you receive contact details from visitors so that you can continue to communicate with them and show why they ultimately need to be a customer.
There are three tactics used to convert visitors into leads:
1. Landing pages
A landing page is a page that a visitor sees after they click on an ad.
This page is optimized to make a visitor take action. Think of an interesting e-book, research report, free scan, free 30-minute consultation appointment or, for example, white paper.
2. Call to Actions (CTAs)
A landing page always has a convincing call-to-action. A persuasive CTA is strong, short, clear and action-oriented. It should immediately give a visitor the feeling of “hey, this is interesting, I want this too.” If you have a company that offers software, a CTA with “Free trial” or “Schedule a demo now” often works very well.
Want more inspiration on good CTAs? Then check out the following videos by Neil Patel. It is especially nice to see how you can use visual material well to make the CTA stand out extra. This starts around the 50th second of this video.
3. Pop-up forms
Use pop-up forms to get information from your website visitors, such as name, email address and other details. To achieve as many conversions as possible, you have to keep it simple and short. Place the pop-up forms in a conspicuous place and don’t ask too much. In the example below you can see an example of a pop-up that we use ourselves on this website.
The usefulness of collecting leads / lead nurturing is that you can keep in touch. In the close phase of inbound Marketing you keep in touch with your leads through various channels. Through marketing automation and lead scoring you know exactly which leads are interesting for a sales conversation.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
If you also want to turn leads into customers, a good CRM system is indispensable. For Inbound Marketing you need a system where you can automatically follow up leads and customers. We find HubSpot the best CRM system for this. We are not alone. HubSpot Marketing also gets top scores on well-known review sites such as G2Crowd and gets an average of 4.3 out of 5. This is based on more than 5,800 reviews. HubSpot even gets 4.5 out of 5 on Capterra based on more than 4,100 reviews
Did you know that HubSpot is the creator (2006) of the Inbound Marketing methodology? The tools are fully built to be successful with the 4 phases of Inbound Marketing
More than 70% of B2B website visitors are still in the orientation phase for a new product or service. They are good leads for your CRM system, but they are not yet ready for purchase.
Within Inbound Marketing it is your job to get them into a sales funnel. Our starting point is that a lead has active contact with your company 7 times and only then is really open to a sales conversation.
A good email program is perfect for this. Within HubSpot you can set up email funnels depending on the lead’s situation. Very personal and very effective. You can keep track of who opens the emails, who clicks through and to which page. The more interaction someone shows, the further the lead qualifies for an interesting sales opportunity.
Of course you really shouldn’t wait until someone has contact 7x, because then you will be too late with the quick decision makers.
Do you want to go through all the steps of inbound marketing and do you also want to follow up your marketing qualified leads so that they become sales qualified leads? Leads your sales team love because the hit rate is higher than they were used to? Then you should definitely start with marketing automation.
Marketing automation is the automation of the four phases of Inbound Marketing. In practice, we see many companies that do attract leads on their websites via white papers, ebooks or webinars and then do nothing with them. Maybe 1 more email after downloading the whitepaper. But that’s it! Are you still doing this? Then you will not get the maximum result from those leads.
For Marketing Automation you need tools that automate your marketing and sales process. You can link different tools to each other for this. For example, a WordPress website in combination with tools such as MailChimp (for email), HootSuite (for social) and Leadpages (for landing pages).
Or you can choose HubSpot, our favorite tool for marketing automation. If you don’t have a website at the moment, HubSpot now has a very interesting module for that. If you already have a website, you can easily install HubSpot on almost any website.
What is lead scoring you may be thinking now? A term that we don’t often hear in the Netherlands. Lead scoring is qualifying your leads. Not every lead is equally interesting. If you have successfully completed phase 1 of inbound marketing, you will get more traffic to your website, which will turn into leads in phase 2. By (automatically) giving scores to these leads, you know exactly which leads you should personally call or email for a sales conversation.
Three examples of a lead scoring formula
Do you want to get started with lead scoring formulas for your sales team? With HubSpot you can set up the above 3 examples quickly and easily.
The cost for a new customer is 5x higher than the cost to keep a customer. Delighting your existing customers is therefore an important phase within inbound marketing. This also shows that inbound marketing is much more of a long-term strategy than traditional marketing.
If your existing customers continue to offer good content, tips and tools, they can purchase additional products and services from you. You can keep track of which customers respond positively to certain content via various mail programs. Use these insights and always create this type of content to delight your customers.
We believe that there is only 1 really good tool for Inbound Marketing and that is HubSpot. Of course you can also start each phase with separate tools. In the end you notice that Inbound Marketing does not really work automatically. You keep having bugs with tools that no longer work properly due to an update and you miss the total overview between marketing & sales. We have chosen HubSpot ourselves and this is really the best tool for inbound marketing and marketing automation.
Did you know that HubSpot has a CRM system, Chat and pop-up form as a free entry-level version?
If you’ve read all the way here, you’re most likely really interested in Inbound Marketing. You can now start yourself with the following steps:
Did you know that wekreate can help your company with these steps?
Schedule an appointment now and we will discuss how we can successfully start inbound marketing at your organization.