Inbound Marketing is method of promoting your business that has dramatically transformed the way people consume information in the market place. With an inbound approach, the idea is to provide useful content that draws people in.
Inbound Marketing is broken out into four stages: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.
Step 1: Attracting New Visitors
To attract new visitors you need to focus on developing compelling content that will attract the people that are most likely to benefit from what you have to offer. Once people start to find your site you can trade premium content in the form of helpful tools, spreadsheets, code samples, or eBooks, so your visitors are benefiting from something you worked hard to create. The more helpful the content you provide, the more likely the people you want to attract to your business will find you.
Step 2: Converting Anonymous Visitors into Contacts
Once you've attracted people to your content and demonstrated value, the next step is to convert that mysterious visitor into an identifiable person (a Contact or a Lead). To do this, you must create compelling content that your unnamed visitor is willing to lift the veil of anonymity and trade you a precious piece of personal data (like a name or email address) to get whatever it is you're offering up.
As you get to know each other better, your contact becomes more and more comfortable trading more of their personal details and you’re better able to put more relevant content in front of your visitor, and everyone benefits from the relationship.
Step 3: Closing the Deal
Once you’ve attracted people to your content, and converted them into a lead, the next stage is to use all of the information you’ve collected to know when it’s time to get the right product in front of the right person so you can close the deal and make the sale.
Step 4: Delighting Your Customers
Inbound does not end when you’ve made the sale. The final stage is to delight your customer base and turn them into ambassadors for your products and services. You want to get your customers to openly share their stories and spread the word of how amazing you are to any of their friends and colleagues that would be interested in what you have to offer.
There are many tools, platforms, and software packages you can use to help move your marketing to a more inbound approach, but whatever technology stack you choose, it's important to keep in mind that you should be using the inbound marketing methodology to gently guide your visitors through the buying process. You should do this in a way that provides them with value at every step. Tha's the heart of Inbound Marketing.