Inbound marketing, or attraction marketing, reverses the logic of sales. Instead of the commercial team prospecting from scratch, inbound attract and engage potential customers, making negotiations already start hot.
In this article we will talk about:
- Inbound Marketing - Meaning
- The buyer's journey
- How Inbound Marketing Works
- The Inbound Marketing Funnel
- Inbound Marketing Tools
- Inbound Marketing x Outbound Marketing
A translation of inbound marketing it's attraction marketing or inbound marketing. This name is given, precisely because it reverses the logic of a sales team. In the classical method, known as outbound marketing, the seller must seek his own opportunities. Inbound strives to attract and engage a large number of potential customers, known as leads. Contacts are passed on to the trader only when they are "mature" for sale.
Some inbound pillars are: content marketing, SEO, lead acquisition, marketing automation, and relationship marketing.
To better understand the concept of inbound marketing, you need to start with the simplified buyer's journey. Before buying any product, we go through a very common mental process marketing professionals. Its most basic form is:
Traditional methods of selling tried to generate awareness in the public through traditional advertising: commercials, flyers, billboards, etc. And direct communication via telemarketing, emails and points of sale, among others, to go through the phases of consideration and decision. This method is gradually losing efficiency for some reasons:
- Amount of ads bombarding our minds has increased
- Increased segmentation of audiences, with different pains and incentives
- Lack of patience of the public with interruptions, such as mid-day phone calls
Sometimes a potential customer is not ready to receive a sales communication. He is still in the awareness phase and receives a phone call that tries to make the direct sale. The company that did this, just lost the sale because of the negative marketing made via interruption.
A purchase day it works something like this:
Consciousness - "I'm feeling kind of bad. It could be a flu or a dengue. What are these symptoms? "
Consideration - "I really have the flu. What are my options for curing the flu or at least relieving the symptoms? "
Decision - "Of all the options I examined and after hearing doctors, I decided to buy this generic remedy. It's within my budget and will end my flu in 5 days. "
What would happen if you called the person in the awareness phase trying to sell a flu remedy?
Inbound marketing attempts to understand the differences within public-bowel before making direct sales communication. Each person within your contact base will have different pains and expectations regarding your offer. A person can hire a financial advisor, for example, because he is broke or because he wants to grow his business. The pains and the type of communication they will engage in are very different in each case.
From the understanding of the differences, the inbound advertiser starts to seek gain in authority on issues related to the product. Generally this process is done through the content marketing. What does a person do when he discovers he has a "pain" and needs to remedy it? Search on google, talk with friends and experts, search for opinion of influencers. It is in these places that the company needs to be to be a reference.
After attracting potential audience, the advertiser needs to offer an incentive for users to sign up. Usually it offers some free more in depth content of the subject that has aroused the attention of the user. Having his email means communicating more often trying to evolve the lead from stage awareness to stage consideration.
Direct sales communication only comes when the lead shows, through stock, that it is ready for it. Inbound marketing has a number of advantages over outbound:
- It is operationally cheaper, since the sales force only enters to close the deal
- Increases success rate because the right incentives are being offered to certain people
- And, the main one:
In inbound marketing, people are attracted to the company. In the outbound, the company goes after the people.
The image above summarizes well what was exposed in the previous chapter. Inbound marketing wants to:
attract audience> convert leads> sell products> customer loyalty
Let's talk briefly about each stage of the funnel.
Attract audiences consist of producing and distributing quality content. Note that I used the term "quality". It is no use producing any type of content and think that google will prioritize you in the searches of users. Relevant content means author content that generates comments, shares, and high user time on the page. You can track this metric through Google Analytics.
What is content?
Content is a message that can be passed on in different media: video, podcast, blog article, infographic, etc. The ideal media for your strategy will depend on what your target users consume. What social networks, channels on youtube, blogs and influences they accompany.
And how to produce quality content?
The first step is to do a lot of research. I am not talking here of quantitative research, numbers and application of questionnaires. But qualitative research, the basis of any marketing project. In short, talk to future users of your products or services. Understand your pains and dreams because they are poorly served by the competition and who influence them.
To do this type of research, I usually take help of a tool called empathy map.
Use your social networks to spread content, search for influencers in your industry willing to cite your content and buy media to bring users to it. If your content touches exactly the pain of a part of your audience, it has a chance to self-promote.
By attracting your audience, it will be interesting that your relationship with him will continue. To do this, you must convert the visitor into a lead, getting his email. The best way to do this is through a lead magnet, or a sign magnet. This is a free material that can catch the attention of your visitor.
For example, by clicking on the banner below, you will go to our Content Marketing Planning Worksheet. On this page, I hope you are tempted to download a demo version of it. For this, you will have to register your email.
This is what we call the direct lead magnet because it is related to the process of buying the product. But it could be an indirect lead magnet. An example would be a digital book on how to do your content marketing.
What do I need to know to convert leads into leads?
The first step is to set up a landing page, or landing page. It is named because it is the page that serves as the gateway for the user on your site.
This landing page should have the following components:
- Call-to-Action Button (CTA) - is the main button, which should catch the user's attention.
You can also choose to make a pop-up or modal form on your site as an option on the landing page. He is that picture that opens on the page with some offer.
How can I be sure that my landing page will work?
You'll never know for sure. In inbound marketing, you need to always be testing options. It is at this stage that the figure of the A / B test. It consists of creating a new version of your landing page for testing and tracking results. That is, you will show some users version A and others version B. The one with the best conversion performance becomes the main one.
Testing for conversion optimization should be a routine in the company.
After the conversion of the visitor into lead, your goal for it to be turns you into customer. In an outbound marketing process, at this stage, you would send the contact to the sales team and support their success. But the goal of inbound marketing is to increase the performance of the sales funnel by reducing operational work. And there are still a few steps left before the lead is ready for the business approach.
Structuring Relationship Rules
At the point of sale, you need to structure your marketing automation. That is, what is the flow of emails that the lead will receive until it is ready for the purchase?
But before you think about emails, you need to understand the concept of lead score, or lead assessment. There are two ways to know if a lead is ready to turn your customer. The first is proactively, when he asks for a quote, makes a more aggressive contact or requests a demonstration of the product. The second is reactively when it does a set of actions that lead you to believe that it is time to address it more directly.
There is no exact science on this topic, but the more a lead consumes your content and interacts with your site, the more it sees you as a reference in the subject, right? It does not make sense that he's always coming back to your site and always opening his emails if he does not like what he's seeing. The secret of the lead score is to assign a value to each action of the lead and to define the correct value at which it addresses it.
It is normal to err at first, but like everything else in inbound marketing, you should go testing and hitting it slowly.
Stay tuned for lead nutrition
Another important aspect in this phase is nourish your leads. That is, get more information from them by offering new lead magnets. Over time, you will notice some data in common among your customers and will be able to correctly map the leads that have a greater chance of closing deals.
A lead nutrition allows a more effective business approach. We have a good example of this in the LIGHT. Once we started asking about the main occupation of our leads. When crossing with sales, we obtain the following picture:
Notice the conversion rate of sales that we got among business owners, consultants and management positions. This discovery began to guide our production of content, the choice of channels, and even the production of new spreadsheet.
After the sale materialized, his inbound marketing work is not over yet. Remember what I said about people picking up on google and talking to friends when they feel a "pain"? These friends may just be your current customers who can speak well or ill of you. So you need to show that he made the right decision when turning over your client.
Invest in surveys that help you improve the product and content that improves your customer's relationship to the product. At LUZ, we produce many tutorial videos using our products and articles on the blog showing their use in real situations.
You should be almost out of breath reading this article after so much information.
You must be thinking "but to do it all, I'm going to need a giant team." Calm down, not really. There are several useful tools to automate not only your inbound marketing, but the digital marketing industry as a whole. Below you can check out some that I use, have already tested or that have recommended me.
SEO and keyword research
Adwords keyword planner - is the google adwords keyword planner, for you to associate the produced content with the most searched keywords by users.
Google search console - tool to track organic site searches and fix SEO errors.
Seomonitor - helps define the keyword strategy and track the performance of the content produced.
SemRush - same logic as Seomonitor, but more focused on presenting search insights and improvements based on your competitors' keywords.
Social Networking Management
Unbounce - you can create pages without having to be a designer, monitor performance and do your own A / B tests.
lead Pages - features very similar to Unbounce.
Fomularies and Pop-ups
Ninja Forms - just for wordpress.
Easy Modal - just for wordpress.
In-Site A / B Tests
Marketing Automation and Lead Score
Hubspot - It's expensive in Brazil, but it's quite complete.
RD Station - Brazilian version of Hubspot. Great for beginners, but a little fret for advanced users.
Mailchimp - does well the automation part, but has no lead score.
Active Campaign - quite complete tool
Pipz - another Brazilian automation tool. I never used it, but they recommended it.
You may have noticed some movies (or experienced the situation), such as Looking for happiness, the routine run of a seller of old. There does not seem to be much strategy. The professional is hired and hears from a superior "his sales goal is $ 10 million. This is your desk and this is your phone. Good luck!". From that moment on, the seller goes into a crazy race behind the finish line, turning around as best he can. When he is away from the goal, he wakes up early or works longer hours.
This is an example of outbound marketing poorly done, with no automation at all. He values unilateral communication through advertising beyond direct sales through classic methods such as telemarketing, direct mail and active prospecting. This one marketing concept worked well when mass advertising was more restricted. The problem is that nowadays we are bombarded by a lot of advertising on different channels. The public became more selective and less open to interruptions.
Inbound marketing already values a more personalized communication, trying to make the public aware that the company can solve their pain before trying to sell. Despite customization, inbound has the majority of automated flows, meaning it is a less operational and cheaper way to get new customers.
That does not mean the outbound has died. The ideal, as always, is to understand what each technique best aggregates and test different initiatives and approaches in a company. Check here how to choose between inbound and outbound marketing!