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What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a subset of internet marketing that combines all of your online digital efforts into one powerful marketing engine.
The inbound marketing method focuses on four phases to boost sales and profitability for your business. Each stage requires the equal input of creativity and scientific implementation to be successful.
Drawing on everything we have learnt about internet marketing, using the inbound methodology will:
- Attract visitors to your digital home, promoting brand awareness
- Convert those visitors into leads so that you can optimise your marketing strategies
- Close the sales process by nurturing your leads
- Delight customers continually to turn them into brand ambassadors
What Does Using Inbound Marketing Mean?
Using inbound marketing in your marketing strategy means that you are committed to providing valuable content for your ideal customer. This content is used to attract visitors to your site and provide them with helpful and useful content to nurture them through the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
In direct opposition to outdated forms of marketing, like radio, TV and print advertising, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers. Inbound marketing brings customers to you because it provides content that solves problems and challenges for your customers and reaches them when they need it most.
When you understand what your customers want and need you start to gain an unfair advantage in the ability to grow your business. Inbound marketing uses:
- Content Strategy – Define a content strategy that ensures you are answering the questions your target audience is trying to solve
- Blogging – You blog is the best way to attract new and returning visitors to your site, use it to create content that speaks to your audience and their problems
- Social Media – To be successful with inbound marketing you need valuable content and your social media presence is a great way to promote that content and humanise your business and brand
To attract relative strangers to your site and turn them into visitors. However, using this system means you are not just attracting anyone to your site, you are attracting visitors that will become marketing qualified leads, who you can then nurture through the sales process.
All of this achieved by creating content that is valuable to your target audience.
Once you have attracted these visitors to your site, it is time to convert them into leads for your business.
This is achieved by creating a conversation with a visitor to your site. The type of conversation you choose to have with these visitors depends on the research you have about how your ideal customers like to interact.
The use of forms, messages, meetings, and chat boxes allow you to open a dialogue that gives you a chance to further support them, through content, to overcome their challenges.
- Forms – Collect information on the visitors to your site to optimise the content you create and segment that visitors that come to your digital home
- Meetings – Before a sale is final you will usually have to speak to a lead, make booking a meeting that is virtual or in person an easy process with meeting buttons
- Messages – Chat with the visitors on your site in real time using messages or chat boxes to answer their questions instantly and when they are most engaged
- CRM – Keep track of all of the visitors that you have converted to leads with a powerful CRM that helps you interact better in the future
Once you have attracted visitors to your site and converted them into leads you should be feeling pretty good about your inbound marketing strategies.
But how do you effectively close the sales deal?
Using inbound marketing sales tactics like:
- Pipeline Management – Using your effective CRM system you can determine which content and marketing efforts are bringing the most deals to your business. This data will inform you which of your marketing strategies are appealing to your target audience most.
- Lead Nurturing – Each lead that you have converted on your site will have a different challenge and be in a different stage of the buyer’s journey. This information should be used to market to individual leads in a personalised and optimised way.
- Email – If you convert a lead on your site that isn’t ready to buy a product or service from you, the best way to nurture them towards a sale is to use personalised and targeted email that provides more relevant and useful content to them.
- Predictive Lead Scoring – Use lead scoring as your business grows and scalability becomes an issue. It often doesn’t make sense to reach out to every visitor that you convert into a lead with personalised contact. Using lead scoring allows you to focus your efforts and prioritise your leads based on the most qualified leads.
When it comes to business the best form of marketing is word of mouth!
The inbound marketing method allows you to build your reputation in your industry because it focused on providing amazing content to your target audience regardless of the stage in the buyer’s journey they are in.
In order to cross sell, up sell and gain new leads from your customers it is essential that continue to delight them even after the sales processed is closed.
- Smart Content – If you want leads and customers to continue to return to your website as visitors it is important to show them relevant and useful content that matches their place in the buyer’s journey. This is achieved through smart content.
Smart content changes the content and calls to action that a visitor sees when they come to your digital home, it optimises the sales process because you can deliver different content to a first-time visitor and a current customer on the same page.
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