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What is Inbound Marketing?

The phrase “inbound marketing” is now inked in the marketing lexicon. Originally coined by HubSpot’s Brian Halligan in 2005, “inbound marketing” finally gained momentum in 2011:

inbound-marketing-trends
Source : Google trends

Despite the increased usage of the phrase, many people only “think they know” what inbound marketing truly is.

According to Hubspot:

Inbound marketing is defined as marketing that is focused on getting found by customers.

Instead of interrupting people with television ads, they create videos that potential customers want to see. Instead of buying display ads in print publications, they create their own blog that people subscribe to and look forward to reading. Instead of cold calling, they create useful content and tools so that people call them looking for more information.

Instead of driving their message into a crowd over and over again, like a sledgehammer, they attract highly qualified customers to their business, like a magnet.

With Hubspot’s definition in mind, we know that the most successful inbound marketing campaigns have three main components:

  • Attract
  • Convert
  • Close

Components-of-Inbound-Marketing-Attract1. Attract

The secret to a successful inbound campaign is to attract the “right” traffic to your site. “Right” traffic means the people who are most interested in your products and services. These people are most likely to turn into leads and ultimately—happy customers.

Attracting the “right” people requires time and consideration. We at Braveheart walk our clients through our proven methodology to help them organize their customer information.

After that, the attraction component of an inbound marketing campaign is simple and can be broken down to three foci:

  • Content
  • SEO
  • Social Media

Content-SEO-and-Social-Media

Content
Content creation is the core of any inbound marketing campaign. Customers want content that will entertain, educate, and inspire them. They want content that is fun to share. It should help them to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization makes it easier for potential customers to find the content you’ve produced.

By organizing your customer information, we learn your audience’s biggest concerns which helps us understand the keywords your customers will be using when searching and what topics pique their interest. From there, we find other relevant keywords you may not have thought of and deliver a complete keyword strategy. This strategy helps you identify your content gaps and tightens up your editorial calendar. After that, we optimize and build links around your content.

Social Media
Social media is a distribution channel for your content. In a recent survey from Skyword, 71% of executives said when they publish content on their website, they use social channels to promote it.

When your content is distributed and discussed on social networks, it will become more authentic and trusted. Authentic and trusted content is more likely to draw qualified customers to your site.

Components-of-Inbound-Marketing-Convert

2. Convert

The best part about having visitors come to your site is the privilege of sharing information with them so that they can determine if your product and service will meet their needs. That’s when a visitor becomes a very good lead.

Two of the most important tools when converting visitors to leads are:

Calls-to-Action
Calls-to-action are the buttons or links that entice visitors to your offer with interesting titles. If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you will not generate any leads.

Landing Pages
When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should be transported to a landing page where the offer is fulfilled. The user provides you with their contact information, so that you can begin a conversation with them.

Components-of-Inbound-Marketing-Close

3. Close

The third most important step is converting that lead into a happy customer.

According to the 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report from Hubspot, SEO provides the best ROI of any inbound marketing channel. That’s because people use the Internet to research items and services that they are interested in purchasing. They use content they find to help them understand their options, to learn more about possible solutions to their problems, and to determine if the brand’s values match their own. Once they have done their research, it’s easier for them to isolate their choices and place their order.

marketingspend

Source: 2013 State of Inbound Marketing, Hubspot

SEO on average takes 12% of a typical marketing budget, but it generates 14% of leads. The only other channel that doesn’t cost more than it produces in leads is email, with 12% of budget and 13% of leads generated.

Inbound marketing covers each step from stranger to customer. It empowers marketers to attract visitors, convert leads, and turn them into customers.

Inbound marketing does not just happen. You do it by understanding your customers and creating opportunities to engage them. You do it using tools and applications that help you create and deliver content that will appeal to precisely the right people, in the right places, at the right time.

How well does your current website rank in inbound marketing? Are you curious to find out?

We offer a free inbound marketing assessment. We will evaluate your current website and show you how to get more traffic and leads from it. Contact us now.