What is Inbound Marketing? A Complete Guide

Have you heard of inbound marketing and thought it might be time for your industry to ditch the methods of the past century? Here are 10 key steps to understand everything about the ‘ inbound marketing in the industry.

What is inbound marketing?

Why set up an inbound marketing strategy?

The evolution of the buying journey

The 4 strategic phases in Inbound Marketing

Define your inbound marketing strategy in 10 steps

What is inbound marketing?

Born from the digitalization of business, behavior and the purchasing journey, inbound marketing is a mindset where the company that offers a product or service intervenes above all to help individuals who are looking for a solution to their problem. In this “always be helping” state of mind, the company will position itself as an opinion leader in its field by providing content (Blogging, videos, White Paper, Tools, Case studies, etc.) at each stage of the process. purchasing journey of its target audience:

 AWARNESS: awareness phase of the prospect, where he becomes aware of his problem, he does not necessarily know how to put a name on this problem but thanks to your content he will realize that he is missing something.

CONSIDERATION: You are helping your prospect put a name to this problem, and provide a solution to this problem.

DECISION: The prospect knows the solutions available to his problem (yours and those of your competitors). And you help him make the decision best suited to his needs.

In summary, inbound marketing is a strategy of attracting qualified traffic to your website to convert them into leads and then turn them into customers, unlike more traditional outbound marketing techniques where we use “push” levers. ”Who are going to pick up the customers one by one?

 Seth Godin is considered to be the inventor of the concept of inbound marketing. In fact he emphasized the importance of gaining prospect attention by producing qualified content on his website.

It is the Hubspot platform which in 2005 will take the concept of Seth Godin and make it popular and by adding solutions to implement it.

Why set up an inbound marketing strategy?

Inbound marketing finds its legitimacy because it is useful marketing, because the marketer offers content that will help the prospect to move forward in the face of his daily needs and difficulties. This way of approaching the prospect and providing him with a solution is much less intrusive than traditional marketing and advertising techniques (outbound marketing), which harass consumers and buyers on a daily basis with major spots and advertising campaigns.

The buying journey has evolved:

The evolution of the purchasing journey makes the implementation of an inbound marketing strategy all the more legitimate. With the digitalization of the purchasing journey, your prospects, before buying (both in B2B and B2C), have the reflex to do research on the internet to find answers to their problems, find solutions and compare them, give their opinion or look at that of other buyers … This development is global and is true in all sectors of activity: we can therefore very well do inbound marketing in the industry . 

The production of content at all stages of this buying journey is therefore essential to be visible where the targeted potential buyers are.

The 4 strategic phases in Inbound Marketing

TO ATTRACT:

Attract qualified traffic to your website by offering content tailored to your target audience. We do not specifically target the quantity but the quality of the traffic in this strategic phase. Indeed, by attracting more qualified traffic, you will facilitate the 2nd phase of your strategy which is conversion.

The contents to put in place in your inbound marketing strategy: 

  • blog posts
  • Site pages
  • Videos that answer persona issues
  • Social media posts

CONVERT 

Once you’ve attracted your prospects to your site, it’s time to convert them into leads . For this it is still a question of offering content with a high added value to be able to ask visitors to leave you their personal information (name, first name, e-mail, telephone …) in exchange for access to this content. It works in a “win-win” relationship: Data is a bargaining chip. So make the content interesting enough for your prospects to agree to give you their information in exchange.

Tool to set up on your site:

  • Downloadable offers: e-book, white papers, webinar …
  • Call to action
  • Contact form 
  • Conversion form
  • Leadflow (Contextual form or Pop-up form)
  • Chatbot

CLOSE

Here the lead is in your database, he has taken note of your different solutions that you are offering him. He must surely have compared them to those of your competitors; and you must now convince him to choose your solution by showing him its advantages. And in what way it is the most adapted to answer its problems.

 Contents to be produced: 

  • Case studies
  • Newsletter
  • CRM / Lead Scoring
  • Marketing automation
  • Lead Nurturing

DELIGHT

Once you have transformed your leads into customers; they must remain faithful to your solutions, the interest here is a double objective:

Loyalty: product repurchase, upselling …

Customer Advocacy: Your customers must be your first ambassadors

Contents to be produced: 

  • Case studies
  • Newsletter
  • CRM / Lead Scoring
  • Marketing automation Lead Nurturing

But how are you going to implement this strategy to be present during the 4 different strategies of inbound marketing?

Related Post: Why Facebook Ads? Best way to generate target leads

Define your inbound marketing strategy in 10 steps:

An inbound marketing strategy focuses on two essential things: your personas and Data. Here’s how to set up a customer centric and data driven inbound marketing strategy .

1- Make an inventory of your marketing and the competition

Like any marketing strategy, it is best to start with a competitive benchmark to analyze how your competitors are positioned and whether you are ahead or behind them.

It is also essential that you analyze your marketing as it is to take a step back on what you are doing, the results you are getting and whether certain actions are to be retained or to be avoided.

For this, I advise you to use the AARRR matrix (ACQUISITION, ACTIVATION, RETENTION, REVENU, REFERRAL) of Growth hackers. Take each of these 5 marketing goals and compare the marketing actions to achieve them and the results you are currently getting on them.

2 – Set yourself SMART goals 

In inbound marketing, as in any marketing strategy, we do not move forward with our eyes closed: we set ourselves clearly defined, measurable and controllable objectives with marketing actions .

If you don’t know where to start, first take some easy-to-analyze KPIs such as inbound traffic to your website. You can be more specific by detailing traffic sources. Also analyze the number of leads generated and therefore your conversion rate . With these simple KPI’s you can analyze where you are and set goals for 6 months, 1 year and 3 years.

3 – Build strong buyers’ personas

As we told you in the introduction, an inbound marketing strategy is based on an “always be helping” mindset where your objective is to provide help and solutions for your prospects before selling them your product or service, take an interest in them and build buyers personas. 

” The buyer persona is the semi-fictitious representation of your ideal customer based on biographical and demographic information. It also include some psychological criteria, motivations or even objectives.” 

By determining your personas, you will generate your entire SEO strategy and therefore your content strategy. So be sure of the profiles you want to attract and convert; Define their profile, age, gender, functions, what their needs are, their expectations and their goals.

4 – Build your SEO strategy at the base of your content strategy 

SEO is the basis of your inbound marketing strategy because it is the main source of qualified traffic. To attract your persona, define the areas of activity in which you can help them. These areas of activity will be your “ topic clusters ” or semantic cocoons: and it is from these major themes that all of your content will gravitate. Find the Topic Cluster methodology developed by Hubspot 

5 – Establish a content strategy that results from your SEO

Now is the time to produce content on all of your personal issues, adapted to the different topic clusters that you have defined, and on the 3 stages of the purchasing process for your personas.

Take each step of the buying journey, choose the formats adapted to each step and create content that responds to the issues of your personas.

EXAMPLE : You are a company that offers video service:

Awareness Stage: Write a Blog Post on “ Why is it Important to Use Video in Your Marketing Strategy ”

Consideration stage: create a downloadable offer “Kit to create a product video”

At the Decision stage: write a case study on the benefits of video for your customer’s marketing.

6 – Optimization of your website

As I often say, there is no point in attracting traffic to a pierced basket: it is counterproductive to have the best blog posts and a site that attracts your persona if nothing is put in place to convert them into leads.

Make sure you do not have high added value content left without conversion opportunities (Conversion form, pop-up form, pop-up, etc.).

7 – Set up a solid Editorial line on social networks

Use your social networks as an extension of your content strategy , share your articles, your offers (White Papers, e-book, Webinar, Video, etc.), this will generate traffic through social networks and why not find opportunities commercially.

8 – Automate your marketing: Marketing automation and lead nurturing

Inbound marketing strategy: you manage to generate qualified traffic that turns into leads, you will be able to get these leads to move forward in their purchasing process so that they become your customers and why not your first ambassadors. For this you will need tools like a CRM and a marketing automation platform that will segment your leads with a scoring system. This system will promote adapted content to move them forward in the purchasing process according to their score and automated scenarios (chatbot, mailing, newsletters, etc.).

Zara ERP System and solutions is an all-in-one solution that allows you to manage both the CRM part and the marketing automation part, as well as the production of content.

9 – Align your marketing and sales teams

The point of inbound marketing is to attract qualified traffic to generate leads, but that doesn’t make sense if your sales teams don’t take advantage of this pre-qualification work.

The use of a CRM is essential here to have information on incoming leads. It also allows the attribution of leads to sales representatives by setting up internal lead attribution workflows . But it also gives super powers to your salespeople who will have with a CRM like ZARA ERP’s the ability to see the activity of the leads on the website and therefore to obtain crucial information on the progress. of the prospect in his thinking, or quite simply of his needs according to the pages he has consulted on your site.

10 – Set up a Dashboard to manage your results

Create a Dashboard with your most important KPIs and make weekly, monthly, quarterly points … to analyze your results and manage your marketing and sales actions in order to achieve the SMART objectives that you set at the beginning of the development of your inbound marketing strategy

If you want to undertake an inbound marketing strategy in the industry sector, this introductory guide to inbound marketing in the industry will help you put in place each of the key steps discussed above.

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