When you’re figuring out how to attract new customers to your business, it’s good to know what works and sits well with clients and what doesn’t. There are many different methods of advertising, but the one that is the most attractive to customers is called inbound marketing. This style of marketing can greatly improve sales, as well as the way that people think of your company in general. The inbound marketing phases are relatively straightforward and easy to understand, so let’s dive right on in.
A Definition of Inbound Marketing
It’s always good form to make sure that everyone reading an informational article such as this one is up to speed before we get into the specific details. Inbound marketing is a method of marketing that focuses on gaining new customers organically. This goal is usually met by utilizing things such as earned social media, search engine optimization, content marketing, branding, and sometimes even pay-per-click ads. There is also outbound marketing, otherwise known as interruption marketing. This can include spam emails and calls, billboards, video ads before YouTube videos, and paid social media ads. Outbound marketing is usually considered to be rather annoying by customers so it’s not the ideal way to go about advertising in most cases.
How Inbound Marketing Benefits Your Business
Inbound marketing comes with many, many benefits to the businesses that use them. Firstly, because customers find this method to be less bothersome they are more likely to grant you their trust. Trusting customers are much easier to sell to in most cases, and if you’re worthy of that trust it could even result in them telling their loved ones about your company giving you more of that good old-fashioned word of mouth.
This isn’t where the benefits of going with inbound marketing end. By using this method you can get a lot more organic, relevant leads. Leads of this type are often considered to be of a higher quality because you’re able to more accurately target potential customers. The more accurately this is done, the higher the chance of your conversion rate rising dramatically. Inbound marketing is also usually a lot cheaper than outbound marketing in the long run. Most inbound marketing relies on earned attention rather than bought attention, and the most expensive things with this method are usually pay per click ads and search engine optimization. This makes inbound marketing sustainable for most business models.
The Four Phases of Inbound Marketing
There are four easy phases that inbound marketing aims to pass through. These four phases make up the entire backbone of any inbound marketing strategy and once you understand them and how they work there’s a good chance that you’ll have an even better understanding of why inbound marketing can be so efficient about finding you quality repeat customers. These four phases are as follows:
- The attract phase. This is the phase when your potential customers are strangers to your company. They haven’t been introduced to you yet, so this is when first impressions happen. This phase is usually aided by blogs, search engine optimization, targeted pay per click ads, and social media accounts. The end step of this phase turns strangers into visitors.
- The conversion phase. This phase starts right after strangers become visitors and is aided by website optimization that adds forms for your potential customers to fill out with their contact information as well as other calls-to-actions. This phase aims to turn visitors into high-quality leads.
- The closing phase. This phase is when you make your sale with your newly found leads. This can be assisted with talented sales agents, opt-in email marketing, account-based marketing, and customer relationship management. Because this is where you make your sales, this is where you turn those you created in the last phase into paying customers.
- The delight phase. This is the phase after you’ve already made your sale. In this phase, you’ll be looking to wow your customers. This can be accomplished with high-quality customer support, customer satisfaction surveys, and making sure that your marketing stays accurate. With any luck, this is the phase that will get your customers spreading word of mouth about your business, turning them from customers into promoters and giving you indefinite free advertising from trusted sources.
These phases repeat for each new instance of a potential customer, and if an inbound marketing campaign is done correctly it can bring you a lot of organic customers that will come back again and again.
Don’t get on Your Customers’ Nerves
Outbound marketing is good for getting your name out there and casting a very large net, but also runs the risk of coming off as annoying to their intended customer base, as well as the people who aren’t in their intended customer base. Getting on your customer’s nerves is a good way to ensure that fewer customers will want to use your services, and this can hurt you in the long run especially with the high cost often associated with outbound marketing. Many people outright ignore outbound marketing. For instance, a good number of people will look away from their phone if a YouTube video has a twenty-five-second unskippable ad, and many people openly admit that they are less likely to buy a product that’s been advertised to them in such a way.
Try to put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes. Would you be more likely to trust the company that feels the need to plaster itself everywhere you look, or the company that lets you come to it? Most people prefer the second of the two, and in a lot of cases, they have good reason to. The prior has the same kind of feeling like that of a salesperson that wants to convince you to buy their product whether you need it or not. It comes off as pushy and over the top, and in many cases, this type of salesperson doesn’t come off as caring about the quality of their product. The latter has the same image as a salesperson that wants to help guide you towards the best choice for your situation, and if the product isn’t right for you that’s alright by them as well.