Inbound marketing has a lot of parts. To fully understand the process, you need to also understand its components; things like social media, SEO, content creation, lead nurturing, email automation, and more. Even once you have all of those concepts down, you have to bring all of these bits and pieces together to see how they work as a whole. If you’re looking for a quick and simple way to understand inbound marketing, the easiest way to explain it is this: your inbound marketing strategy is like fishing.
Research your fish
Let’s say you want to catch a specific type of fish. Before you cast your line, you need to research your fish and learn what you can do to attract this specific type of fish to you.
This process of getting to know where you’re most likely to find this type of fish, along with what kind of bait your fish will be attracted to, is much like the research phase of the inbound marketing process.
For example, before you can start creating and implementing an inbound marketing strategy, you need to get to know your buyer personas (these are your brand’s ideal customers). Once you have a clear picture of these personas, you can perform keyword research to find out which topics they’re curious about and will be most attracted to. This research will help you in the next phase--creating the right content and using it as bait.
Content as bait
Now that you know who your fish are and what will attract them to your website, you need to get your bait ready, cast your line and wait for a bite.
In this scenario, your bait is the content your brand creates. Your buyer personas are hungry for information surrounding your product, service and industry. In inbound marketing, we create helpful, relevant content designed to feed this need for information by answering their questions and concerns in a compelling way. Without an interesting topic and a compelling title, you’ll never get the clicks, or “bites,” you need.
Even if you’ve created this premium, intriguing content, it won’t make a difference if your buyer personas don’t know where to find it. You need to jiggle the line a bit to get their attention. In inbound marketing terms, this means you need to publish your content on the social media outlets your buyer personas use most frequently. You also need to engage in ethical SEO tactics so that your pages will appear closer to the top of the search results when your buyer personas perform a search.
Getting them hooked
If you’ve done your homework, you’ll be able to use the right content to attract the right traffic to your website. But you need to hook your website visitors if you want them to transition into leads. Your calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms all act as the hook within your inbound marketing strategy.
Much like your content, your calls-to-action need to be enticing. They should offer something of value, such as an informational e-book or a promotional offer, that will convince your website visitors to click. Once your visitors click on this offer, they should be directed to a landing page where they’ll be prompted to fill out a form in order to receive the offer. This form usually requests standard contact information, like an email address. Once they provide this information, you have them hooked. Now it’s time to start reeling in your leads.
Reeling them in
Now that you have your leads’ contact information, you can use it to create and send communications that are designed to gradually reel them in--turning them into new customers for your brand.
The best way to do this is by tracking their interactions with your brand, and using that data to create targeted lead nurturing emails. This can mean emailing them promotions, reminders when a product they’re interested in is running low, content that will interest them, discounts on shipping, and more. Over time, these targeted emails will transition your leads into customers.
Want to learn how you can get more customers online with an inbound marketing strategy? Contact GreenHouse Agency today for a free inbound marketing discovery session.
Written by Alyssa Hutchinson
November 25, 2016