Currently, marketing through communication channels is no longer as effective as it used to be.
The advent of the Internet has gradually changed the ways of doing business. 16 years ago when the Internet was still in its infancy, when Facebook didn’t exist and MySpace just launched.
At that time, businesses tried to reach customers by advertising in print newspapers, sending direct mail, advertising on television, etc.
Today, consumers and B2B customers are no longer attracted and persuaded by such “push” advertisements.
Instead, customers have full control over what they see, when, where, and through what medium. When thinking about their challenges and problems, they use online search and social media to find information and product reviews, as well as connect with colleagues and friends around.
In fact, 94% of B2B customers search online before making a purchase decision. This makes traditional advertising strategies obsolete and ineffective.
And in this article, I will tell you why Inbound marketing can overtake traditional marketing and become the most effective marketing method today!
But first you need to know…
What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a business method of attracting customers by creating unique content and experiences tailored to customers.
If Outbound Marketing disrupts the user experience with content they don’t always want, Inbound Marketing provides the answers customers are looking for and solves the problems they face.
It is this factor that makes Inbound Marketing considered a marketing method with a high conversion rate and at the same time increasing the percentage of customers who love the business brand.
What is Inbound Marketing Methodology?
The Inbound methodology aims to grow your business by building meaningful and lasting relationships with prospects and customers. This is also one of the most effective online marketing methods .
By providing answers to potential customers’ questions, inbound marketing will help them solve problems and achieve their goals during the journey with the business.
Specifically, this whole process is carried out by Inbound Marketing through the following 4 stages:
1. Attract: Attract the right potential audience to the website with useful content. At this point, the business needs to act as a trusted advisor to this potential audience.
2. Convert: Convert leads into leads by presenting insights and solutions tailored to your audience’s problems, and asking them to leave contact information (to can get more relevant information about the problem they’re having).
Once you have the lead information, you will proceed to:
- Evaluate (Qualify): Does the potential customer meet the criteria you have set out?
- Nurture: Send more content related to the lead’s problem to nurture them gradually
- Analyze: Conduct analysis of lead online behavior and improve parts of the Inbound campaign (content, landing page, message, image, …) to optimize user experience.
3. Close: By creating the right offer for potential customers
4. Delight: When leads become real customers, inbound marketing will continue to work to satisfy these customers so that they continue to buy and refer your business to others.
Let’s dive deeper into the analysis of these 4 stages of Inbound Marketing!
4 Stages of Inbound Marketing:
#first. Stage 1: Attract
To attract potential audience to your website, you need to publish blog or ebook, guide, related tips , useful for customer queries.
The type of information a potential audience is looking for depends on where they are in the buying journey. Therefore, the scope of content you provide needs to address each step of the journey: Perception, Consideration, and Decision.
- Awareness: When potential customers encounter difficult problems or challenges, they start looking for solutions on the Internet. As a result, they will find useful information or possibly potential solutions.
- Consideration: Once they’ve done their research, they can analyze and compare potential solutions and find the one that best fits their needs.
- Decision (purchase): The final stage is the decision. After comparing, they will decide to choose the solution and product of the supplier that they think is the best.
Content developers to meet the needs of customers in each phase mentioned above, you need to consider two factors: Portrait buyer (buyer personas) and customer journey (buyer’s journey maps):
a) Buyer persona
To develop a persona of potential customers, you need to have agreement (between marketing, sales, customer care teams) about who the potential audience is. For marketers who already know Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in marketing, this step will be easier.
Next you need to do more research on them.
Considering demographic factors alone is not enough to market your products effectively, you need to understand them in detail about the factors:
- awareness of your product/industry
b) Buyer’s journey maps
Creating a customer journey plays an important role in creating a buyer persona, allowing you to tailor content (answers) to the specific needs of your potential customers (questions). They go through each stage: Perception, Consideration, and Decision in the buying journey.
Each potential customer will think and behave differently. By the customer journey, you must find answers to questions like these:
- How do potential customers think at each stage of the journey?
- What motivates them to find solutions?
- What criteria do they use to evaluate those solutions?
- What information do you need to provide at each stage? Provide detailed or general information?
- What keywords do they use to search at each stage?
- Tactics to attract potential audiences:
After you outline your buyer persona and buyer journey, you begin to reach them
In the buyer acquisition phase, the content should be sufficient to address the problems and needs of potential customers when they query for information. This type of content is called ToFu content – top of the funnel content.
Some examples of ToFu content include:
- Blog posts (most effective attraction tool)
- Advice sharing sites
- Short video
- And background information helps potential audiences understand their problems and begin to explore available solutions.
Then when you create your content, you can use your blog, social media, and email to promote your content:
- Customers can find your blog when they enter search keywords related to your content
- Use social media to promote posts
- Email potential customers who have signed up for your email list
- You should add a few suggestions to find out more content related to the post, such as advice sharing pages, solution summaries, etc.
#2. Stage 2: Conversion (convert)
Once you’ve attracted visitors to your website, the next step is to create a compelling call-to-action.
When clicking on the CTA, the potential audience will be redirected to the landing page. Here, they will leave personal information (such as email, name, …) to receive useful information. This is when visitors become potential customers.
The conversion phase is divided into 3 different arrays:
- Evaluate (qualify)
- Analyze (analyze)
1. Evaluate (qualify)
Evaluating potential customers is to determine their suitability for your product/service.
In this step, you will evaluate customer behavior to segment them into smaller files. Thanks to that, you can send content that is suitable for each audience. You can even identify the right time to contact customers directly.
Another method of determining eligibility is through MQL and SQL:
- MQL – Marketing Qualified Lead: the object assessed by the Marketing team is more likely to become a customer than other leads.
- SQL – Sale Qualified Lead: the potential object evaluated by the Sales and Marketing team is ready to deploy sales processes
Businesses use a variety of criteria to evaluate whether a lead is MQL or SQL. However, in general:
- MQLs will often share certain demographic characteristics
- SQLs will often share common interests and behaviors.
In this step, you need to review what content/topic your potential customers are interested in by answering two questions:
- What content did they download from your website before?
- What pages on the website did they view?
You can send relevant content (e.g. email with tips or ebook) related to what they have shown interest in.
When they are provided with more in-depth content about their topic of interest, they are more likely to convert into real customers.
3. Analyze (analyze)
Inbound marketing campaigns should be effectively measured and optimized continuously.
Make the necessary modifications to ensure that your website, email, or social media channels are on track with the right goals, at the right time, and with the right message. That means every part of your inbound marketing campaign is fully optimized.
#3. Stage 3: Closing the sale (close):
The goal of this step is to convert potential customers to actual customers.
Using all the data you collected about leads in the previous two stages, you need to understand:
- What is their problem? What do they care about? => You will know which aspect to focus on when conversing with customers
- Are they ready to buy? => You will know when to call customers and advise, this is the time to close the sale.
Remember that not all customers are ready to make a purchase.
Making offers and closing sales at the wrong time will make potential customers afraid and wary of you (even though your product is exactly what they need). Wait for the “ripe” opportunity when customers are ready and give them marketing advice, you will notice the difference!
#4. Stage 4: Customer satisfaction (delight):
Closing a sale is not necessarily the last job. Because, after the sale, you must continuously provide value to existing customers. They will become loyal customers and recommend your brand to others.
You can satisfy your customers in the following ways:
- Answer their questions. You can send more content related to interests, topics that you know they are interested in.
- Offer solutions to the problems they are facing. Sales and customer service may be aware of the difficulties your customers are facing. You can send them the necessary information and instructions.
- Help them achieve their goals. You can send tips, recommendations, or additional services to help clients meet productivity or revenue goals, etc.
- Be enthusiastic. Every customer wants to earn respect from any business they already trust. Therefore, you should always show enthusiasm and respect for them, right from the moment you start talking to them.
Although customer satisfaction is the last step of the four stages of inbound marketing, it is an important step in the 80/20 principle.
Customer care only takes 20% of the effort, but brings 80% of the efficiency to the business. Customers now trust you, and they are also ready to be upsell or cross-sell in the future.
Unfortunately, many businesses, after acquiring customers, skip this step. This is a huge waste!
7 essential elements when implementing Inbound Marketing:
#first. The success of Inbound Marketing is determined by the website!
The success or failure of the Inbound Marketing strategy depends on the business website.
Website is your 24/7 sales tool, a bridge between you and potential customers.
To get a perfect website and meet the criteria of inbound marketing , you need to pay attention to the following factors:
SEO helps potential customers find your website.
You need to develop a website and content that matches the queries of your customers.
When users search for keywords, Google will analyze all websites with relevant information. Then, it recommends websites that it considers to have useful content, related to what visitors are searching for.
The process of making a website search engine friendly is called search engine optimization, or SEO.
SEO uses tools and methods to naturally increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website (without resorting to paid advertising).
Blogging is the most impactful form used by all inbound marketers to attract and nurture leads.
Regularly publishing blogs with quality, valuable content will help increase the visibility of your website, thereby improving your website’s rankings.
In addition, blogging is also a way to increase the reputation of the business in the eyes of customers. Because at this time, the business acts as an expert, a companion to help potential customers solve problems and achieve goals.
Blogs usually cover a fairly basic specific topic, which is ideal for engaging a potential audience during the engagement phase.
Usually, these blogs will also insert CTA buttons leading to more in-depth information to help customers satisfy their curiosity. When they click on the CTA buttons, they will be directed to the landing page and leave their personal information in the form to receive that in-depth content. At this point, they officially become your lead!
#4. In-depth content
As mentioned above, in-depth content acts as MoFu content (mid-funnel content) which is also a tool to help you convert leads into leads.
When they fill out an in-depth content subscription form, you’ll gain information about your potential audience to prepare to nurture them later.
On the other hand, focusing on sharing on an in-depth topic and regularly sending content to your potential audience is how you can demonstrate your expertise.
Here are 9 suggestions to help you build MoFu content:
- Tips sheet: a short, concise table that provides tips or the best method for doing something.
- Checklist: instructions, specific process to complete the task
- Infographics: work effectively when you want to provide a lot of information and visual data to customers.
- Case study: feature customer success stories and explain how your business has helped previous clients succeed.
- An ebook that educates potential customers on a topic in a concise, easy-to-use format
- Surveys/Research Reports are a great way to capture the interest of potential customers.
- Video Tutorials & Courses: show how to solve problems, demonstrate process/product or show what potential customers are interested in
- Webinar: usually implemented as a series, providing insights on topics of interest to potential customers
- Podcasts are designed to provide answers to frequently asked questions on a variety of topics
It is estimated that traffic to videos will account for about 80% of Internet user traffic by 2021. Fast and intuitive content delivery is the advantage of video compared to other forms.
Type in a campaign video I nbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing is not the same. With Outbound Marketing, it will be promotional videos on TV, OOH, … highlighting outstanding features, features or offers to go straight to the central message.
Here are 3 types of videos commonly used by Inbound Marketers:
- Explanatory videos: provide an overview of concepts, processes, products, services, and more. Or whatever the prospect is wanting to know more about.
- Video Testimonial: Reviews from customers who have used your products/services help increase the reputation of your business among potential customers. They will feel more trusting the testimonials of other guests than hearing what you have to say.
- Video demonstration: Video demonstration allows you to briefly introduce the function or process of creating a product (or the process of implementing a service) helping customers visualize exactly what they will get when they work with you .
Many manufacturing businesses often assume that their customers do not use social networking sites. This is fundamentally incorrect.
However, when it comes to choosing social media channels to promote content, some channels are more suitable for production businesses than others:
- Facebook was most effective at promoting a producer culture as a way to aid recruitment, but not at generating leads.
- Meanwhile, LinkedIn has been seen as an interactive tool and a platform for delivering extremely effective content.
#7. Paid channels
Although Digital Ads is considered an Outbound Marketing method, it is very often used to “diffuse” the effectiveness of the initial Inbound campaign.
Because when publishing blogs on the website, you will need to wait a certain amount of time (from 3 months) for the blog to be indexed by Google and achieve optimal results. Therefore, many businesses use advertising to increase the visibility of content during this waiting period.
Clicks from ads are the premise to support organic traffic later.
If your business wants to implement this form, you should find a professional Google Adwords advertising company , because they are knowledgeable about Google’s algorithms, as well as will help optimize the budget and bring in high revenue from the Pay channel. -Per-Click this.
Email marketing allows you to promote new blogs to blog subscribers.
Besides, you can send new enhanced content to subscribers via email.
A detailed workflow automatically identifies leads and sends the right content, with pre-determined order and frequency of emailing.
Finally: Connect your Sales and Marketing processes!
Once you have completed the above steps, potential customers will come.
At this point, you need to connect your Marketing and Sales team ! There should be a clear plan of who does what, clear rules on how to interact with potential customers once they have “joined” your system.
Setting up a process and standard for cross-departmental coordination between Sales and Marketing will remove undefined expectations between two teams and team members.
On the other hand, you also end up wasting effort chasing low-value leads and confusing the workflow.
In the above article, we have learned together what is Inbound Marketing? And the specific method to conduct Inbound Marketing for businesses brings the most optimal results. Hopefully this article is useful for your work.
Besides, you can refer to some detailed articles on current forms and marketing terms to fully update your inbound marketing knowledge and bring about work efficiency! For example, learn Digital Marketing , Wifi Marketing, Facebook Marketing, Viral Marketing…