Stage 1: Attract
The first step in an inbound marketing campaign is to attract new visitors to your website. Here are some questions to kickstart the process:
- What problems do my products and services solve?
- What does my ideal customer look like?
- What are their pain points?
- Where is my ideal customer located?
- What websites, books, blogs, magazines, and podcasts does my ideal customer consume?
- What ideal “can’t-say-no” price points can I offer to solve their problems?
The above questions are part of the process of crafting buyer personas - idealized fictional customers you will be targeting throughout your inbound campaign.
The next step is to leverage the relevant channels to post content. These can include your website pages, blog, social media profiles, and posts on other websites. You can then promote and boost that content across various networks in the following ways:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The search engine input box is often the first place people go to when looking for solutions to problems. Search engines like Bing and Google are optimized to deliver users the content they are looking for, so it's essential to consider certain technical factors when creating content.
The key is to build the right type of content in a format tailored to what your ideal customers are looking for. The process we use to make that happen works like this:
We investigate and research competing content that ranks high in your industry, and focus on determining what details led to its favorable ranking. Our analysis examines many factors such as keywords, domain authority, and backlinks.
We create a content plan based on the results of our investigation that includes items like blog posts, landing pages, and articles. Our aim at this stage is to produce premium content that generates more interest (and clicks!).
The process doesn’t stop at creation. We track that content and analyze its performance based on detailed search engine data. That process continues over the long term through a refinement process that ensures it stays on top.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Search Engine Marketing
The process of ranking in SEO can take months to boost your bottom line - especially if your online business is just getting started. For that reason, we can use paid strategies like “Pay-Per-Click” or PPC marketing to start generating sales for your business. Some of the popular platforms we can leverage at this stage include Bing Ads, Google Ads, and Yahoo! Gemini.
Digital advertising campaigns on websites are another essential component of a successful inbound marketing campaign. By using a wide variety of ad formats like static display, dynamic display, or video, we can reach prospective customers on other websites while they are in the early stages of the buyer’s journey.
Social Media Traffic
Social media is big business. That’s why the dominant platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have made their users targetable through innovative platforms that let advertisers zero in on their target market with precision. Demographic factors such as age, location, and other psychographic information are at your fingerprints on social media advertising platforms, making them a valuable way to promote your content and attract traffic to your sales pages.
Stage 2: Convert
Attraction is the first step. Getting them to commit is the next stage. Think of this process like a courtship - you are literally “courting” this prospective customer and trying to convince them to further engage with you. Putting your products and services in front of them at this point is analogous to proposing marriage on the first date (and most prospects are getting proposals all day long!).
What’s ideal at this stage is to obtain contact information - ideally an email address. That way, we can send them gifts (valuable e-books, newsletters, and other content) and future offers.
Optimize your website for conversions
You want your website to look its absolute best. That includes having multiple pathways in strategic locations that make it easy for your prospect to take this valuable next step.
Your website is the storefront of your business. Just like with a physical store, everything needs to be organized with one primary goal: to bring your business new customers.
Choosing colors and designing a logo is a secondary part of the process. The most important factors at this stage need to be measurable and should include:
- How many visitors come to the website?
- How many clicks away from the front page before seeing other pages?
- How long does each visitor spend on the website?
- What pages do they visit?
- How many visitors become leads?
Building a company website is an ongoing process. Just like with our content creation strategy, we continuously optimize and refine websites by taking measurements and using that feedback to make changes to improve conversion.
The primary tool for converting new users into leads is usually a static document like an ebook, white paper, case study, or video. We create an irresistible “bribe” that prompts users to exchange their email addresses for that valuable information.
This technique worked in the past and continues to work today. While it’s super-effective at gaining leads, we found an even more effective method:
The Interactive Inbound Offer
While white papers, ebooks, case studies, and guides are great, they aren’t personalized. Interactive inbound offers offer a customized experience that takes user data and turns it into a customized report they can’t get anywhere else. Some examples include:
- Pricing calculators
- Qualification assessments
- Budgeting tools
- Quiz-based recommendations
Having a great opt-in is part of the equation. The other part is to ensure that the process is easy and straightforward.
Tips to increase conversion
Here are some tips to make sure your website is optimized for maximum conversions:
- Ensure all forms are optimized and placed at strategic locations. They should be placed in areas that are easy to find.
- Don’t go overboard by asking for personal information like their address or phone number (unless it’s essential for your sales process).
- Make sure you have enough call-to-action buttons or links in contrasting colors that visitors can easily see.
- Include landing pages in your website content. Landing pages contain carefully crafted, valuable content that specifically leads a new visitor to a call-to-action that converts them to a lead.
- Use a centralized marketing database to keep track of leads. This ensures that all your contact marketing data is in one place that tracks their interactions and communications with your business. By centralizing all this data, you can optimize your future strategy to convert visitors into customers more effectively.
Stage 3: Close
Making it to this stage means you successfully attracted a visitor and turned them into a lead. The next step is to turn them into paying customers.
You can nurture your leads and move them along the buyer’s journey using email and CRM-retargeted media that provide value when they leave your website. Some ways to increase closing rates include:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can give you the precise information you need to engage effectively with prospects across every channel. These systems help you keep track of contact details and record interactions they have had, so you can deliver the right messaging at their specific stage in the buyer’s journey.
How well is your sales team working with your marketing department? Integration with your CRM system can give you the tools you need to analyze lead quality while determining how effectively your sales team is converting leads into customers.
Sending emails with helpful content helps move leads through the buying process. Since not all leads are ready to buy, email can build trust as they progress towards becoming a customer.
Stage 4: Delight
Converting customers into raving fans is one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing strategies out there. Social media networks now give people numerous opportunities to voice their opinions - and delighted customers can be more powerful than almost any other advertising method.
The key is to keep them engaged. Some ways to ensure they stay in the loop include:
Use email marketing to continually engage with your customers by providing them with useful information. This can help drive upsells and subscription renewals.
Some of the most successful companies are in a constant process of product refinement and optimization. Surveys are an effective way to upgrade customer service and ensure that you are always providing the best products on the market.
Inbound Marketing FAQ
What are some examples of inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing examples to attract new leads include SEO-optimized content, pay-per-click advertising, digital advertising, and social media advertising.
What’s the difference between inbound and outbound marketing?
Outbound marketing works by pushing advertising to a broader, more general audience. Inbound strategies magnetize specific target audiences on the internet looking for the products and services your company offers.
What are the main stages of inbound marketing?
The four stages of the inbound marketing method include Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. We use targeted techniques at each stage to transform casual visitors into satisfied customers and raving fans that will continue to buy and promote your products for years to come.