You have probably noticed us talking more and more about inbound marketing lately, but do you know what it is and how it works? We have rounded up the main stages and summarised them below, giving you a quick and easy resource for developing your own process.
Study the past, present and future to see how you have arrived at this point, the challenges you have faced, your ideal customer and where they came from, budgets, timeframes and goals, all the while focusing on looking at the return on investment for each of them.
Whilst email campaigns, literature, social media and networking can go a long way to informing your prospects, the people you are hoping to engage with will, ultimately, want to find out more about you in their own time and that happens via your website. This means that your website needs to be easy to navigate, SEO-friendly, responsive, scalable, full of strong content that speaks to them, and it must be ready to present a clear call to action.
Whilst asking people to visit your website directly is fine, providing it’s a suitable request, you really need to generate relevant traffic from elsewhere too. This is where social media, blogging, SEO and PPC advertising come in, grabbing attention of your prospects and guiding them through to your site in an easy and natural way.
Once you are receiving good levels of well targeted traffic to your website, it is time to convert it into leads. This can be achieved through specially designed content, such as landing pages with a special offer or downloadable resource that requires the visitor to exchange some information for access to the offer presented. You can also place calls to action throughout your site to encourage additional opportunities to gather that important data.
You will now be generating sales leads. This is a great start, however, this is the time to convert those leads into sales. This can often prove to be the longest stage of the sales cycle, but has the largest impact on your profit margins. To convert leads into sales, you need to use metrics to find out where the leads are coming from and which industry-specific categories they fit into, such as a CEO that found you via social media looking for a monthly service package. You can then send each lead customised email campaigns that offer highly relevant information, using a CRM system to track their journey down the sales funnel.
Achieving the sale is not the end of the process, you will need to measure various factors as a means of maintaining an effective system. The most important metrics are traffic to leads, cost per lead, leads to customers and cost per customer. Other areas to analyse can include everything from popular pages and keyword performance to click-through rate and subscriber growth, all of which can be used to regularly tweak and improve your strategy tools and delivery.
Need some help with the basics? Download our FREE Guide to SEO. If you need more advice, get in touch on 0800 998 7502 and we’ll take your business to the next level using expert inbound marketing techniques.