Since the arrival of the web, the behavior of the buyer has changed. He consults a significant amount of information before making a purchase decision. It is necessary to adapt the marketing strategy to this change. It is this digital strategy that is called « inbound marketing ». This concept was born in the United States. But concretely, how to conduct an effective marketing campaign?
What is inbound marketing?
Perhaps you have observed that almost all companies produce web content? Their goal is to gain visibility and incidentally to generate more sales. This is the technique of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is a strategy that consists of attracting leads through the creation of targeted content. Quality content can directly influence the behavior of the user for a purchase. But sometimes it is necessary to maintain a relationship with the customer after this first contact, using marketing automation or lead nurturing in order to move him forward in the buying process.
The term inbound marketing was first used in 2006, by HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. They found that the traffic generated by the blog on their startup easily translated into a purchase.
Why do inbound marketing?
With the democratization of the Internet, the consumer matures his purchase decision autonomously by exploiting the resources he has on the web. Moreover, statistics related to inbound marketing show that prospects complete 57% of the online process before contacting a sales representative of the company.
What is the difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is different from outbound marketing, which relies on the use of non-targeted advertising aimed at a mass audience. As a result, the budget is higher in general, and the return on investment is not always profitable. Indeed, advertising space is quite expensive. In addition, this method is not very popular with consumers who consider it intrusive.
Inbound marketing highlights the personalization of the customer experience by content that answers their questions. It is a systemic approach based on customer needs. It wins the interest of consumers by providing them with an informational offer consistent with their needs. In this way, it is the customer who chooses to know more about the brand. You will then get a qualified audience. In terms of cost, inbound marketing is much lower. The effect will especially be felt with the long tail. This strategy adapts to both B2B and B2C and generates long-term interest.
What are the steps to follow to succeed in your inbound marketing strategy?
To set up an inbound marketing strategy, you need to take into account four essential elements: determine your buyer personas, produce quality content, optimize your website and apply marketing automation. You must then follow a few steps:
- Determine your buyer personas, this will allow you to position your message and create your content in line with the expectations of your audience. Identify your buyer personas based on all the data on the market, on your existing customers and on the journey of visitors to your site. A buyer persona is the fictional representation of a company’s ideal customer.
- Producing quality content increases your visibility and asserts your expertise. The customer carries out preliminary research on the internet in order to obtain information. So you have to publish on different channels : website, social networks, blog, etc. These are essential levers.
- Pptimizing your website which is the showcase of your company generates traffic and leads. Your content must be optimized in substance and form. It must be dynamic and optimized with the SEO system.
- Applying marketing automation allows you to nurture your leads. On the internet, there are several marketing automation software . This automated process will help you be responsive to your audience.
Inbound marketing is not suitable for impulse purchases. It requires a long process consisting of several phases. To embark on this marketing strategy, you need to complete these four steps.
Building a qualified audience
This is the first step, it is about using all available channels to attract a qualified audience. The production of optimized and quality content allows your company to become its own medium. In this step, the content must deal with a problem in general in order to provide an answer to a question.
Turning visitors into prospects
The goal of this second step is to convert visitors into qualified prospects by presenting:
- Calls-to-action (CTAs) on your content pages.
The goal is to collect information about your visitors. Naturally, the content must present the best solution to the visitor’s problem.
Converting prospects into customers
This third step is the accompaniment of prospects in the purchasing process. It can also be described as nurturing. Several means can be combined for this step: telephone, newsletters, marketing automation, making appointments, etc. In this phase, you must propose relevant solutions to trigger the purchase.
This fourth step is to provide impeccable products and services in order to guarantee customer satisfaction. Consumers communicate with each other through social networks and forums. A satisfied customer will become your ambassador. Word of mouth and recommendation are decisive factors for the consumer in general and for the Internet user in particular.
In summary, inbound marketing is the digital strategy adapted to the buying journey of the modern consumer. The approach is relatively simple, but can sometimes require the help of a specialized agency.