What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a methodology that combines non-intrusive marketing and advertising techniques in order to contact a user at the beginning of their purchase process and accompany them to the final transaction.
The main purpose of this methodology is to contact people who are at the beginning of the process of buying a specific product. From here, they are accompanied, through the appropriate content for each of the phases of the purchase process and their profile, until the final transaction, always in a “friendly” way. And, later, they are loyal.
Inbound marketing provides advantages to companies that implement it. Among the main ones are:
Increase Marketing Qualified Contacts (MQL): multiply by 7.3 in one year and by 9.8 in two years.
Increase the registrations (leads): multiply them by 3.8 in one year and by 14.7 in two years.
Increase the visits the website receives: multiply them by 4.7 in the first year and by 24.3 in two years.
The assets that inbound marketing provides
Inbound marketing not only impacts a company’s visits, registrations and MQL, it also provides it with a series of assets.
Unlike most promotional actions that companies do and that usually represents an expense for companies, in inbound, we could say that the money we use is an investment. While, for example, an online advertising campaign delivers concrete results, when we create content within the framework of an inbound strategy, it remains present on our website.
That is why we can say that, with inbound, a part of the actions helps to build elements that exist, that have an economic value by themselves, and that, in addition, give a performance over time. Among them, the following stand out:
Channel for capturing records independent of the means of payment: by implementing an inbound marketing strategy, the company is more visible in search engines and receives visits from organic and direct channels (natural channels), which can be transformed into new contacts for your database.
Database: the organization generates its own database with qualified records. Through different inbound actions, we work so that users end up converting to database records. Efforts to get traffic result in the construction of a database that, over time, increases in volume.
Reach: the company’s content reaches a wider audience and a community is created around the brand. A greater reach is achieved that increases the value of the company and its visibility.
Content: the company generates content that positions it as an expert in its sector and that it can subsequently market. When creating content progressively, the effect may not be so clear, but there are companies that, for many years, have been creating content that they did not use. It is something quite common in some sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, where the medical visitors and the company did have this content that was not open to the public but that, when uploading it to the network, in a very short time gives them a great performance. The traffic generated by this content, and not to be confused with organic traffic even though they are related, has a lot of value in itself. In fact, there are companies that decide to buy quality content from a blog and then optimize it to drive their organic traffic.
Branding: improves the company’s brand image. Thanks to an inbound campaign, a brand tends to have more interactions and more advertising impacts each time, which is why it becomes more known.
Marketing automation process or marketing automation: This is the most complex asset and does not appear until marketing automation processes are launched, one of the pillars of inbound. From this moment on, an organization has a network of automated processes that ensure obtaining qualified leads or customers.
How does inbound marketing work?
The market has been adapting to these changes that we have experienced, little by little, and, in the same way, it could be said that inbound marketing origin is the adaptive response to changes in the purchasing process.
This process not only represents the way in which consumers buy, but it also reflects the decision process and the way we live each phase, from the identification of the need to the acquisition of a product or a service contract.
The purchase process has to do with the current moment and how the way we use apps, the internet, and e-commerce to investigate, decide and buy, but also with the way in which, thanks to the internet, apps, search engines, and e-commerce, companies have the ability to deliver the content of all kinds, from informative to promotional, appropriate to the moment, to the circumstance and to the type of client. And, for this, we resort to inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is based on 4 phases that correspond to the stages of the user’s purchase process: attraction, conversion, education and closure, and loyalty:
1. Attraction (Attract)
Through different marketing and advertising techniques, such as content marketing, social networks, SEO, or events, a user is attracted and directed to a web page with useful information to know and understand their need.
For this, it is necessary to design attraction strategies that are articulated around the content created that is published on the web, the blog, social networks, and also on other portals, and that, over time, is indexed with search engines.
This content is consumed by users, who share it and ends up generating more traffic.
When set up correctly, traffic acceleration curves can be achieved. And this acceleration is not only achieved by applying the kindest attraction processes, which were the ones that were most discussed when inbound marketing began to be talked about; It is also the result of the combined application of others, those that generate traction, such as SEM, Facebook Ads, television or radio advertisements, which can also be used in inbound marketing projects.
2. Conversion (Convert)
This phase consists of the implementation of processes and techniques to convert the visits that a web page receives into records for the company’s database. For this, relevant and personalized content is offered to the user that they can download in exchange for filling in a form with their data.
Thus, when we have been able to generate that traction and attraction to the web, we initiate actions that allow us to get users to download more complex content, in exchange for their data, and convert them to records in the company’s database.
Some of the formats that are usually used to achieve this are:
3. Education (Educate)
After having converted, users receive, via email, useful information for each of the phases of their purchase process. In order to do this, companies use marketing automation techniques, specifically two: lead scoring and lead nurturing. Let’s see what they consist of:
Lead scoring refers to the assessment of the qualification level of the leads (that is, to what extent it is possible to know which contacts are the closest to making a purchase). In other words, it is what makes it possible to measure the “temperature” of contact regarding their intention to purchase a product or service and, at the same time, to know how the position of our potential buyers is evolving.
Lead nurturing is the process that allows automated delivery of personalized content by email based on the user’s purchase cycle phase, profile, and behavior.
In addition to these marketing automation strategies, retargeting strategies and personalization strategies for the content and elements of a website can also be applied in this phase.
Thanks to technology (and cookies) we can keep track of what the user has visited and where it is, which allows us to guide the type of content, offers, and actions to which each person who visits our website is exposed. In this way, we ensure that, when you continue browsing the internet, you will find content that allows you to advance in your purchase process.
4. Closure and loyalty (Close & Delight)
And, finally, there comes a time when we enter a closing phase, which is where inbound sales begin. But inbound marketing is not only aimed at getting end customers, it also focuses on other aspects, including the following:
- Keep customers satisfied.
- Offer them information that may be useful to them.
- Take care of those registries that, despite the fact that they will never become customers (for example, due to lack of purchasing power), follow all the news of the brand and, therefore, can become prescribers of the same on the Internet.
Inbound relationship marketing allows us to ensure that the client continues with us through cross-selling, up-selling, and loyalty, or what is the same, all the automated processes that we can use to get customers who are in Our database will buy from us again, that they make extensions to our services and that they are satisfied with the content that we deliver to them.
As can be seen, the inbound marketing methodology is very broad and allows us to address from the moment someone had a need and carried out the first interaction with our content, until the day that person finally says goodbye to us.
Whether it is raised from the user’s purchase process or from the marketing funnel, the work that is done, first using traction and attraction tools to achieve organically capture traffic by applying promotional marketing actions; and then putting into practice all the techniques that will allow us to qualify and educate the database records, on whom we will apply for scoring work, is inbound.
And, thanks to inbound marketing we can know what each person needs at all times and give it to them, depending on whether that record or lead is more or less qualified. Thus, we will offer different types of content to each of the people we have in the database, depending on the phase of the purchase process in which they are.