Inbound marketing generates leads by drawing prospects in with a gentle pull.
The days of high-pressure sales tactics and interruption marketing are over. Inbound marketing serves your customers and prospects by adding value first.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a content-oriented marketing approach designed to bring visitors to your website naturally.
The idea is that people want to digest high-quality, value-oriented information. By creating it and promoting it, people are naturally drawn into your business offering. While it is not a quick-fix solution, inbound marketing is a time-tested method of bring people interested in your services to your business.
Below are some of the types of content that are best used for inbound marketing:
- Blog Articles
- Free Educational Courses
- …and more!
Once you have created your content (strategically), there are many ways to pull people into your content naturally.
Some of these promotional methods used to drive inbound leads (and website visitors) are:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Email Marketing and Newsletters
- Blog Subscriptions
- Social Media
- Guest Posting
- And much more!
Why do Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is all about the pull. There are no push tactics involved.
By generating high-quality content, website visitors become more engaged in your brand, resulting in a higher likelihood of investing in your products/services.
Studies show that the longer people stay engaged in your content, the more likely they are to become a customer in the long run.
Valuable content builds trust. We naturally start to trust people who give us what we want and need. It’s no different with original content that speaks to the needs of your target customers.
It should not be “salesy” or pushy, but instead it gives value and, in doing so, builds your platform and allows you to show your offering in the website. It’s a give first, ask second approach.
Furthermore, great content gets linked by other websites, thereby improving the volume and quality of your backlinks — a major search engine ranking signal.
How Inbound Marketing Works
Before we begin, we will have a quick conversation to see if we are a good fit for one another. There are some businesses and industries that are not best suited for our services, so it’s important to see if we’re a match before going on to the next steps.
Instead of jumping straight from a conversation to a proposal, we take the time to understand your business and competitive landscape in detail.
If we both decide your company is a good fit for the services we offer, we will go ahead with the discovery phase.
- We give you a detailed questionnaire.
- We go off and do our own research.
- From the answers in your questionnaire, we may ask some further questions for clarification
- A short time later, we report back with a complete document outlining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your business in terms of your online presence.
The Discovery Report takes the form of an informational resource as well as a proposal for our ongoing services. It will give detailed insight and justifications for how we best suggest implementing your inbound marketing efforts. We’ll outline which mix of tools, tactics, budget allocations and technologies that will best maximize your return on investment.
Using the information found in the discovery phase, we’ll go deep into the strategy phase and outline exactly how the work is going to get done.
This phase will combine all the working parts and explain how they will work codependently as a whole.
We will agree on the specifics, outline timelines, exact budgets, outline key performance indicators, identify targets and discuss next steps.
The Discovery and Strategy document will be yours to keep. You still get to decide whether you want to go forward with our services, and you’re not committed to working with us until you sign a separate agreement.
This discovery and strategy phase, with a deliverable outlining specific activities and directions, can cost anywhere from $500-$5,000+, depending on the size of your business, requirement complexities, and level of competition in your service area or industry. The price is then rolled into your ongoing services should you decide to move forward with our services.
When the strategy is finalized and we agree to move forward, we will go ahead with the setup phase. Setup will entail getting everything necessary on your web properties before we begin to drive inbound leads.
Setup typically takes one month from the date of completion. Once it’s completed, we work on the ongoing inbound marketing services on a monthly arrangement.
We set out on all the assigned tasks and strategies, tweaking, measuring and analyzing the data until we have a well-oiled inbound marketing machine. Often it takes between 1 to 3 months before seeing a positive return on investment. While inbound marketing is not a magical service or a miracle opportunity, it does work and has worked for businesses in almost every industry. We refine our strategy and resources until it’s a clear win for your company.
Using a variety of data analytics tools, we analyze the data each month and present our results for you to review.
The most important KPI is your return on investment. We aim to draw a straight line between your investment and the financial results you see.
Unless your goals are intangible, such as brand awareness, we do our best to ensure you make a positive return on every dollar you spend on our services.
If you’re not seeing results after a few months, we will determine the cause and tweak our strategy. If we still aren’t producing a positive return on investment, we will either stop offering our services or work for free. The last thing we want is to take money from you when you’re not returning a positive ROI.
Case Study Example
We have a hair salon client that gets serious results with their inbound marketing strategy.
Their approach is simple. It starts with a monthly blog post, shared on social media and to their email subscribers, and the SEO benefits are plentiful. The salon and spa get hundreds of monthly visitors to their website via organic search.
Every month, they think about what promotions they want to offer their customers. Whether it is new hair/spa products, or services that have high value or under-utilized, or services that are seasonal or interesting in nature, they decide what to offer their customers in the form of a promotional offer.
Once they have that idea, a staff member interviews another member of staff who typically performs the related service. They write it in a question and answer format, which is exactly how a potential customer would search for it on Google.
This interview then becomes a blog post. It creates great content for search engines, as it solves questions people are actually searching for. It also informs and adds value to their prospects and customers who read the article and learn about the features and benefits of the products and services.
An informed customer is a happy customer.
Once they have the blog post, they send it to us (we write content too, by the way), and we post it on their website and cross-link it with other posts and pages on their website. We publish it using search engine optimization best practices, too.
From there, we share the article with an accompanying image on their social media pages.
Lastly, we put the content into an email newsletter, which goes out to their customers who opted-in to receive their newsletters.
The newsletter results in an increase of appointments (which can be booked online for their convenience) and an overall increase of brand trust and awareness, and it also keeps them top of mind.
Whether the people who see the blog post, read the article or get the email newsletter actually purchase is one thing (and they do.. we measure it). But the referrals they get from their network just for being top of mind is the real magic.
To get subscribers to opt-in their newsletter, they offer an in-store monthly giveaway contest of products provided by their suppliers. Everyone wins.
Think that can’t work for your business? There are many ways to use the same concepts to drive visitors to your website and increase the number of monthly leads you get.
Talk to us to see what we mean.