Did you know that over 32% of marketers have reported that securing enough budget is one of their biggest challenges?
This challenge is likely two-fold. First is being able to track the ROI of your efforts (we’ve talked more about that challenge here and here). Second, which we want to tackle today, is being able to clearly illustrate what a successful inbound marketing strategy looks like and what it will take to get there.
In today’s post, we’re going to examine the steps of a successful inbound strategy, along with some helpful (and humorous) visuals you can use to explain inbound to your team.
Explaining the Inbound Marketing Methodology
What is Inbound Marketing:
Inbound marketing provides the unique opportunity to generate quality leads by creating content that educates your prospects and pulls them through the sales funnel. This is opposed to outbound marketing, whose tactics buyers are becoming ever more adept at ignoring, or blocking altogether.
Using Content to Attract Potential Buyers
Inbound is predicated on educating your audience instead of selling to them. This means that a steady stream of high quality content is going to be the cornerstone of inbound success. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago. With investments in content continuing to rise this means that it will take more valuable and unique content than ever to break through the noise.
The catch is that by creating this content you’ll be attracting a larger audience to your site, so not every audience member will be a good fit for your business. For example, a B2B technology company writing about content marketing might attract some readers in the B2C space. Their product might not be a good fit for these readers, so it’s important to create a system to qualify and move potential prospects down the funnel. You don’t want to send unqualified prospects down your funnel, so make sure they understand a deal just won’t work.
Or, you want to really personify your prospects and get them to do the work for you. Set up buttons or CTAs to declare themselves as one of your personas. They’ll qualify themselves and just show up like:
One of the most important things to relate to your team as you undertake this initiative is that inbound will take time to build. Tell your team you’ll be crushing your goals in three weeks with six blog posts and Kanye might give you one of these:
Instead, discuss that this strategy will take time. MOZ has one of my favorite graphics illustrating this, showing that investment and return take approximately 6-months to intersect:
Using Content to Convert to Leads
Once you’ve created the content, now it’s time to convert those prospects and turn them into qualified leads. To convert a prospect they need to be interested in your content. If you’re creating engaging content than through the use of form fields to grab their information, CTAs to entice them to click and then turn them into a contact in your database.
Remember that the more engaging the content is, the easier it will be to seduce the prospect, the better your conversion rates will be.
Nurturing Inbound Leads
Lead nurturing is the process you enact to engage a defined target group by offering relevant info at each buyer’s journey stage. An effective lead nurturing program moves your prospects through a sales development process, through to “purchasing customer” status.
It’s important, though, that your lead nurturing program follows a clear process and doesn’t just consist of a series of emails. An “educate, inform, engage, convert” roadmap is your best option. Using that method, there are several lead nurturing programs or strategies that can work to move leads through the funnel to the close stage. Tell your team how a successful lead nurturing program gives your funnel a kick to get and keep leads moving.
Now that you’ve got the recipe for Inbound Marketing Methodology you’ll bring in a ton of new leads and convert those best leads into slam dunk deals! Have you come across any .gifs that explain Inbound Marketing in a clever or unique way? If so, share them in the comments section below!