What is Inbound Marketing?

Before the Internet, advertising and marketing were for the most part driven by outbound marketing which is buying attention, cold calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and other forms of traditional advertising.

Today Inbound marketing is quickly becoming the most effective marketing method for doing business online, it focuses on creating quality content that attracts people to your business, products, and services where they naturally want to be. 

This is why it's important to know your “WHY” because that is what will drive your market base and what you love to do will attract others that share similar interests, "THAT'S THE SECRET".

Sharing is caring and inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your dream customers, inbound attracts visitors to your business and keeps them coming back for more.

By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your visitors, not interruptive - Now that’s marketing people can love.

The Main Themes
Create targeted content that answers your visitors and customers basic questions and needs, then share that content far and wide, "BROADCASTING". Here are 4 Ways To Share Your Content Far And Wide with or without a website.

Brand promoters don’t just appear out of thin air, they start off as visitors, leads then customers. Specific marketing actions and tools, transform those visitors into promoters. Share the revenue - “AFFILIATES”.

Tailor your content to the wants and needs of those who are viewing it. As you learn more about your visitors over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs. Build your sphere of influence.

Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you - Social media channels

Content creation, publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well oiled machine - allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time - Tracking and measuring traffic, comments and responsive interactions.

The Four Marketing Actions
By aligning the content you publish with your visitor's interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

Simple concept really, execution is the challenge but with a little understanding, some instruction and determination, any entrepreneurial motivated individual can make a success with the right tools.

We don’t want just any traffic to our site, we want the right traffic. We want the visitors who are most likely to become leads and ultimately, happy customers. Who are the “right” customers?, our ideal customers also known as buyer personas. 
Buyer personas are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.

Some of the most important tools used to attract the right visitors to your site include:

Blogging - Inbound marketing starts with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right potential customers, create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions, using a free Content Management System (CMS) like Google Blogger is a great place to start if your new to blogging. Did you know it's the 2nd most popular on the internet.

SEO - Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. So, you need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when and where they search. To do that, you need to carefully, analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.

Pages - Your website pages are your digital storefront, so put your best face forward! Optimize your website to appeal to your ideal buyers and transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to attract the right people to visit your pages.

Social Publishing - Successful inbound strategies are all about remarkable content and social publishing allows you to share that valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.

Once you’ve attracted website visitors, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. At the very least, you’ll need their email address. Contact information is the most valuable currency there is to the online marketer, so in order for your visitors to offer up that currency willingly, you need to offer them something in return! That “payment” comes in the form of content, like a free ebook, whitepapers, or tip sheets - any useful information that would be interesting and valuable to each of your personas.

Some of the most important tools used to convert visitors into leads include:

Forms - In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.

Calls-to-action - are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like download a free ebook or attend a free webinar. If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate leads.

Landing Pages - When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and when the visitor submits information you can then use this to begin a conversation with them. When a website visitor fills out a form on a landing page for the first time, that visitor becomes a contact. Learn how to Create Free Landing Pages Like a Pro

Contacts - Keep track of the leads you're converting in a centralized marketing database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense out of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts - be it through email, a landing page, social media, or otherwise and how to optimize your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and delight your buyer personas.

You’re on the right track. You’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers. How can you most effectively accomplish this? Certain marketing tools can be used at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times.

Some of the most important tools used to close customers include:

CRM - Keep track of the details about all your contacts in your pipeline, and easily get in touch with the right contacts at the right time. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems facilitate sales by making sure you have the right information at your fingertips to better engage with prospects across every channel.

Closed loop reporting - How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales system effectively closing those best leads into customers? Integration with your CRM system allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are interacting together.

Email Marketing - What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your free offer, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust and help them become more ready to buy. Learn more with Free Email Marketing Made Easy

Marketing Automation - This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a free offer on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.

The Inbound way is all about providing remarkable content to your users, whether they be visitors, leads, or existing customers. Just because someone has already made a purchase from you doesn’t mean you can forget about them. Inbound companies continue to engage with, delight, and "hopefully" upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of the business and the products and services they love.

Some of the most important tools used to delight customers include:

Surveys - The best way to figure out what your users want is by asking them. Use feedback and surveys to ensure you’re providing customers with what they’re looking for.

Smart Calls-to-Action - These present different users with offers that change based on buyer persona and lifecycle stage.

Smart Text - Provide your existing customers with remarkable content tailored to their interests and challenges. Help them achieve their own goals, as well as introduce new products and services that might be of interest to them.

Social Monitoring - Keep track of the social conversations that matter to you most. Look out for your customers questions, comments, likes, and dislikes and reach out to them with relevant content.

The New Methodology
The Inbound Methodology covers each and every step taken, tool used, and lifecycle stage traveled, from visitor to customer. It empowers marketers to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers, and delight promoters.

The new methodology acknowledges that inbound marketing doesn’t just happen, you do it, and you do it using tools and applications that help you create and deliver content that will appeal to precisely the right people, your buyer personas in the right places, social media channels at just the right times, lifecycle stages.

You can achieve all this whilst learning, earning and building a new or exisitng online business using free application tools, includes a FREE Lifetime Membership plus much more 😊

There is no black magic to successfully attracting customers via the web - Rand Fishkin

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