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Inbound marketing

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Inbound marketing[1] is a technique for drawing customers to products and services via content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization and branding.[2]

Inbound marketing improves customer experience and builds trust by offering potential customers information they value via company sponsored newsletters, blogs and entries on multiple social media platforms.[citation needed]

Compared with outbound marketing, inbound reverses the relationship between company and customer. In fact, while outbound marketing pushes the product through various channels, inbound marketing creates awareness, attracts new customers with channels like blogs, social media, etc.

Main characteristics of Inbound Marketing:[edit]

  • Define the buyer: The content of the brand, perfect timing, advertising campaigns will revolve around the customer, to their necessities.
  • Understand the customer journey and purchases cycles: Establish the main phases of your potential customer and their principal touch points.
  • Establish your potential customer.
  • Build customer loyalty: It is usually more expensive to gain new customers than to maintain good relations with the ones you already have.
  • Use CRM
  • Content management

Strategies[edit]

Search Engine Optimization[edit]

Search engine optimization (SEO[3]) is the practice of utilizing search engine best practices to improve the visibility of a website or a webpage by ranking higher in the Search engine results page (SERPS) for keywords relevant to that particular website or webpage. There are several ways to improve a website or webpage's visibility:

Improving Crawlability[edit]

Leading search engines use crawlers[4] to find pages for their algorithmic search results. It is important to ensure that these search engine crawlers (AKA spiders) can successfully crawl a website or webpage in its entirety to fully determine the relevance of that website or webpage for its targeted keywords. Since some websites have millions of pages associated to them and that need to be indexed, the practice of Technical SEO will help improve a website's ability to get all of those pages indexed by a search engine and thereby improving their prospects of ranking within the search engine results pages.

Improving Content Relevance[edit]

Search engines utilize contextual relevance or semantic search to determine the relevancy of a website or webpage for a particular set of keywords. Improving content quality from a readability and relevancy perspective will help sites increase their relevance for a set of keywords and therefore should increase their keyword rankings and visibility within the search engine results page.

Improving Credibility

Search engines also determine relevancy based on internal and external links that are found across the internet. These backlinks will help associate a website or webpage with a particular set of keywords and can help improve the relevancy of this website or webpage for a particular set of keywords.

Search engine marketing[edit]

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of web marketing which involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages, principally through paid advertising. SEM is strictly connected to SEO in regards to paid promotion and being listed in the first search page.[citation needed] There are some methods and metrics to optimize websites: Keyword research and analysis, which ensure the site can be indexed in the search engine, finding the more frequently typed words;

Presence, which means how many times a web page is indexed by search engines and how many backlinks it gets.

Back-end tools such as Web Analytics tools

HTML validators[5]; tools that reveal the owners of various websites and can provide information related to copyrights and trademarks.

Process[edit]

To work well, inbound marketing needs a precise process that, if respected, provides a competitive advantage compared to outbound marketing[6]. The process is composed of four sequential steps: attract, convert, close, and "delight" in order to obtain more visitors on sites, to speed up conversions and finally increase the number of leads and prospects.

Attract[edit]

One of the most important differences between outbound and inbound marketing is the fact that "if classical marketing is betting on those people, inbound is betting on that person". it means that companies using inbound marketing know better which are the people they are talking with. They can do it through buyer personas[7]. The buyer personas[8] are semi-fictional representations of a businesses ideal customers. Only through them can a company know which is their ideal target and which channels they have to use to reach it. "Attract" does not mean attracting random people; companies want to attract the right people at the right time with the right content. Building a company on the buyer personas, one can define which are the beliefs, pains, hobbies, goals, etc. of the customer, and can create the right contents to attract visitors. Evergreen content plays a crucial role in building organic traffic[9] to websites or blogs.

Convert[edit]

After attracting the visitor on their website, for example, a company will be ready to convert him/her into prospect gathering his/her contact information. Emails are the most valuable information for an inbound marketer. The inbound marketer wants to attract the right visitor, so they will exchange a tutorial video, an ebook or something valuable for the customer so he/she will be glad to give his/her e-mail in return.

Close[edit]

Once the needed information is gathered, it is important to stay in contact with the prospects. How are prospects transformed into customers? Some helpful tools are:

Email integrated with call-to-action[edit]

Call-to-actions are very useful to let customer complete an action that we like. With this powerful tool we can generate a positive cycle that generates value both for our customer and for us. Generating useful contents and sending it periodically to our prospect we can create awareness but also build trust and make our close-customer be ready to buy something.

Customer-relationship management[edit]

Customer-relationship management (CRM) systems track the various steps of customer acquisition. Taking track of information regarding the customer, partner companies etc. it is possible to deliver the right message at the right time to the right person.[citation needed]

Smarketing reporting[edit]

Smarketing is a mix of sales and marketing. Generally, in big companies, they are two separate units, but they are usually mixed in inbound marketing to have complete and entirely understandable information between the two areas. With closed-loop reports, sales and marketing departments know which is the right time to close a deal with the customer and know if the customer is ready to be acquired.

Nurturing automation[edit]

Through the process of nurturing, companies make the customer ready to be acquired.

For example, if the visitor fills a form to download an ebook on a certain site, the company knows that their prospect is interested in the subject treated in the ebook. After collecting this information, they are ready to "nurture" their future probable customer with a series of emails, videos etc. connected with the subject he/she is interested in.[citation needed]

Delight[edit]

After attracting the fan, converting him into prospect, and letting him buy something from the company, the company has to keep in touch with their customer, continuing providing good and valuable contents with the hope of doing some upselling.

References[edit]

  1. HubSpot. "What Is Inbound Marketing? | HubSpot". www.hubspot.com. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  2. Patrutiu-Baltes, Loredana (2016). "Inbound Marketing - the most important digital marketing strategy" (PDF). Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Series V: Economic Sciences. Transilvania University of Brasov. 9 (2): 61. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  3. Hardwick, Joshua (2019-09-05). "What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization Explained". SEO Blog by Ahrefs. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  4. "How Google Search works | Crawling & indexing". www.google.com. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  5. "What is an HTML Validator? - Definition from Techopedia". Techopedia.com. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  6. Halligan, Brian. "Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing". blog.hubspot.com. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  7. Kusinitz, Sam. "The Definition of a Buyer Persona [in Under 100 Words]". blog.hubspot.com. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  8. Kusinitz, Sam. "The Definition of a Buyer Persona [in Under 100 Words]". blog.hubspot.com. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  9. "What is organic traffic? Definition". Omniconvert. Retrieved 2021-02-02.

Further reading[edit]

  • Halligan, Brian and Shah, Dharmesh (2009) Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs, John Wiley & Sons Inc.


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