Boost Your Profitability Online: Switch To Inbound Marketing

Why did we make this guide?

The days of web presence are gone for the sole purpose of innovation. Owning a site is now part of a logic of profitability and a global marketing strategy of the company.

Unfortunately, there are still many companies that do not take the web seriously, believe that the website is sufficient on its own and thus devour their budget each year in poorly targeted or ill-prepared web actions of which they see no result. , no return on investment.

Faced with this observation, it became urgent to show that all is not lost. Those who know Inbound Marketing know what I’m talking about and for others, this guide will be an opportunity to understand how to do modern web marketing.

Who is this guide for?

Intended for business executives, marketing directors, or anyone else working in a marketing department, which will be all the more valuable to you if you want:

  • make customer acquisition a priority
  • develop your sales
  • modernize your marketing

How to use this guide?

This guide follows a logical order of progression based on the Inbound methodology. We recommend that you read the sections one after the other, of course starting with the first. However, each section can also be read separately.

Understanding Webmarketing

Marketing is considered as a set of actions with the objectives of studying and influencing the needs and behaviors of consumers and then continuously adapting production and the commercial apparatus according to the needs and behaviors previously identified.

Digital marketing creates and satisfies demand using the power of the web.

The Internet has changed the way businesses do business and is not just a new marketing channel. It indeed creates a new paradigm about how consumers and brands are linked, or how products and services are promoted and purchased. 

This new model gives pride of place to the consumer by placing him at the center of any business strategy. With his strong influence, he imposes new ways of selling and communicating on brands.

For proof, think about the last big purchase you made (booking a vacation, buying a car, etc.).

What’s the first thing you did? Like over 80% of consumers, you have probably opened your computer and searched for information to learn more about the product or service in question and find the best solution.

Webmarketing, therefore, groups together the tactics deployed on the web to:

  • Attract qualified traffic to your site
  • Engage in a relationship of trust with your potential consumers
  • Convince visitors to get in touch

For several years, a new approach to digital marketing has been developing, inbound marketing which offers a non-intrusive, innovative, and effective methodology, which corresponds to current behaviors on the web and which is user-centered.

Inbound marketing: human marketing

A little history

The concept appeared in 2005 in the United States, inbound respond effectively to the new behaviors of users in constant search of information but who also wish to control themselves their own cycle of thought, the making of contact and the transformation.

Previously, Internet users contacted companies directly to obtain more information about a product or service. Today they get information with a simple Google search

Companies have had to adapt to this change in purchasing behavior by favoring natural rather than aggressive communication, hence the birth of this marketing philosophy.

Definition of inbound marketing

The inbound is a human-centered marketing strategy to attract customers with relevant content and meet their needs rather than to solicit intrusively with traditional outbound marketing techniques.

Inbound marketing makes it possible to encourage Internet users to come naturally to you (on the Internet) while strengthening your credibility and your notoriety.

This approach of making your business your own medium must be in place for the long term and involve your entire business.

Even if the production of content is the basis of the success of an inbound marketing strategy, it should not be limited to this action. Indeed, as we will see later in the guide, other campaigns must be implemented in addition.

How does Inbound Marketing work?

Inbound marketing has its own methodology composed of 4 phases:

This illustration shows the customer acquisition process in inbound marketing: attracting, converting, concluding and retaining loyalty and details the stages through which a person will go: Unknown> Visitors> Prospects> Customers> Ambassadors.

1 / Generate traffic to your website

The first step in the inbound marketing methodology is to attract qualified visitors to the site.

A visitor is called a person who simply browses the website without having yet interacted with the company. And no, not all visitors will become customers. It would be too simple otherwise.

When we drive traffic to a site, we don’t just bring in droves, we are looking for good quality traffic that matches your potential targets. Otherwise, how can you expect your visitors to become prospects and then satisfied customers?

Who to bring?

Your ideal clients, your “personas” that we will have defined in advance with you. Without them, no strategy is possible. Indeed, before setting up your inbound marketing strategy, it is imperative to think about the people you want to reach and to segment your audience. In short, a persona (or buyer persona) is an imaginary representation of your ideal target that takes the form of a fictional character. In order to make it as real as possible, its profile must be very detailed. In general, it will be necessary to create several that will correspond to all the segments of your target.

How to succeed in attracting your potential customers?

a. Setting up and feeding a blog

Without a blog, there is no salvation. The very principle of inbound marketing is based on content and what could be more effective to offer it than to own a blog. But once your blog is up and running, it’s a good idea to feed it with informative content that speaks to them and answers their questions.

b. Use of social networks

Once your blog is fed with relevant content, it should be promoted and for that, social networks are a good opportunity to attract your prospects and humanize your business.

vs. Identify your users’ keywords

Your visitors don’t find you by chance. They usually start their buying process with a web search, often using a search engine. For this, they enter queries on which you must be positioned, whether in natural referencing or via advertising. To achieve this, we start by carefully choosing your keywords to optimize your pages, write content, and build links.

Example:

Take the case of a site that I really appreciate for its philosophy, its quality of content, and its professionalism: Open classroom. Specialized in digital training at the grassroots, the company communicates on many events and establishes many partnerships. On the purely digital side, the company has a modern site, a blog regularly updated and strong communication on social networks, offering them a community of several hundred thousand subscribers.

All of their digital actions thus allow them to generate several hundred thousand monthly visitors.

2 / Turn your visitors into prospects

Once the visitor has entered the site, it is a matter of not letting them leave immediately and of establishing a relationship of trust with them so that they agree to leave you a little memory: information relevant to you (Name, company, need…).

For this, it will be necessary to offer him content offers that are of value to him, such as white papers, ebooks, templates, checklists, etc. to download or to subscribe to your newsletter. Basically, it is give and take.

Certainly, with the GDPR it may seem more complicated but all is not lost;)

Depending on its progress in its purchasing journey, the installation of a chat or the possibility of making an appointment directly online can be other solutions to install on your site to get in touch.

How to successfully convert your visitors?

a. Call-to-action

Also called a call to action, these are often buttons or links encouraging users to perform an action defined as “register for our next webinar”, “download our request for documentation” …

b. Landing pages

Or landing pages, they detail the offer summarized in the call-to-action and collect information from visitors who thus become prospects. This information allows your sales forces to start a relationship with these identified visitors.

vs. The forms

To retrieve the desired data, you need forms. We study together with the essential fields and optimize the forms to maximize their filling.

d. CRM / software

Retrieving contact details is not easy, so keeping track of them in a centralized marketing database will allow you to better understand the different interactions with your contacts and to optimize future actions.

Example:

The success of Open classroom allows it to offer degree courses in exchange for a paid subscription.But as not everyone is ready to pay 300 $ / month without knowing the quality of the courses, it also offers the possibility of seeing courses in the free version.

Of course, no diploma is required (this is normal) but the visitor can freely form his opinion and assess whether the training which interests him is worth it.

To register, the visitor must complete a simple form asking only for his name, first name and email. The company immediately qualifies “prospects” potentially interested in its services.

3 / Convert your prospects into customers

As your visits, notifications, and exchanges progress, the trust that you initiated in the previous step will intensify and become strong enough for you to become an authority figure in your field in the eyes. of your prospect.

You will understand, this does not happen overnight. This relationship takes time and that is why Inbound Marketing is more suitable for companies with long sales processes.

In order to mature your leads and only transfer real opportunities ready to become customers to your sales teams, several techniques can be used in this phase of closing the sale or inbound sales:

  • lead nurturing: a strategy that consists of feeding your prospects with relevant content (according to their areas of interest and the phase of the purchasing cycle in which they are) until their “maturation”, that is – say until they are ready to buy your product or consume your service. The content can be sent via a newsletter, by chat or published on social networks. Lead nurturing can increase your sales by around 20%.
  • lead scoring: qualification of prospects via software which consists of assigning them a score according to their actions in order to give priority to those who are the most qualified and potentially profitable.
  • emails: Sending automatic emails to your leads after they’ve downloaded a resource helps build trust with them and move them through the buying cycle so that they convert.
  • marketing automation: a set of tools and tactics to automate certain repetitive tasks. It is advisable to use marketing automation software for your lead nurturing and your emails in order to save you time and accurately measure the return on investment of the webmarketing campaigns carried out.

During this stage, the marketing and sales team must work closely together.

4 / Retain your customers

Implementing all actions to offer a pleasant experience, satisfy and retain your customers is the fourth (and last) step of an inbound marketing strategy.

The reasons for the importance of this phase:

  • Retaining a customer costs 25 times less than acquiring a new one
  • A satisfied customer can recommend your product/service to those around them and thus become an ambassador of your brand
  • His average basket is higher
  • He will turn less easily to the competition

To maintain the relationship with your customers so that they are loyal, you can interact and follow their comments on social networks in order to offer them adequate content.

Also you can use smart content and CTAs to personalize the blog post or service page but also the call to action according to the type of persona and the phase of the purchase cycle in which they are found.

The newsletter also remains an interesting tool as well as the events.

Why Inbound Marketing Will Improve Your Business Performance?

Traditional marketing no longer works. And this is all the more true in BtoB. Do you doubt it? So tell me what you think of the 15 spam emails you receive every day that are polluting your inbox.

Now, to capture the attention you need to:

  • understand your audience;
  • stand out;
  • offer value.

And that’s good. The very principle of inbound lies in giving your customers the place they deserve: the heart of your strategy.

But like any business leader, what you expect as a priority from your web marketing strategy is its profitability. Again, one of the biggest benefits of inbound is its ability to grow business sales in a quantifiable and sustainable way while aligning marketing and sales and to inspire you to consider your entire sales funnel. conversion to optimize each part efficiently.

Still not convinced? I understand you. Words, words, words …

A few numbers should convince you.

92% of companies using inbound marketing increase their traffic

For 85% of these businesses, this increase occurs within 7 months of launching their campaigns only.

92% of companies using inbound increase their lead generation

83% of these companies achieve these results in just 7 months

42% of companies using inbound marketing increase their conversion rate from leads to customers

A lead acquisition cost 62% lower than that in Outbound marketing

Source: Hubspot

How to prepare an inbound marketing strategy?

You will understand, the goal of an inbound marketing strategy is to meet the challenges of your business. And to be effective, it will be necessary to make a number of informed decisions. For this, it is essential to start with a detailed preparation which will then allow you to prepare the optimal action plan.

Analyze its existing

Before diving into a marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to take a step back and observe your company or brand, as well as any actions that are already taken. Indeed, haste is always a source of failure. It is therefore important to start any project by analyzing your existing one and to ask yourself a few questions:

  • How to precisely define your activity?
  • What are the obstacles hindering you in its development?
  • What are your goals in terms of business?
  • How is your turnover achieved? (Recurrence, size of customers, strategic customers, sectors, ranges concerned)
  • What are the marketing actions carried out (digital or not)?
  • The budgets allocated to each campaign?
  • The obtained results?
  • What are the skills of your teams in digital professions?
  • What digital resources are at your disposal? (case studies, brochures, white papers, etc.)

If you have the answers to these questions, you can move on to the next step.

Study your environment

The environment can be summed up as the “outside world” in which your business operates.

This may or may not positively influence the development of your business. Take the case of a road transport company. Rising fuel prices will directly influence its bottom line, lowering it, if no further compensatory measures can be taken.

This analysis can thus relate to the political, economic, social, technological, legal or environmental environment. It should make it possible to identify what should be integrated into the marketing strategy.

Define your buyer personas

To communicate effectively around your business, you must understand who you are going to address, and therefore define the targets (or buyer personas) that you dream of reaching with your product or service.

The buyer personas are semi-fictional characters, theoretical representations of your ideal clients. Defining them allows you to better understand your potential customers and adapt your content to their specific needs, behaviors and concerns.

Since the buying behavior of your targets changes over time, your inbound marketing strategy should follow the same path.

Understanding the buyer’s journey

Before becoming a customer, each prospect will go through different stages between the moment he sees a need and the moment he makes the decision to buy: the buying journey.

  • Discovery phase: awareness of a problem or a need but your persona does not know how to go about it.
  • Consideration phase: the search for information, solutions, or tools … to solve your problem or satisfy your need.
  • Purchase phase: comparison of solutions then selection of the product or service that best meets your needs. Your ideal client is looking for customer reviews, product/service characteristics, price, etc. in order to convince them that they are making the right choice.

You must identify and fully understand each phase in order to define the right content or messages to deliver to the right people, at the right time and thus support your prospects up to the customer stage.

Define and quantify its strategic objectives

Establishing quantified objectives in order to know the direction to follow and to be able to measure the performance of its actions (and correct them if necessary) is essential. Without a clear roadmap, your web strategy will be doomed to failure.

Knowing how to frame your objectives not only allows you to quantify what must be achieved but above all to keep your feet on the ground and not to be discouraged. To do this, set goals within your reach, ambitious enough to motivate you and be profitable but modest enough so that all participants accept it and that the disappointment is not insurmountable in case of failure.

To do this, set yourself SMART objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and temporally defined.

Study your competitors

Who else is speaking to your potential customers? What offer do they offer? How do they communicate? Can you fight or take inspiration from it?

The study of the competition makes it possible to identify the threats and especially the opportunities to be seized. Indeed, if a webmarketing axis is for example little used by your competitors, it may be wise to enter it.

It will also help to estimate the efforts to be provided (if your competitors are very active, you will have to be more aggressive in terms of communication), to monitor their evolution, to improve your site, and to adapt your web strategies.

With the development of Inbound Marketing, your competitors are no longer just those who offer the same service as you, but those who capture more of your prospects’ attention by offering them more valuable content.

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