The web and smartphones are the two tools that have changed the relationship between the companies and their customers forever. In addition to this, they have upset the paradigms of traditional marketing. The communication shot in the “pile”, typical of analogical media, showed all the limits of its effectiveness. But even the digital marketing of the first phase of the Internet centered on invasive advertising (banners and spam via email), also revealed its weaknesses.
The heart of marketing at the time of social networks, artificial intelligence technologies and chatbots is more and more the personalized relationship with each customer: the company must know how to find itself on every contact channel, respond effectively to the requests and needs of the potential consumers, produce a satisfying experience and generate a faithful relationship. The tools to build a new marketing model are offered by the inbound marketing, which aims to grow the business, taking care of and automating every step of the conversion process from a disinterested visitor to a true promoter of the brand or service.
Attract your next lead and turn it into a customer (and a fan)
The inbound marketing approach is based on the idea of attracting leads in a process that, through different phases and tools, allows to build a direct relationship with the customer, towards proposing increasingly personalized content and experiences capable of satisfying it. In other words, the company must be able to intercept the user’s attention towards its service or brand, optimizing the visibility and the communication quality of the “first contact”, the one that passes through a Google search, the vision of a post on a social network, reading an article from the corporate blog. This is the first step of inbound marketing: attract a visitor who does not yet know you. SEO, SEM and content marketing through blogs and social media are the most important weapons to use at this stage.
The second step is equally fundamental: the conversion. Being able to make the visitor perform a micro-conversion action means having the opportunity to get back in touch with him through the other channels. To do this, you need to obtain at least the basic information: the name and his email address. The best way to do this is to offer them valuable content or rewards, such as signing up for a newsletter, a trial version of a service, or a coupon. The best channels for this step are definitely the landing pages or the website.
Once the lead is created, the goal is to structure a relationship that can be constantly nourished by offering content and products that potentially interest the customer. “Close” is the imperative of this third step of inbound marketing, which bases its strength on the effectiveness of a well-structured and non-invasive email marketing for the user.
The last fundamental step is to cultivate customer loyalty and transform it – why not? – in a brand advocate through his acquaintances and on social networks. The most effective way to do this is to take advantage of what you know about him (his interests and behaviors) and place him in a pipeline that brings the most interesting content and offers to him.
The power of marketing automation (powered by content)
Giving further firepower to inbound marketing is the possibility of exploiting marketing automation techniques to develop a relationship with the customer. It is, in fact, possible to build workflows that plan the actions directed at the customer who shows an interest in the particular contents or services offered. Once the necessary assets have been created to carry out a campaign (landing page, forms to fill out on the site, email templates), the goal is to orchestrate the strategy step by step by programming a sequence of actions and messages that are activated on the basis of activity (or inactivity) of the customer.
To be effective, the marketing automation must be able to count on a basin of broad and valuable content, so that the user does not perceive the follow-up emails as pure spam: they have to be contents that are always up-to-date and different from each other, which push the customer to return to the site to read articles or find new offers.
Inbound marketing, because your company cannot do without it
Inbound marketing offers the possibility to overcome the limits and inefficiencies of the outbound and interruption marketing. The user-focused strategy, that is no longer based on annoying advertisements and aimed at everyone without distinction, makes it possible to optimize the acquisition process: increase in click-to-rate and conversion rates, automate the lead generation process, and achieve lower costs to acquire a new customer. You no longer have to look for new customers because – with the right strategy and content – they will be looking for you. Inbound marketing? Your business can’t do it without it.