What is Inbound Marketing?

What is inbound marketing?

Many people ask “what is Inbound Marketing?” It is a marketing strategy that gradually builds the trust of potential customers by providing  them information relevant to their stage in the purchase cycle. Improved customer experience and Inbound Marketing can therefore create a highly compelling and effect marketing approach.

Many, including marketing strategist David Meerman Scott (author of the number 1 best seller “the New Rules of Marketing and PR”) say that Inbound Marketing allows marketers to “earn their way” into a customer’s awareness. This contrasts with  traditional paid advertising that is more likely to ‘interrupt’ customer’s lives.

The term Inbound Marketing was first coined by HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan and builds on idea of Permission Marketing, a 1999 book by Seth Godin.

Compared with outbound marketing, Inbound reverses the relationship between company and customer. While outbound marketing pushes the product through various channels, inbound creates first awareness and then builds trust. In this way it attracts and then helps new customers make more effective purchase decisions. Central to this approach is education using content distributed via channels like blogs, social media, direct mail etc.

The stages of inbound marketing

what is inbound marketing?

Source: Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing process

According to Hubspot there are four stages of the inbound marketing process;

  1. Attracting visitors
  2. Converting them into leads
  3. Close the sale
  4. Delighting and retaining customers

Each of these stages takes you closer to your ultimate goal by developing a customer who will advocate your product or service to their friends and family. A lot of thought and action is required to guide customers successfully through this journey.

In summary Inbound Marketing starts with understanding your customers in detail therefore building persona’s will really help here. Next, you should build content that is relevant to the customer’s stage in their buying journey. All of the time you will be using the data to analyse and then optimise the results. Remember that Customer Experience should be top of mind during this process to ensure that you achieve a successful outcome.

Blue Dog Digital is a specialist Inbound Marketing Agency that holds Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Certification. Speak to us to see if we can help you.