Inbound marketing is the future of lead generation. By focusing on what your ideal client needs, you can create a more personalized experience for them and position yourself as their expert advisor. No wonder inbound marketing is better than outbound, since you’re able to focus more on generating leads and converting them into customers for your business.
This means that instead of wasting money trying to find new clients, you are focused on educating potential clients about what they need from your business. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of using an inbound marketing funnel to generate and convert more leads, including how to build one.
What is inbound marketing strategy?
Inbound marketing strategy is a shift in the way companies gather leads and prospects. Instead of using outbound tactics such as cold calling or email blasts, inbound focuses on providing real value to your target market in an attempt to build trust with them. It encourages businesses to blog, create helpful content for their audience, publish videos discussing industry issues and inbound marketing in general, and more.
What are the four stages of the inbound methodology?
The inbound methodology is a process of converting non-buyers into buyers. The stages are as follows:
Attract – In this stage, you’re targeting your ideal client and drawing them to your website. You can do so by speaking at events or writing a blog post about an issue they care about .
Engage – Once someone has arrived on your website, you can engage with them through social media , email , or a webinar .
Convert – Now it’s time to turn those leads into paying customers. You do so in part by using an internet marketing strategy such as SEO. Or maybe after following along with your content for some time, they’re ready to purchase your service .
Delight – Your work is not done after converting a lead into a customer. You can delight them by providing ongoing support and making sure you deliver on what was promised.
The classic sales funnel
The classic sales funnel is a classic tool that’s been used for years to help businesses convert leads into customers. It starts with a prospect, then moves through the various levels of the classic sales funnel–lead, prospect, and customer–until it ends with an advocate.
The classic sales funnel starts with a prospect. The next step is to turn them into a lead. This involves giving prospects something to invest in their future–such as your company’s newsletters or other online content.
Next you’ll want to turn them into a prospect. This could be done by inviting them to join your email list or by giving them access to some type of valuable content or resource such as an e-book . Next you turn your prospects into paying customers by selling your product or service.
What is an inbound marketing funnel?
An inbound marketing funnel is similar to the classic sales funnel, but instead of focusing on converting your leads into customers at all costs , you’re providing them with valuable content in an attempt to build trust. By doing so, they’ll be more likely to purchase from you and recommend your business to their friends.
Inbound marketing funnels convert better in a variety of ways. First, inbound marketing provides a more personalized experience for people by targeting what the ideal client needs.
Secondly, inbound marketing focuses more on generating leads and converting them in customers in contrast to outbound which is more focused on finding new ones–therefore inbound marketing is less expensive in the short term.
Lastly inbound focuses more on providing value and education to potential clients in order to build trust–therefore inbound marketing can be seen as more valuable when it’s time to sell something in the future.
What are the 3 stages of marketing funnel?
The first stage is attracting your ideal client, which you can do through blogs and content. At the top of the funnel, your goal is to gather information about your audience so you can provide them with the right content.
The second stage is engaging, which includes marketing through social media and email newsletters . The goal for this stage is to move people from one part of your funnel into another–for example by following a blog post that leads to an e-book or webinar.
The third stage is converting, which means turning your leads into paying customers. This could be done by selling a product or service or offering an ongoing support program.
How to map out an inbound content marketing funnel
Map out your ideal client or customer and map out what they need at each part of the funnel.
- Who is my target audience?
- What does my target audience need to move from one stage to another in a successful way?
- How can I provide valuable content so that people want more information from me as well as build trust?
- What incentive can I provide to people who sign up for my email list?
- How will I promote blog posts on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter in order to reach new audiences?
Inbound marketing is a great way of generating leads because the focus is less about pushing sales messages out there, but providing value.
How do you build an inbound marketing funnel?
1. Define your target audience
When you know who your ideal client is, it’s easier to build a relevant funnel that appeals specifically to them. You can do this through surveys and interviews with current customers as well as customer discovery sessions where you meet people in person or conduct market research online.
2. Identify and prioritize the needs of your target audience
Once you have a better idea of who your target audience is, think about what they need in order to build trust. What information can you provide them with so that when the time comes for a product or service sale it’s an easy transition?
For example, if you’re trying to attract people in the marketing industry and build trust through your content, you might start by sharing a blog post on how to build a large social media following. If your goal is to build trust and move them from the top of the funnel into engaging with you through email newsletters or other content, then this would be an important step in building trust.
3. Create valuable blog posts that are informative and entertaining
Your blog posts are the backbone of your funnel. Every step should build off what you’ve already provided so that it’s easy for people to move from one part of the funnel into another–for example, by following a link in an email newsletter or reading something on your website.
Keep in mind that every stage is meant to build trust with your audience. You want people to build a relationship with you and what you have to offer–therefore, providing valuable content is the best way to do this.
4 .Offer an incentive for people to sign up for your email list, such as a free eBook or webinar
If your blog posts are helpful and informative, people will want to sign up for more. This is where an incentive comes into play–people might be willing to give you their email address in exchange for free advice that can help them build trust with potential clients down the road.
A blog post might offer information on how to build a large social media following, and at the end of that post you might say something like, “In order to learn more about building a large social media following sign up for our email newsletter. We’ll send an exclusive eBook with this information as well as additional content we think you’ll find helpful.”
5. Promote blog posts on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter in order to reach new audiences
Once you’ve published a blog post, use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to promote it. You want as many people to see your content as possible–social media is one of the best ways to do this because there are so many people on these sites.
As people share your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, build relationships with them. Add them to your email list or interact with them in some other way so that they continue seeing what you have to offer through social media platforms.
The more opportunities someone has to see your content, the more likely it is that they’ll consider doing business with you.
What is an inbound marketing flywheel?
An inbound marketing flywheel is a tool used to visualize the steps that it takes for someone to become a customer.
The inbound marketing flywheel shows how each step of your inbound marketing strategy contributes, builds off of and supports other stages in order to generate leads and convert them into paying customers.
It starts with attracting traffic from inbound marketing (SEO, Social Media and Inbound Sales) to your website. From there the customer has an easy experience navigating through blog posts or content that they can engage with in order to build trust. As a result, leads become customers who produce more inbound leads which improves SEO rankings and so on.
Comparing inbound marketing funnel and flywheel
The inbound marketing funnel is different from the flywheel because it’s linear, whereas the flywheel can be broken down into stages of a business.
For example, you might use an inbound marketing funnel to show someone how they can get leads for their sales team by using paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter–this starts with them signing up for a trial of your software, which leads them to watching a demo or whiteboard session where they can see how the product works. From there, you’re able to schedule a call with an account manager and finally set up their paid campaigns.
The inbound marketing flywheel is more circular in that it goes back through each stage again after a customer has been acquired.
For example, a blog post might offer information on how to build a large social media following–this is the “attract” stage of the flywheel. After someone signs up for your email list or follows you on Twitter as a result of reading this blog post, they will see more content from you as well as other people sharing your content.
This will build trust and help them take the next step, such as becoming a customer or client, which then leads back to generating more inbound traffic through SEO rankings that continue building off of one another.
Inbound funnel or flywheel?
It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
If your goal is to offer educational content like blog posts, the inbound marketing flywheel might be more effective because it helps build trust and credibility with potential customers or clients over time rather than offering one piece of content that someone can engage with only once before moving on.
However, if you’re trying to attract traffic from paid advertising, an inbound marketing funnel can be a better option because it shows how your product or service will help someone directly.
Both offer benefits that you might not get with the other–a funnel is great for generating leads while the flywheel helps nurture them into customers who are likely to become repeat buyers.
How do you know if you are using the inbound method correctly?
When inbound marketing is done correctly, you’ll see a steady increase in the number of people visiting your website and engaging with your content as well as an improvement in traffic from organic search rankings.
To test your marketing funnel, send a small number of people to the top. This will give you an idea on whether or not they are engaged with what’s happening in that part of their journey and how it compares against other parts such as later stages where there could potentially be more leads for example.
It’s important to track the number of people who enter each stage. You can do this by using Google Analytics or a similar service that tracks traffic from site visitors into actions on your website, including their interests and any final outcome they achieve within it (like converting). That way you know where there might be room for improvement.
Ask yourself whether you are getting enough traffic at each step in order for this to be successful in the long term. If not, consider changing something about that particular step in order to get more traffic.
For example, if you’re using social media as a part of your inbound marketing funnel and it’s not generating any leads or traffic at all for whatever reason, consider creating more content that is targeted to those who use Twitter in particular in order to get their attention–this could be done through research into what they are interested in or what they engage with.
You might also want to use paid advertising in order to boost the funnel, which is where it could be beneficial for you to have a clear idea of how much traffic at each stage will make this successful in the long term–especially if that’s something that needs improvement.
It’s time to implement an inbound marketing sales funnel
Blogging is important in inbound marketing. Start your blog now to help you generate and convert more leads in the future. Blogging will give you a platform for communicating with potential customers, building trust through content that educates them on the benefits of what they need or want, and ultimately increasing sales over time.
It can also be used as a lead generation tool by providing valuable information in an engaging way–even if it’s not directly selling anything yet. As long as people are reading your posts consistently, blogging has been shown to increase traffic from organic search rankings which drives more visitors into your site without having to spend money on advertising campaigns.
If this sounds difficult or overwhelming then let us know because we have experts ready and waiting who can partner with you in order to help you succeed.