Inbound marketing – the playbook

"How can I win customers for myself?" This question is as old as marketing itself. Viewed in a somewhat broader context, perhaps even as old as man himself. In this playbook, we explain how inbound marketing can help you attract your target audience, identify their true wants and needs, and respond to them accordingly.

The following storm-tested inbound marketing techniques will transform any online marketer, no matter how quiet, into an irresistible customer magnet.

Do not search, but be found

Inbound Marketing. inbound: arriving) is a sales method based on being found by customers. Because: "If you stop searching, you will be found." Every single person knows that. Outbound marketing – the desperately searching counterpart to inbound marketing – usually tries relatively indiscriminately to reach a broad mass via mail, print, radio, TV ads, flyers, SPAM, and telephone. In contrast, inbound marketing uses the more subtle methods of content marketing to attract and retain customers: email, SEO, social media, blogs, etc., which can be supported by marketing automation. Videos with real information value instead of annoying run-of-the-mill TV commercials. Topic-relevant blog post instead of meaningless print ad. High-quality content that creates added value and makes users curious to learn more, instead of platitudinous cold-calling. Inbound marketing promises not only more stable customer relationships in the long term, but also cost savings through more targeted communication and multiplier effects via intrinsically motivated customers who pass on your content.

In the right place at the right time

However, letting yourself be found does not mean sitting back and waiting. You have to get out there. It’s hard to be found at home – every single person knows that, too. On page 2 of the search engine results list, you will find the same. To be successful in getting found, you must first ask yourself the following questions: Where does my target group like to hang out? What interests you? What is she looking for? Position yourself accordingly. Visible but unobtrusive. Demonstrate depth by offering meaty content on topics you know are relevant to your audience through your inbound marketing activities. Without advertising or selling. In the initiation phase, your attention and therefore your communicative focus should be exclusively on your target audience.

Everything can, nothing must

Do not rush! Don’t make the mistake of jumping in with the door. A heavy-handed sales offer at the first point of contact is like a marriage proposal on a blind date – the likelihood of success is devastatingly low in both cases, making it not worth your time or money to try. The first touchpoint should be more like a serendipity, a supposedly fleeting touch that leaves a subtle but powerful mark. A seed is planted that – if properly nurtured and cared for – may germinate weeks, months, or even years later. Or not. To speak in the words of the content marketer: Content seeding streams content in a strategic way that aims to spread virally within the audience of the target group. Those users who germinate the seed – that is, who are interested in the content – are offered further content in the course of subsequent inbound marketing activities. This further qualification of leads is part of the so-called lead nurturing, which ultimately aims at converting leads into customers.

The Method

Inbound marketing is an art – though not one that can’t be learned. We recommend a 4-step approach:

1. generate traffic

The first step is to get visitors to notice you – in other words, drive traffic to your channels. A basic distinction is made between organic and paid reach, depending on whether or not you make contact with your audience through paid ads. In any case, it is crucial how well your content is optimized for the search terms of your target group with the help of search engine optimization (SEO). Because if you can’t be found, you won’t get a visit. No na.

2. Turn visitors into leads

"May I have your number?"
Visitors gained through relevant content are converted into leads in the second step, provided they are interested in further content on your information and service offering – and so interested that they share their contact details with you in return. For example, if you have led a customer to your landing page via your social media channel – i.e. if you have won her over as a visitor – you can give her the opportunity there to sign up for further content on your newsletter.

3. Convert leads to customers

"Will you go with me to my place?"
In short, it is essential to understand inbound marketing against this very background. Because if you have nothing to say, you won’t be able to reach anyone, let alone establish a relationship with your (potential) customers. In other words, no fuel, no energy. Only the content makes the tires rotate.

4. Analyze activities

"How was I?"
To make your inbound marketing activities sustainably profitable and satisfying, you need to measure their success regularly. Analyze the effectiveness of your efforts and adjust your strategy accordingly. Modern tools can help to show optimization potential and bring you even closer to your target group.

We are convinced that you can get the most out of this inbound marketing methodology and soon you will make a lot of customers very happy. To learn more about the concept of inbound marketing, and what its higher purpose is, click here.

If you have any unanswered questions beyond that, we are happy to serve as your wing team, your date doctors, your matchmakers.

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