Inbound marketing is defined as marketing in such a way that customers find you by their own methods of searching for a service. The main points of inbound marketing are earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found, providing an online source that gets perspective clients from point a to A to B efficiently maximizes the consumer confidence in their own decisions. The days of banner ads, billboards and cold calling have somewhat come and gone with the short attention span of American consumers. Much of what was the marketing 10 years ago has become white noise to the modern online consumer. The solution that inbound marketing has provided is creating the illusion that the consumer is the one driving the sale. This is what I have been doing as a Charlotte inbound marketing professional for over 10 years. Inbound marketing strategies didn’t have a name back then it just meant I was a very active SEO doing what I do.
When an online shopper or perspective client chooses their own method of shopping for a service they enter the sales cycle with more confidence. A consumer that feels he is the one that pulled the trigger and started your relationship with them naturally converts at a higher rate. The inbound marketer that best sets the table for this illusion is the one that is effective at his or her job. Creation of online forums, blogs and articles that provide information a consumer can trust is one big part of this equation. A consumer that finds answers to their questions and has determined for them you are a reliable source of the product or service they need is ready to buy.
This all leads to the second key component of inbound marketing which is saturation. A well run campaign of inbound marketing makes sure you product or service and your associated expertise is everywhere they will look. If the searching client goes to review sites, blogs, article or news sources they will find a demonstration of your expertise and an easy effective way to inquire further. An Inbound marketing expert will make sure the “ace of spades” you want them to choose is the card located on top of every deck. This is attached to reputation defense in some ways. Making sure that all natural paths to your service have been covered, saturated and reflect well on your service allows you to be confident the leads that “find you on their own” walk through your door having convinced themselves you are a good investment.
A third key component now comes into play, which is to convert them at the highest rate possible. You have already built your brand or product online in all channels available and must make sure that once through the door the conversion rate is maximized. This is the segment where good inbound marketers earn their paycheck and figure well into any marketing budget. The difference between a 2% and a 4% conversion rate for clients can pay for the cost of marketing many times over. You have already made sure they found you and that they already approached you with confidence in your product. These first steps have already increased you conversion rate with diminished skepticism in the buyer. The buyer on your website now must get to the conversion goal of your website with little confusion and before that confidence in your service fades. A good design, a strong landing page and a call to action that answers their specific questions of needs closes the deal.
A Good inbound marketer knows the source of the traffic and what door they will enter through. He must know the question, service or product need that go t them to that page and now must have less than 2 steps to get them to the closing of the sale. Reducing your bounce rate with easy steps and very specific calls to action that get them to the end of their search should be your #1 consideration in your website design. Every step you have done so far has been to let the buyer feel they made the decisions, now this part is about closing the sale before that feeling fades.
Inbound marketing has always existed in my personal philosophy because I do not like to pay for traffic. The internet will always have traffic for your product if you make sure you put your “ace” on top of every deck online. Saturation, brand development and letting the consumer feel they found you on their own and made the decision to buy from you is just a way to increase conversion. A website that shortens the sale process and knows where and what the customer came to your for is the end game.
Get seen, be in control of what they see, let the consumer feel like they found you and get them to the conversion page fast and you will shave percentage points off your lost sales with more eager shoppers.