The 4 Phases of Inbound Marketing Explained

Recently, inbound marketing has changed the way companies communicate with their customers. Although drastically different from its counterpart, outbound marketing, this approach has been widely embraced by countless businesses because of its multiple benefits. And because it’s a multi-channel medium, conversations happen exactly where your audience is.

A huge selling point for many marketers.

In this article, we discuss the four main phases that make up the inbound marketing model.

Phase #1 – Attract

Although this is (arguably) the easiest phase in the model, actually attracting people to your business is easier said than done.

Unlike outbound marketing, which has a more generalized approach to attraction, inbound marketing places more emphasis on attracting the “right” kind of traffic to your website. This means people who are most likely to subscribe to the brand’s products and/or vision, making them highly convertible leads.

The best way to nail this strategy? Know who you’re selling to. Create your ideal client—again, the person who is sure to love your brand—by building a buyer persona. A buyer persona is basically a blueprint or paper representation of the kind of person you want to sell to because your product is literally made for them.

Once you know who your target is and once you’ve zeroed in on where they are in the general market, you then move to attract them through a number of inbound marketing techniques: quality content, SEO, social media, etc.

Need help in creating a buyer persona? Download our free template!

Phase #2 – Convert

The 4 Phases of Inbound Marketing Explained1If phase one is the “easiest” phase, phase two is perhaps the most difficult.

Once you’ve successfully attracted your ideal customers, you need to take steps to ensure they keep visiting your website. Sounds hard?

It is.

But it’s not impossible. After attraction comes conversion. This is where you turn organic visitors into high-quality leads by collecting their contact information – something most marketers consider as gold bullion.

With outbound marketing, this can be pretty tough to do, since many people are understandably careful with who they give their information to.

With inbound marketing, it’s a little easier.

As mentioned earlier, inbound marketing puts more emphasis on attracting highly-convertible leads. So when phase two happens, these people—who already relate to your message and/or product—are a little less reluctant to give out their contact details.

But before you take it, you need to first give them something in return. Something free. Quality content like eBooks, whitepapers, research studies, magazines—these are all usually well-received. Just remember that whatever you offer them must add value to your buyer persona.

You might also want to consider using landing pages, call-to-actions, capture forms, and similar tools to convert your visitors.

Find out how Leads Ngin can help you create high-value content offers that will keep your leads interested!

Phase #3 – Close

This is where the magic happens.

After attracting the right kind of visitors and converting them to leads, you need to make them your customers. Phase three is all about closing the deal with them.

In inbound marketing, closing the deal includes a wide range of tools such as closed-loop reporting, e-mail, marketing automation, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This may all sound a bit complicated, but it’s actually quite simple once you get used to it.

It all boils down to how you establish trust with your prospects and prepare them to buy your product or service. Don’t get hung up or worried about sounding “sales-y.” When done right, inbound marketing makes every sale feel like a service.

Phase #4 – Delight

Delight serves as the last stage of the inbound marketing methodology.

Let us be clear: after closing a deal, your relationship with your customer does not end there. Your next priority is to give your customer a remarkable customer experience so that they choose to stay with you and purchase from you.

You have a lot of options to delight a customer, including:

  • Social Media. Show your appreciation to your customers by engaging with them on social media channels.
  • Calls. Through phone calls, you can ask your customers if they have questions or problems that you can help solve.
  • E-mail. This method lets you easily update your customers about your company and offer them any special deals.

Whether you trust this methodology or not, inbound marketing is definitely here to stay. It has been a proven strategy that has helped many brands in many industries, which means you can stand to benefit from it too. Simply put, it’s the best way to transform ordinary strangers into customers and potential promoters – something all serious businesses need.

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