There are tons of Inbound Marketing tactics your business can use to attract high-quality leads that better convert into loyal customers.
In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know about Inbound Marketing and the various tactics you can use to achieve business success.
Let’s get started!
So, what exactly is Inbound Marketing?
“Inbound Marketing is about making life easy for your prospects and your customers, taking their hand and guiding them along the way, from the mere discovery of the brand all the way to the sale”
— David Romero, co-founder of mbudo.
The key to Inbound is providing an easy experience for customers, always being relevant and relatable in terms of content and messaging, and building up a trusting relationship with them from start to finish.
It’s not about targeting anyone and everyone with your products or services.
It’s not about pestering a new lead into immediately making the sale.
It’s not about the “get-the-sale-and-get-out” philosophy.
Above all, Inbound Marketing is about people – understanding their wants and needs and providing them with a solution through your products and services.
What are the best Inbound Marketing tactics for my business?
1. Attract Traffic
The first thing you need to do when implementing an Inbound Marketing strategy is to create Buyer Personas (BP) for your business.
“A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
Why is this the first step?
It’s because you need to really delve into who are the people buying your product or service. Until you understand your BPs, you can’t resolve their needs and find solutions, meaning you can’t create relevant and targeted content.
How many Buyer Personas should you have?
It is not an exact science; everything depends on the complexity of your products and services and who they are aimed at. The general saying goes that you start out small, with one Persona, and build your way up as your project progresses.
How to Create Buyer Personas
There are 3 elements you should take into account when creating your BPs:
Semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer:Who did you create your product or service for? What pain points does it resolve? If you could create an image in your mind of that one perfect customer, who would they be? You can start out slightly aspirational when picturing your ideal customer, because the steps below will help you form a more realistic picture of your Buyer Persona.
Based on market research: Do some research! Look at who your competitors are selling to. Study the trends.
Real data about your existing customers:Look at the data you already have. Do you see any trends among people who have bought your products or services? Consider conducting interviews or sending surveys to current customers. They might be few and far between, but truly loyal and enthusiastic customers will take the time to do a survey or interview if they’re passionate about your brand.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Another great tactic to attract traffic is SEO, and you already know what we’re about to tell you: Google rules the world, well, at least the web. You can’t do Inbound Marketing without finding a way to pull in relevant leads from search engines.
Creating relevant content will infinitely help you to optimize your SEO positioning.
Organic search revolves around page optimization, keyword selection, content strategy, inbound linking, and above all, great content. This type of search is free because you are optimizing your content in the most natural way possible, causing the search engines to naturally position your pages accordingly.
Within search engine optimization, however, you have various techniques you can employ to make your site and content rank higher – and more importantly – appear to the right people.
SEO On-Page: This tends to be the most important aspect of SEO because it’s all about your content; mainly, writing great content but using relevant keywords throughout. However, you need to optimize your headings, meta description, alt text, images, and more.
Technical SEO: You’ll need a web expert to help you with this one. Technical SEO deals with the tech aspects of your website, such as the site structure, speed, mobile-friendliness, indexing, crawlability, etc.
Off-Site SEO: Off-site is the trickiest aspect of SEO because it largely has to do with external linking and establishing your site’s domain authority. A good link-building and guest posting strategy can help you bolster off-site SEO.
Paid Search and Social Advertising
Your organic content may take a while to gain traffic and rise through the search rankings, so it is a good idea to combine your organic strategy with Paid Search (PPC) and Paid Social. This type of advertising often goes hand-in-hand with your Buyer Personas (their location, age, platform of choice, and other demographics) and SEO investigation, because you will also be using keywords in your ads.
The best strategy revolves around search terms with low competition and high search volume, however niche terms also function well for very specific audiences and Buyer Personas.
Keep in mind that thanks to a good Inbound Marketing strategy, your efforts to generate quality content will be compensated by better organic positioning. In the medium term, you can reduce your investments in PPC and Social Paid,
Generating traffic is just the first step in Inbound Marketing. However, this step tends to be one of the most important parts because without traffic, we don't have leads, and without leads, we don't have customers. The traffic you achieve on the web, blog, and social media platforms is just the start of the Inbound cycle. The next Marketing tactic focuses on converting visitors into leads.
2. Generate Leads
Now that you've defined your Personas in the previous stage, you should also be on your way todo analyzing and understanding their behaviors and actions. That's where the Buyer´s Journey comes into play.
“The buyer’s journey is the process buyers go through to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.”
Stages of the Buyer's Journey
The Buyer’s Journey consists of 3 stages:
Discovery Stage: A person has detected that they have a problem or need. They are looking for any and all information on the subject.
Consideration Stage: The person is looking into possible solutions and alternatives, comparing the different advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Decision Stage: Now, they have decided to choose a certain product or service. This person is looking to contact sales or make their purchase.
The Buyer Journey is normally seen as a funnel:
At the top of the funnel (TOFU), where the funnel is wide, you have people in the discovery stage looking for information. These people don’t really know exactly what they’re looking for, so they aren’t really qualified to buy your product or service…yet.
The middle of the funnel (MOFU)is for people still considering their options. The funnel is getting a little narrower as these people narrow down their options.
Only at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) are the people closest to buying your particular solution. They are ready to leave the funnel and close the sale.
HubSpot re-imagines the Marketing funnel as a flywheel, a wheel in perpetual motion with 3 phases: attract (Marketing), engage (Sales), and delight (Services). Whatever method you choose, the goal is the same.
Content for Every Stage of the Buyer's Journey
There are different types of content appropriate for each stage of the Buyer's Journey. For example, you wouldn’t send a contact in the discovery stage an email to schedule a meeting with a salesperson. They’re only at the top of the funnel, discovering their problem and looking for general information.
The Buyer’s Journey is crucial in determining what content to write, for who, and when. Map out the stages of your customer’s journey and prepare a well-designed Content Strategy. The typical content formats to choose from include:
Blog posts: Best for the awareness and consideration stages
Ebooks, case studies and whitepapers: Consideration and decision stages
Video and animation: All stages
Webinars: Consideration and decision stages
Email marketing: All stages
Infographics: Awareness and consideration stages
Social media posts: All stages
How to Set Up Your Content Strategy
Content isn’t just about having a website and blog, you also need a thoughtful strategy to back it up. There are several steps you need to take in order to flesh out your full content strategy:
Content audit: The first step is to review all your content that exists. You’ll discover the topics that you’ve already covered and any gaps missing. This will also allow you to manage and organize your content more easily.
Content plan: You’ve already got your Buyer Personas and Buyer’s Journey mapped out, so you can check that off your list. What you still need to do is create a detailed content plan, or a calendar of all the content you will publish over the course of 1-3 months. It should show that you’re publishing content for all BPs and all stages of the customer journey
Content creation: We’ve already touched on this: create pillar pages and topic clusters, and take SEO into account when writing. There are many other tips we can offer for creating great content: write your truth, be human, and keep things simple. Finally, don’t forget about content design!
Content delivery: If you haven’t already done so, set up your website, blog, and social media channels (stick to 2-3 channels). Think outside of social media as well: what about influencers, guest posts, paid ads, email marketing, or print media?
Content optimization: Use metrics to analyze your content performance. Study the trends to see which content is doing well and why, and revise/retire poor-performing content. Input these trends into your next content plan and start the process all over again!
Forms and CTAs
With a great content strategy and great content in place, your visitors will be ready to leave their personal information in exchange for gated content or another resource (like a demo or sales meeting) It's important to have proper forms and CTAs (Call-to-Action) on your website and blog to allow your leads to download this content, while at the same time enriching your database.
Forms:This is how you capture data, but you need to think way beyond this. You need to consider how many fields to include, design, and of course, data protection and consent regulations.Shorter forms tend to convert better, but always remember that the information you ask for should be proportional to the resource you’re providing.
CTAs: CTAs are extremely important because they will tell visitors exactly what you want them to do. They inspire a person to take action! Typical CTAs include banners, gifs, or buttons with a catchy phrase and visuals. Everything about the Call-to-Action should be related to the form or piece of content you're sending visitors to.
Now that you have what it takes to start attracting traffic, it's time to move on to the next phase: automation. This is necessary to be able to manage your leads more smoothly; Using Marketing Automation, you can ensure that these are properly nurtured and edge them closer to the sale.
3. Automation and Nurturing
When you’re overworked and out of time, you probably wish you had a magical little helper to relieve you of some of your workloads. Well, we can’t promise you magic, but we can teach you about Marketing Automation!
For this, you need a good Marketing Automation tool. Today HubSpot is the most complete and flexible tool, adapting to projects of any size and industry.
With a good platform, we can automate almost anything. Below, find several great examples of automation through HubSpot workflows:
Lifecycle implementation: You want to clearly define your lifecycle stages into, for example, Subscribers, Leads, and Customers. Workflows can help with this implementation throughout your CRM.
CRM organization:In one fell swoop, you can use workflows to organize your CRM. Like the example above, you can set properties for contacts, companies, deals, tickets, etc.
Assign leads to sales agents: Do you want all of your leads for a certain product to go to a specific salesperson? With workflows, you can establish the characteristics necessary to send leads to different sales agents.
Send emails to prospects:Want to send out an auto-reply? What about a series of follow-up emails? Map out the procedure in a workflow and complete it with delays and if/then branches based on their response.
Carry out lead nurturing campaigns:Imagine you receive a lead from a very TOFU piece of content. This lead is still in the awareness stage and probably isn’t yet qualified to buy your product or service. This is where lead nurturing comes into play; through email marketing campaigns and "Smart Content", you can send different content to different targets and accompany them throughout the Buyer's Journey.
Send internal notifications to team members: It’s easy to send internal notifications in HubSpot. This way you’ll know your team members are getting the information they need, and you’ll be aware of it all.
Add subscribers to your newsletter:Incorporate your blog subscription banner or form into a workflow. You’ll be on your way to a larger mailing list in no time!
Lead Scoring:Based on the scores that you establish, incorporate high-score leads into workflows to get in contact with them when they reach a high score. Certain actions to occur for high scores or low scores.
And much more! It all depends on your needs and your imagination.
4. Analysis of Results and Optimization
Analysis of Results
Analysis is something that needs to be done constantly and continuously throughout a project. It is one of the most important aspects of Inbound Marketing because it measures our efforts, tells us where we’ve found successes, and where we might need to make adjustments.
A good analysis starts by determining goals and KPIs at the very beginning of the project. These will provide us with clear markers along the way, so we can know whether or not we’re following the right path.
Some of the elements that you should measure include:
Website and blog visits (organic vs. paid visits, traffic sources, time on page, bounce rate, etc.)
Leads (number of leads, cost per lead, quality of leads, how many leads pass to customers)
Inbound Marketing ROI
Other (email marketing, social media marketing, sales-marketing alignment, etc.)
There are many ways to measure and analyze your results, and this should be well-defined within your Inbound Marketing strategy.
Once analysis has been carried out, it’s time to optimize. Keep in mind your sector. It is wise to study the data and trends, especially looking at successful competitors, who exemplify what they’re doing right in the industry. However, don’t be afraid to try to make your own path within the sector and dare to be different.
A few optimization techniques can be found below:
A/B Testing: Create different versions of your content and track which ones work better. Don’t stop at two versions…create as many as you can!
Smart Content: Many platforms offer smart content features, where you can adapt content based on different visitor habits like location, source, activity, previously collected information, etc.
Different Channels, Different Strengths: It’s always great to try out new things on your social platforms, but also keep in mind that we use various channels for a reason: they each have a strength. For example, social media is great for direct engagement with visitors, whereas a blog is better for educating leads.
Growth-Driven Design: When carrying out optimization or re-design efforts, be as agile as possible. Growth Driven Design is a great technique to make changes while in an effective and rapid manner.
Ask! (Surveys/Questionnaires): Sometimes, the best way is the most obvious. Ask your customers, team, and third-parties what they think! Surveys can work wonders for seeing what messaging and branding work best.
In addition, keep in mind all things technical/process-based. Optimization can work on many different levels, and you have to be aware of theuser experience: does the page load fast enough, is the information simple to understand, is the form too long, is the sales process straightforward? These are all things that may be showing up in your results via bounce rate, time on page, form conversion, etc.
By consistently checking on your results and optimizing based on findings, you will be able to make your best content and strategies shine. This will lead to more satisfied customers, more sales closed, and a customer base that is delighted by every action you take.
If you understand the Inbound Marketing methodology and follow the four stages we’ve listed in this article, you’ll be on your way to Inbound Marketing success!
If you want to know more about Inbound Marketing and what strategies you can follow to apply it, we invite you to take a look at our blog. Do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you!
Mary is a professional copywriter with over 10 years of experience in Marketing and Advertising. As an American expat in Madrid, she enjoys the relaxed Spanish culture, hiking, and the latest shows from Netflix and HBO. Mary also loves cats and music (she's the office DJ!)