There is a phenomenon in the social networks which is clear for us: For every hundred friends we have, there may be ten who may congratulate us for a community interest project we want to carry out, and maybe one or two would end up helping.
In a way, when each of the steps of a marketing project is carried out, a similar situation occurs: We present a product to a specific population segment, and a percentage of the segment is interested and makes comments, and some of these people may buy our product immediately.
However, as opposed to what happens with the social networks, in the novelty sales and promotion model known as inbound marketing, we have series of tools allowing us to give continuity to the process until we reach maximum effectiveness and can make decisions allowing us to perfect our sales strategy.
The process, known as “conversion funnel” or “sales funnel” is a methodology conceived for turning potential opportunities into real ones, which lead to sales and make the buyer a loyal follower of your brand.
It works inversely as compared to traditional advertising and marketing, as it is not the seller who goes out “forcing” people to buy his product, but instead, the person who goes looking for the product she needs.
Some specialists in inbound marketing segment the process into three main, basic phases: the moment at which a user realizes he needs to solve a problem or attend to a need; the moment at which the user goes looking for information to solve the problem or satisfy the need. And lastly, the moment when the user chooses what is ideal and makes the decision to buy.
But there is a fourth period in the process which is particularly crucial for giving continuity to the first three phases: achieving client loyalty through more specific and friendly communication, for which the client will be thankful and will continue buying the seller’s products.
Phase 1: attracting viewers of visitors
It consists of issuing content (blogs, conferences, workshops, seminars, galleries, and events), optimizing the content to be visible in the search engines, and making use of social networks to facilitate access to and interaction with the public. In this phase, particular attention must be paid to four principal elements:
- Content marketing: Campaigns are based on content which must include keywords for a specific
- SEO: Optimizing content to be visible in the search engines through keywords included in titles, article descriptions, and images. The relevance of the content and its ranking among the first positions in search engines are dependent on it.
- Social networks: They allow companies to access a higher number of potential buyers, and interact more directly with the public.
- Webinars: Their benefit comes from their educational and dissemination-related nature. Seminars, workshops, and conferences facilitate interactive communication between participants and the conference speaker.
Phase 2: generating leads
Leads are people who show an interest in the product which is being advertised, by filling out a form which provides their names and email addresses. Their attention is caught through “landing pages,” eBooks, guides, and white papers, infographics, and success stories:
- Landing pages: Including high-quality content is essential. Potential clients provide their names and email addresses to receive further information.
- Calls to action (CTAs): Banners which highlight the other elements of a website; they show the user “what to do.” They may be designed by the work team and can also be acquired through the internet.
- eBooks and guides: More elaborate content and designs, for the person interested to be able to go deeper into the topic of interest. To be able to download them, users are asked to provide their information on a form.
- Infographics: Graphics, photos or illustrations with very brief texts, containing information of importance for the user, in attractive presentations showing relevant information
- Success stories: Testimonials or references which serve as a model for demonstrating the advantages of a product or brand.
Phase 3: Closing the sale
It is expected that by this phase, the potential client is ready to buy. A specific commercial offer is presented to the client, which includes, for example:
- Demonstrations: Invitations to live and free demonstrations of the product, or the right to become acquainted with and temporarily use a software
- Electronic bulletins: Updated information on the company, the brand, and the products or services of particular interest for the potential client
- Discount coupons: Among the possibilities available to businesspersons, they can be the magic touch for closing a sale.
Nothing is left to chance in inbound marketing. Sales are reached after having followed a process for attracting viewers, identifying potential clients (qualifying and maturing leads), and closing the sale.
The results seem easy to understand when a specific client is considered. But when traffic to the website, and leads and sales increase, it is essential to have a complete picture of what is happening. At this time, specific tools which allow making complex calculations gain importance.
In inbound marketing, the analysis is of prime importance, for it is necessary to know the results of each of the processes implemented: visits to the blog, search engine optimization ranking, interactions in social networks, the effectiveness of calls to action, and how many interesting leads there are, and who they are.
The importance of analysis lies precisely in the possibility of reaching conclusions and making decisions which contribute to improving the business objective.