Inbound marketing is a method of creating quality content to attract and appeal to buyers at every stage of the buyer’s journey and to nurture them through that process into becoming a customer and repeat customer or brand ambassador. The goal of inbound marketing is to attract qualified leads, and when done right should continuously supply your sales team with sales-ready leads. This is done through strategic implementation of content, and there is specific inbound content that can reach buyers in every step of the sales funnel. Follow me as I explain…
Top of the Funnel (Attracting Interested Prospects)
The TOTF is known as the point of the funnel where you have a large pool of unqualified and qualified leads that you need to sift through to find the ones that you’re targeting. As it relates to the buyer’s journey emphasized in the inbound marketing methodology, this encompasses the points where you are generating awareness and attracting new visitors to your website.
You do this through content aimed at educating potential buyers such as keyword-focused blog articles, website content, social media posts and landing pages promoting downloadable content (guides, whitepapers, infographics and checklists). During the stage, inbound marketing helps to identify and attract qualified prospects that can be turned into a potential, qualified lead.
Middle of the Funnel (Converting Prospects Into Leads)
Prospects at this point in the sales funnel are now becoming more aware of your products or services, and they begin to concentrate on figuring out who would be the best fit for their specific problem, issue or need. This is the most important part of the sales funnel because it is when prospects are turned into actual, viable leads and will help determine if they are ready for a salesperson to contact them or if they need to be nurtured further.
Content such as ebooks, demos, webinars, videos, case studies and consultations are best at this stage. The goal is to offer content that is compelling enough to persuade someone to give you their contact information in exchange for content and then utilize tactics such as automated email nurturing to help them see why your products or services are what they need. Lead scoring is also implemented in order to help determine when a customer is actually ready to buy. That’s where BOFU starts.
Bottom of the Funnel (Converting Leads Into Customers)
Here at the bottom of the sales funnel your leads have officially become sales-ready after you’ve attracted them, converted them into a lead and qualified them, determining that they are ready to buy. At this point they usually just need a helping hand to take that last step, and the right inbound marketing content can help with that.
Brochures, comparison charts, assessments, and free trials are great for giving someone that last, little push they need.
After it’s all said and done, in an inbound marketing approach, tracking and analytics is key to refining and perfecting what’s being done. It can help you understand if there’s a certain channel that’s drawing the most qualified leads or whether or not a specific content offer or call to action needs adjustment, among many other things. So that in the end you can have a continuous flow of qualified leads for you sales team to do their magic on.