The two terms inbound marketing and outbound marketing are used commonly throughout the marketing world, but there seems to be confusion around how they differ.
The difference isn’t subtle. The wording derives from telephone marketing — outbound sales teams cold-call people, while inbound sales teams field calls from interested prospects. Inbound marketing means capturing a lead as it comes in from a marketing campaign. Outbound marketing is more like cold calling.
Put another way, inbound marketing strikes while the iron is hot, while outbound marketing makes the iron hot by striking it.
Now that we’re clear on what inbound marketing means, we can move to the core of this article: how to get inbound marketing right by attracting, converting and closing your inbound marketing leads. Let’s begin!
Your business is likely one of many doing similar things. For that reason, most customers won’t be tracking your business down specifically.
If you sell pizzas, for instance, your prospective customers are interested in buying pizza from anyone, or buying food from anyone (they may simply be hungry). That means you need to get your business in front of customers at the moment they’re interested in making a purchase.
This is why SEO is so important for every business. Prospective customers usually start with an online search, whether it's a mother looking for a local dentist or a mechanical engineer in need of a technical solution to a manufacturing problem.
Here are a few ways to optimize your presence in keyword rankings:
If you nail your SEO and provide high-value content for prospective customers, you should start to pick up some relevant leads. Be sure to track them carefully, as this data will be exceptionally useful. The next step is to convert those leads, which in this context means moving them towards a purchase.
You’ve brought someone in and pushed them close to the point of taking action, so how do you close? This part is relatively simple (you’ve done most the work already), but there are still points to pay attention to:
That’s how to improve your inbound marketing, from attracting leads to turning them into sales. We’ve really only scratched the surface here, though, as there’s so much more to learn — so focus on iterative improvement and you’ll eventually get the results you’re looking for.
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