What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media.

Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not need to fight for potential customers attention. By creating content designed to address the problems and needs of your ideal customers, you attract qualified prospects and build trust and credibility for your business.

The Inbound Methodology

The best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business.

Along the top are four phases (Attract, Convert, Close, Delight) that turn strangers into visitors, leads, customers, and promoters. The methodology becomes even more powerful when implemented with your sales and customer success strategies.

Along the bottom is a full stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer success, with a completely free CRM at the core. They’re powerful alone — but even better when used together, helping you grow with the entire inbound methodology.

The Proven Methodology for Growing Your Business

In the last few years, the same change in buying behavior that sparked the inbound movement has also spread throughout the whole customer experience. How people communicate and what they expect from your business has changed.

The good news? The inbound methodology continues to help businesses adapt to fast-changing needs – not just with marketing, but with the entire customer experience.

With the inbound methodology and HubSpot’s software, you have an unfair advantage for growing your business and getting customers who buy more, stay with you longer, refer their friends, and tell the world they love you.

The Four Phases of the Inbound Methodology

  1. Attract

    You don’t want just anyone coming to your site. You want people who are most likely to become leads, and, ultimately, happy customers. How do you get them? You attract more of the right customers with relevant content at the right time – when they’re looking for it.

Blogging

Inbound marketing starts with content. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.

Content Strategy

Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by searching to find something they have questions about. So, you need to make sure you’re showing up when and where they search. To do that, increase your presence with tools that help you define and implement your content strategy.

Social Media

Successful inbound strategies are all about remarkable content – and social media allows you to share that valuable information, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the platforms where your ideal buyers spend their time.

  1. Convert

    Once you’ve attracted website visitors, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads. You do this by opening up a conversation in whatever way works best for them – with messages, forms, or meetings. Once you’re in touch, you answer questions and provide relevant content that is interesting and valuable to each of your personas – and continues the conversation.

Forms

In order for visitors to become leads, they can fill out a form and submit their information. Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.

Meetings

To win new deals, you’re going to have to speak with people one way or another, via phone or a virtual meeting. Give prospects an easy way to book meetings without the back and forth. Your calendar stays full, and you stay productive. Show up, engage, and win a new customer.

Messages

Chat with site visitors, connect with the right people at the right time, and make chat conversations a natural part of your sales process. Close more deals with the live chat tool that's built for sales teams. Messages helps sales teams connect with the right people right when they’re most engaged.

CRM

Keep track of the leads you're converting in your CRM, a centralized contact database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts and optimize your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and delight your ideal customers.

  1. Close

    You’re on the right track. You’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers. How can you most effectively do this? The sales tools available at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right time, faster and easier.

Pipeline Management

How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales team effectively closing those best leads into customers? Using HubSpot's CRM allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together.

Lead Nurturing

Each lead you have should be nurtured according to their interests and lifecycle stage. Pages they’ve visited, content and whitepapers – all these indicate shifting interests. Good nurturing adapts messaging to stay relevant and makes winning new customers faster.

Email

What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call-to-action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.

Predictive Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a great way to handle growth at your company. As your business grows and you generate more leads, it doesn't always make sense to get in touch with every single lead. You want to make sure sales is prioritizing their time based on the most qualified leads.

  1. Delight

    The inbound way is all about providing a remarkable experience for your customers. Plus, they have much higher expectations of your business and how they’re treated than ever before. So, it’s even more important to engage with, delight, and make your customers successful. If you do, they will buy more, stay with you longer, refer their friends, and be happy to tell the world they love you.

Customer Hub

Your customers can be your biggest fans or worst detractors. It all comes down to how well you understand them and if you’ve helped them succeed. With Customer Hub you’ll have the tools and playbook you need to get to know, connect with, and truly help your customers succeed.

Smart Content

No one wants a sales pitch when they've already bought. Smart content makes sure you don't show loyal customers CTAs or content meant for first-time buyers. And with smart calls-to-action, you present different visitors with offers that change based on buyer persona and lifecycle stage.

Conversations

Manage, collaborate, and respond to customer messages, from any channel, inside HubSpot. Keep track of potential deals, questions, comments, and requests – and start having better more meaningful customer conversations.

Learn Inbound Marketing

Enroll in HubSpot Academy for free to learn inbound marketing, access free tools, and get inbound certified. Grow your business and your career with inbound.