Have you heard about inbound marketing but aren’t entirely sure what it is or what tools you need to implement an inbound marketing strategy? Today, we will be covering all of these and provide you with three inbound marketing tools that are completely free to use… no catch.
Let’s briefly take a look at what inbound marketing is and the four stages. For a more detailed look, go here: Inbound Marketing Definition.
What Is Inbound Marketing
Keeping it simple, inbound marketing is a term used to describe a number of activities that bring customers to you rather than you reaching out to them. For example, a cold call or paid advertisement is a form of outreaching whereas someone clicking on a social media post or finding your company in Google search is a form of inbound marketing.'People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction.' - Brian Halligan, CEO & Co-Founder, HubSpotClick To Tweet
There are four stages to inbound marketing and these are:
Stage 1: Attract
The first stage of the inbound marketing cycle is to attract visitors to your website or company’s place of business. This may be done by blogging regularly, sharing those blog posts on social media, and/or your email list. One of the key sources that you want to attract visitors from is a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.).
Stage 2: Convert
Once someone has landed on your website, the next stage is to convert that person into a lead. You can do this by adding quality forms and call-to-actions to your website or landing pages. You can continue to split test and optimize your forms, call-to-actions and landing pages to continuously increase your conversion rate.
Stage 3: Close
After a person has converted to a lead, the next stage is to close the sale. This does not mean that you pressure them into buying with a scripted sales pitch. The inbound marketing way is to nurture them with targeted emails and content that also benefits them or is good for them.
Stage 4: Delight
The journey doesn’t end when you close a sale because you want that customer to share their experience with others. Ideally, you want them to share their experience on social media, which increases the chances that their followers will visit your landing page. This restarts the whole inbound marketing cycle.
Now that we have briefly covered inbound marketing and it’s four stages, let’s take a look at three awesome inbound marketing tools that you can use for your campaign.
Top 3 Inbound Marketing Tools That Are Free
These tools are free and effective when used appropriately.
An important factor of inbound marketing is attracting people to your blog or landing page. Without visitors, you may not have leads and without leads, you may find it difficult to close the sale. Therefore, attracting visitors to your website or place of business is most crucial.
WordPress is a platform that allows you to build a website blog for free. It is one of the most popular blog or website building platforms with over 44% of all websites using WordPress.
In order to attract and convert traffic, you’re going to need a blog and some good landing pages. WordPress is a good platform for those.
LeadIn is a free tool designed and made by HubSpot, a company that provides CRM (customer relationship management) software for inbound marketers. Have you ever been on a website that has a popup appear after so many seconds, asking you to submit your email address for an offer? LeadIn is a WordPress plugin that lets you do the same thing on your website and more.
The best thing about it is that it doesn’t just create a popup form that asks users for their email; it will also give you an insight into user behavior, which pages they visited, and what forms they filled out.
Once you have generated leads through your forms, you’re going to need to nurture them in order to close the deal. You can do this with MailChimp, a free emailing software system. Note that MailChimp is only free to use if you have less than 2000 subscribers on your list.
Sending a steady stream of newsletters to your leads is a great way to keep your brand at the top of their mind. Sending them helpful content on a topic that they have shown interest in, is a sure fire way to close sales.
With these three tools, you should be on your way to creating your very own inbound marketing strategy for free.3 Free Tools for Your Inbound #Marketing CampaignClick To Tweet