Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a religious celebration of the patron saint of Ireland. It is also largely a celebration of Irish heritage. Celebrations typically involve watching parades, wearing green attire, and drinking green beer. Symbols associated with the day include leprechauns, pots of gold, horseshoes, and of course the shamrock.
It is said that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) to the pagan Irish in the 5th century. In Christianity, God is three persons, not three gods. This analogy of the clover and its three leaves connected as one was a simple way to help non-Christians understand this fundamental element of the religion.
Since it is St. Patrick’s Day, and one symbol of the holiday is a four-leaf clover that represents both Ireland and luck, we thought we would borrow Saint Patrick’s teaching strategy to explain inbound marketing.
There are four parts of the inbound marketing funnel: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight. Marketers should take these actions to gain visitors and turn them into leads, customers, and promoters through content creation.
You want to attract the right traffic to your website. This means people who are actually interested in you or your products. In this part of the funnel, use blogging, SEO, optimized pages, and social publishing to turn complete strangers into visitors.
Once you’ve attracted the visitors, the next step is to convert them into leads by gathering contact information. Encourage visitors to share that information willingly by offering them something in return. Some ideas include eBooks, infographics, or whitepapers. To capture the information, use forms, calls-to-action, and landing pages. Be sure to keep a record of lead information in a contact management system or CRM.
Now you need to convert those leads into customers. This process is called lead nurturing. Communicate with your leads through email marketing and marketing automation. Add interaction details about your leads into your CRM. When your lead is heavily interacting, reach out to them to see if they are interested in purchasing.
Marketing does not end after the customer purchases your product or service. You should continue creating relevant and useful content to keep your customers coming back. Follow up with surveys, smart calls-to-action, smart text, and social monitoring. The happier your customer is, the more likely they are to send referrals your way.
As you work on your marketing strategy, remember the four leaves of the inbound marketing clover and you too will receive the luck of the Irish!