Lesson #1 - Overview & Inbound Flow [Video with transcript]

Start your inbound education with this introduction to Inbound Marketing/Inbound Flow video including:

  • An overview of Inbound Marketing.
  • A description of how users move through the sales funnel.
  • The meaning and purpose of Inbound Flow.
  • The basic terminology used in the Inbound Academy videos.


My name is Shannon, and I'm really excited to be here today to talk with you and give you a basic introduction into how the big picture of inbound marketing works.

So at this point, you've obviously heard of inbound marketing.

You know that it's really the next big thing.

This is where marketing is moving.

But you might be a little bit uncertain as to how the pieces fit together.

So again, this is meant to be a pretty basic introduction.

We're not going to go too in-depth on anything here, so if you already know how the process lays out and you want to know more about, say, landing pages or thank you pages or calls to action or whatever those specifics may be, go ahead and proceed up to the next few videos.

However, if you are really wondering how this all lays out and you're ready for a roadmap to get you started, this is going to be the video for you.

So what we're going to talk about today is how inbound marketing takes you all the way from strangers coming to your website down to a whole lot of money for you from turning those strangers into customers.

So it all starts with people being able to find your website.

Driving that traffic to your site is really going to hinge heavily upon three main things.

Those are going to be your SEO, your Search Engine Optimization, your social media participation, and how frequently you're blogging, which of course is on your actual website.

So if you need a little bit more detail on any of those things, I really encourage you to do a little bit of research.

Literally google "SEO tips" "social media marketing tips," things like that.

Even add the phrase "inbound" to those search queries and you'll be able to find some really, really good resources out there to help you.

So let's assume that you've got these basics down pat and you are driving people to your website.

So congratulations.

You've made it through the first and oftentimes the hardest part of inbound marketing, which is just getting people to know who you are.

So let's talk a little bit about how this inbound flow works once someone makes it to your website.

So regardless of where they're coming from, whether it's SEO or social media or whatever it may be, once someone gets to your website, the whole premise of inbound is really structuring the process of how that person is going to participate with and engage with your website, and the way that you're going to do that, the way that you're going to really direct their path through your website is through what's called a Call To Action, or, as you will hear it frequently referred to, a CTA.

So we've got our first big step here — someone's made it to our site — and also our second big step.

Someone has made it to our site and we're providing them with a call to action which drives them to do something on our website.

It could be to subscribe to our newsletter, it could be to download a piece of premium content, it could be to schedule a consultation with us.

Whatever it may be, it's really going to depend on who this call to action is aimed at and what sort of stage within the inbound funnel that person is at.

Now, that's a whole other discussion for another video so we won't get too far into it, but just understand that a call to action is a little image and it's just directing someone to do something on our website.

So once someone clicks on that call to action, we're going to take them to a very specific landing page, and that landing change is going to see exactly what that call to action promised because if it's not, obviously, people are going to exit out of that page.

It's not what they were expecting.

This is pretty basic web design, web development principles here, so you want your landing page to match the expectation that the person had when they clicked to view it.

There are a couple really important components of every landing page which we'll cover later on in a specific landing page video.

But big picture concept here, once someone gets to the landing page, you are going to gather a little bit of information on them through a form and you're going to let them click through to whatever that offer may be, whether it's to download something, to do something, to register for something.

And I have times two here because we really have two landing pages.

We've got that initial landing page where the person provides their information.

From there, we actually need to direct them to a second landing page, which is called thank you page, which, of course, acknowledges, thanks to them for participating in whatever it may be.

If it's a download, this is where they can actually access that download via a link to a PDF or whatever it may be.

And we're also going to provide them with a couple more ways to engage and stay in touch with us on that thank you page.

Again, not going too far in depth here because that's something that we'll cover in another video, but just understand when you think of a landing page and a thank you page, and if you're wondering what the difference is, they really are just two of the same page, just serving different purposes, going from prompting the download to acknowledging the download.

And one quick thing here to keep in mind is that a landing page definitely is linked to from a CTA on your website, but sometimes a landing page is something that people can get directed to from your — I don't know about SEO.

I would say more SEM, so things like PPC AdWords, that sort of thing, Search Engine Marketing, also your social media.

These could direct people all the way down the line to your landing page.

We could be skipping that CTA and that home page.

The way that that would work is, say, if you created that premium content download, that ebook, and you were promoting it on social media, the link that you provide there you would want to be linking straight up to your landing page, not really just to your homepage.

If it takes me to the home page of their website, I'm going to be a little bit confused and I'm probably not going to be willing to spend too much time looking around for it.

So keep in mind that we can jump-start that process right there.

That's not always how it works.

Obviously, there is a time and a place for a CTA on your actual website which prompts people to the landing page, but there's, just keep in mind, a couple ways that people can reach your landing pages.

So what happens after someone completes the downloaded after someone views the thank you page? What do we do with them then? What we're going to do is we're going to enroll them in a lead nurturing campaign.

What you can do within your lead nurturing management system is trigger lead nurturing campaigns, which are just a series of emails that you timed based on what that person downloaded and how long ago they downloaded it.

What I can do is set up a lead nurturing campaign that will email them, say, zero days after, so on the same day, to thank them for downloading.

Then I'm going to send another email, let's say three days later, that provides them with another additional resource related to that first download, and so on and so forth.

I'm going to continue that lead nurturing process, which we can go a little bit more in-depth on in another video, but I'm going to continue through that lead nurturing email process and move people all the way down through the funnel from that initial download through a couple more downloads through providing them with a whole lot more educational resources.

And eventually, I'm going to nurture them all the way down to — you guessed it — becoming a customer and making me really rich, which is what we all want to do, right? Or maybe you're a nonprofit and you want to use that money for some greater good.

Good for you.

Whatever your goal may be, what this is going to allow you to do is nurture that person all the way from seeking that initial information all the way down to being ready to actually make that purchase decision, or that donation decision, or whatever it may be that your end goal is.

Most of the time when someone first comes to your website, they're not ready to make that decision, and so the whole point of this really big inbound process, this inbound flow, is to get that person ready, educated, excited to make that decision and to choose your website, your company as the partner that they are going to do it with.