No matter what marketing platform you are using to grow your business, the ultimate goal is to generate leads that turn into big business. This is an obvious marketing solution.
But as companies invest more money into sales training and tradeshows, they are seeing their marketing ROI dip considerably. They are also finding that consumers are closing doors in their faces and jumping on the do-not-call list.
While companies retreat to lick their wounds and reassess marketing and sales strategy, these would-be customers are flocking to companies who have adopted a new-type of marketing solution…
Inbound Marketing: Its a New Dawn, Its a New Day!Kapow! Inbound Marketing!
Inbound Marketing is the antithesis of interruptive/cold-call marketing and it revolves around a three step process:
- Getting found
- Converting visitors and leads
- Analyzing and improving the Customer journey
In order to accomplish each of these three steps, you need to be producing Content — content that gets you found, converts Prospects into Leads and gives the Customer an enjoyable experience.
Content is the currency of new marketing and is the optimal way to generate targeted Leads (at a very low cost).
About Those Customers…
How do you produce content that “gets leads”? Well, first it is important to understand that consumers are more receptive to certain content on certain platforms. Some of the most popular platforms today are:
- Social media
These platforms are used to amplify content and allow targeted consumers to pick and choose what they want to read, share and contribute to. And, they don’t like when the message is controlled by a brand with certain intentions. The minute they suspect something is being sold, they leave or call you out.
Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that your content platforms shouldn’t “sell” your products. Of course, you should have information about your products and perhaps include a pricing page on your site, but visitors should arrive at that page when they’ve already decided they are interested not when they are simply searching for information.
The key to getting their attention is transforming into a personable and relevant source of this information (or occasionally entertainment). Once you define who you want to target and develop a Content Strategy, you can then start producing content through these platforms.
And Customers will start to come to you.
Now that Prospects are starting to talk about you and you’re seeing an increase website visits, blog shares and social media followers, it still doesn’t mean they are customers. This is where you need to assess ways to guide them down the purchase funnel.
This is where the other forms of content come in:
- Case studies
- Promotions (that require an email to signup)
- Email nurturing campaigns
All of these forms of Content should be available on your website after you’ve been found. These deliverables allow you to capture your Prospects data and and allows you to nurture them and ensure constant engagement.
This Content is also the information needed for a Prospect to evaluate whether you are worth their purchase. For example, if you are a leasing company looking to lease out apartments, why not make an ebook on “Things to Ask a Landlord When Looking at Apartments”. This can include tip sheets, check lists and common questions that renters sometimes forget to ask beforehand (now no more free advice, leasing companies!).
This not only gives your Prospect great info, but shows you know what you’re talking about. It is you giving away free advice that is beneficial to your Visitor in exchange for their information.
Marketing Solutions: The Customer Journey
What companies utilizing old methods of sales and marketing don’t understand, is that the path to success (purchases) is all about the customer journey and experience. Who will buy from you if they’ve had a bad experience?
And yes, getting cold calls is now considered a bad experience that pretty much rules you out.
A great customer journey encompasses all inbound marketing best practices, especially:
- Easy-to-navigate landing pages
- Exciting, fresh content
- Forms and other ways to contact you
- Constant (but not intteruptive) engagement
Once you have a seamless journey laid out for your customers, it is essential to analyze and improve as you go. Your customers change just like your business does!
Give inbound marketing a shot and you will start to enjoy the brilliant sunrise on your way to work.
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