Wouldn’t you agree that it’s better to draw your customers to you, pulling them in rather than chasing them around attempting to pitch your business deal? Absolutely! The former sounds ideal but unfortunately some businesses still use antiquated Internet marketing tactics (like buying email lists and ads) that harass instead of using value as bait to attract quality prospects. Consumers are fed up with being inundated with advertisement after advertisement.
There is a better way…and inbound marketing has proven to be that choice. In fact, it’s one of the most effective strategies to do business online. A study concluded that 93% of the companies who used inbound marketing experienced an increase in traffic and leads! Also, 3 out of 4 marketers across the globe prioritise an inbound approach to marketing (Source: Hubspot). Its entire concept centres around creating content that solves problems and answers questions for the market intended. In other words, it attracts through education. Because of this selfless approach, prospects are instantly drawn to your company and see you as the expert in your niche.
What Exactly is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing focuses on creating and sharing content that is deemed valuable by your ideal customer. Its major component (and benefit) is the process of nurturing a “stranger” into an eventual promoter of your business. That picture would look like this: your target audience comes to your site not knowing anything about your business, yet through your valuable content they are compelled to subscribe to your list (becoming a lead). Because they are cultivated through your email marketing messages that continue to share value and promote your products, they purchase and become a customer but are also fond of their experience with your company because of your ongoing value so they share you with their networks, therefore giving you free promotion through word-of-mouth. This is a win-win for all involved.
As you can see, if you do inbound marketing right, you will position your business for long-term success! It’s not just about collecting leads and converting sales. You want to cultivate and nurture your leads and customers to create happy and loyal followers.
4 Key Elements of Inbound Marketing
There are four key parts to the inbound marketing technique. The goal is to have each element working in your business to create optimal results.
1: Attract Visitors
The first component is getting people to your site…but not just anybody. You want targeted, quality prospects that are interested in what you have to offer. This requires having a clear understanding of your target audience and the pains, problems, and needs they have. The more clarity you have of your market, the better you can align your social media, email and blogging content to their interests. Attracting visitors is about sharing content that best resonates with your target market.
2: Convert Traffic into Leads
Now that you have visitors on your site, the goal is to capture leads to build your prospect list. The sure way to get their contact info (i.e. name, email, and/or address if applicable) is give an offer thats enticing enough to give you the goods. Again, when you’re in tuned with your market, you know exactly what they want. So your freebie could be a discount coupon, eBook, checklist, video how-to…anything that is valuable to your buyer persona.
This works well when your offer is congruent to the message you’re sharing in your content. For example, if your blog post explains the five exercise steps to lose 10 pounds in 14 days, a great offer would be a downloadable checklist they can print out that quickly illustrates those steps.
Keep in mind that the goal of your content marketing is to generate leads. Giving a specific call to action, or telling the visitor what to do next, is critical to move them from visitor to lead prospect.
3: Close Sales & Gain New Customers
The next part to the inbound marketing strategy is converting your leads into customers. The good news is your list is already qualified; they’ve already expressed interest in your company by opting in. Your objective is to simply cultivate your list by continuing to solve their problems, give value that enriches their lives, and show how your products/business/services is the solution.
Social proof and customer testimonies are strong motivators to move leads closer to buying decisions. Consumers want to know “will this work for me?” Visual content is a compelling strategy to achieve this goal.
4: Use Value to Delight & Turn Customers into Promoters
You’ve closed a new customer…excellent! But it doesn’t stop there. This final step, also known as relationship marketing, is where you build loyal, raving fans who gladly promote you to their networks. How do you make this transition? By continuing to share value that speaks to your audience. Your goal is to consistently bring fresh, new content that keeps your market in the know. Tools such as surveys and social monitoring are ways to gain feedback to improve your customer initiatives and create awesome experiences.
Staying abreast with your market positions you to upsell and create new products that continues to solve problems. You are giving the people what they want…and they will love you for it!
Inbound marketing is indeed the best way to promote and market your business online. The benefits are immeasurable when you consider the impact this strategy has on your overall marketing campaign…truly turning strangers into customers and promoters of your company!