17 Jan Inbound Marketing: How to Make it Work for Your Business
Brian Halligan, co-founder of Hubspot defined inbound marketing as helping yourself get discovered by people shopping in your industry. According to Halligan, you need to set up your website just like a hub for your industry that attracts visitors naturally through search engines, social media and blogosphere.
Currently, inbound marketing is the most effective approach for conducting online business. Unlike the traditional marketing techniques of praying for leads, buying email lists and buying ads, this marketing method focuses on creating quality content that attracts people to your product or business. By aligning your customer’s needs and interests with your content, you attract traffic that you can convert and delight over time. While traditional marketing approaches relies on you going to the customers, inbound turn the whole practice around on its head. When people are interested in your product, they come to you, rather than you going to them.
Unlike in the past, modern consumers have tremendous power as result of the internet. With a few keystrokes, people can research products, compare shop, read reviews and make informed decisions without ever meeting a sales rep or setting foot in a store. People no longer want a wordy salesperson selling to them. Most of these people have little patience for intrusion as well as the standard way advertising that does not feel authentic.
All over the world, customers want to be sure that a brand is trustworthy. Once they establish that a brand is good enough, they tend to gravitate towards it since it makes their lives easier and they do not have room for bad user experience. Studies conducted by Content Marketing Association (CMA) show that consumers are tuning into to content. According to CMA, 70 percent of consumers admit that they would rather get to know a brand through blogs unlike adverts.68 percent claimed that they had spent time reading content from a brand they were interested in. Many small business owners have already realized that inbound marketing is the way to go. Most entrepreneurs are using this approach even without knowing it exists.
Inbound marketing involves the following actions:
Unlike traditional marketing, you just do not want any traffic; you need the right traffic to your site. You want people who are highly likely to become leads and eventually turn into customers. So how do you get such people? The right kinds of people are commonly known as buyer personas. These are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside out. Personas encompass the challenges, goals and common objections to products and services. They also encompass demographic and personal data shared among all members of that particular customer type.
Attracting visitors to your site is only the beginning of a greater process. Once you have the right traffic, you need to convert these people into leads by getting their contact information including their email addresses. Contact data is a highly valuable currency to the online marketer. Keep in mind that your visitors are not going to offer that currency willingly unless you offer them something in exchange. This payment comes in the form of content, tip sheets or whitepaper as well as anything that is interesting or valuable to each of the visitors.
You have attracted traffic and turned the buyer personas into right leads. To succeed, you need to transform those leads into customers. How do you effectively do this? You accomplish this by using certain marketing tools to ensure you are closing the right leads at the right times. These tools include customer relationship management, closed-loop reporting, marketing automation and email.
The inbound marketing method is all about offering remarkable content to your users; these can be leads, visitors or repeat customers. Simply because someone has written you a check does not mean that you are done with them. Businesses that use the inbound approach continue to interact, delight and upsell their customer base into happy promoters of the organization and products they love.
Ultimately the inbound approach helps you to travel the marketing road by turning strangers into customers. It empowers entrepreneurs to attract traffic, convert leads, close customers and delight promoters. The new methodology acknowledges that the inbound method does not simply happen; you have use the right strategy to make it work. Here’s how:
Create good content that can stand out among the clutter
To help you understand what this means, consider how many channels you have on your television or how many social media channels compete for your attention. This also applies to your customers, it is not just enough to create content; it must be good enough to inspire, educate and entertain your audience.
Think of your website as a hub not a broadcast channel
Most businesses perceive their websites as megaphones for addressing large groups of people. Your website works effectively when its content and design are built with a human touch. Rather than compiling a copy to impress your competitors, create a copy and experience an individual customer will delight in.
Master the call to action
Think about how hard you work to get traffic to your site. Now consider what happens when a person visits your site and does not know where to go or what to do once they are there. To put it simply, your best efforts have just been wasted.
Basically your call to action is a bill board showing people who visit your site where to go next. If someone came to your blog, you want to make it easy and seamless for them to subscribe to read similar content.
On average, a person’s attention span is about 8 seconds; this means that even if you want to write a 10,000 words article on your new product launch, there is little chance that your audience will get through it. Creating good visual content is a great way to get through content clutter and stand out from the rest. If you are just beginning and do not have designers, consider using Visage or Canvas to create simple but stunning visuals.
Ultimately inbound marketing is a science that needs specific expertise and plenty of experience to succeed. Marketing may not be your cup of tea, but it is important to know and understand the basics. If you keep the tips stipulated above in mind, you can rest assured that your business has a chance to maximize its potential.
With all this being said, producing quality content that attracts, converts, closes, and delights can be a challenge for businesses, especially small businesses that don’t have a lot of resources and manpower to consistently produce quality content. Request a free consultation with one of our consultants here at Magnet Labs Design to see how we can help you produce content that drives traffic and increases your conversion rate so that your business’s website is more effective than ever at generating new leads and increasing your sales.