Traditional marketing methods have fallen off for most businesses. Buyers really do not want to be interrupted with marketing messages. They want information that will help educate them about what they’re looking for. Then, when they’re ready to buy, they want to find you.
Inbound marketing is the digital strategy of using content to attract people who are looking to buy your product or services. It works best when you focus on content that is helpful not salesy.
There are several steps that will ensure that your inbound marketing strategy will be successful.
1) Target your campaign by creating personas. One of the many benefits of inbound marketing is that you are able to target your efforts. Targeting not only makes your marketing more efficient but also gives you higher conversion rates and more qualified leads.
Personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer. They allow you to really paint a detailed picture of that person and identify what their needs and problems are that your company’s products can solve.
Creating the personas allows you to target your content to meet the needs of your ideal prospect. The personals also help you focus that content so that you position your company as experts in your field.
2) Do your keyword research. Start with broad keywords about the types of searches that your personas would do if they were looking for your products and services.
Use some of the many tools online to generate lists of long tail keywords that would be related to your personas searches. The long tail keywords are easier to rank for because they have less competition. They do get less searches, but you will get a more focused prospect and your content will be able to more directly meet the needs of your prospect.
3) Create your content. Content can be anything. It could be videos, images, audio like podcasts, but most likely you’ll star with blog posts.
Blog posts are basically articles that will help a prospect. So if your company is a website design company and your prospect is searching for “modern website design ideas”, you could write an article about some modern website design trends.
That content should rank highly for that search term and be found to be very helpful by the prospect.
So how do we turn them from prospects into leads? Well that comes next.
4) Include a call-to-action. You need something in your content, usually at the end that offers your prospect another piece of content, usually one that is more substantial. This other piece of content could be an ebook, a white paper or a checklist. Something that gives them more helpful information around the same subject.
The call-to-action needs to stand out from the blog article and should have a button to help reinforce that the prospect should click to get it.
Your call-to-action should have some benefits for the user. What will this new content do for them? A visual representation of the new content is also helpful.
An example of the new content for our website design company could be called A Guide To Selecting a Website Design Firm, 25 questions you should ask before you hire.
If I was looking for a website design firm I’d find that very helpful.
5) Send them to a landing page. When you prospect clicks on your call to action, they should go to a landing page that is built to do one thing, get their contact information so they can become a lead and move into your sales funnel.
Your landing page will ideally have no navigation. You got them to click on your call-to-action you don’t want them wandering off before you get their information.
You should have your logo at the top of the page and a headline that reinforces the benefits of the content that you’re offering. An image of the ebook helps because it makes it feel real.
Below the image you can add some bullets that are more benefits that the prospect will get from the ebook.
And your form should be on the right. Keep it as short as possible. Every field you add to the form will reduce the number of sign ups you get.
6) Create a workflow that walks them through the sales funnel. Ok, now you’ve got a lead, do you pick up the phone and call them right away and turn on your salesman skills? It’s better to create a workflow that offers more help and education.
Your workflow will give you a chance to walk these prospects through the sales funnel so you end up with very highly qualified leads. Instead of wasting your time on prospects who will never become customers, you only get very well qualified leads at the end of the workflow.
This is a great place to build in some marketing automation processes and let the prospects self-disqualify.
In the end the biggest benefit of inbound marketing is that prospects are finding you. Plus they are prospects that are in a buying phase rather than just a tire-kicking phase.
Inbound marketing works. Give it a try and let us know how well it works for you.