Whether we notice it or not, humans are bombarded with marketing communications thousands of times a day. As a marketer, how do you ensure that your brand doesn’t get overshadowed? Inbound Marketing, that’s how. The concepts of Inbound Marketing are a lot like relationships. When you meet someone for the first time, you don’t typically start off with hard-hitting personal questions. The beginning of this new found relationship starts as if you’re “having coffee” and speaking for the first time by laying the appropriate groundwork. On the flipside, if you have a relationship that’s well established, you can now talk to this individual as if you’re “having dessert” by speaking more freely and likely feeling comfortable enough to talk to him or her about more in-depth aspects of their life. These ideas hold true with Inbound Marketing in that you need to nurture your contacts by speaking to them with an appropriate tone and at the appropriate time through the delivery of relevant, helpful content.
In this series, we’ll talk about how to Attract the right leads and Convert them into Closed customers who will become your businesses strongest Advocates.
The Attract Phase:
If used correctly, Inbound Marketing can fuel engagement with your prospective customers (prospects) in a natural approach that ensures you’re delivering the right messages, at the right time to the right audience. This not only lays a perfect foundation for lead generation, but it also allows your brand to move ahead of your competitor’s, allowing you to appeal to your dream customers (buyer personas).
This is a tricky phase because once you have someone’s attention, you don’t want to drive them away. No one likes being inundated with irrelevant information so in order to nurture your new relationship, you have to pay attention to detail and provide relevant, wanted content. The best way to reach your buyer persona is to utilize blogging, keywords, landing pages and social media outlets.
Blogging – Blogging is sometimes referred to as the start of Inbound Marketing. It is an effective platform to attract prospects because it gives you an outlet to provide informative content and encourages reader to engage. When blogging is tied to your website you’re effectively improving your company’s reach through the production of relevant content, keywords and call-to-actions. When done correctly over a regular cadence you can develop a group of readers who will continually return for more.
Keywords – Increasing your SEO is vital in the attraction phase because most customers unknowingly start the buying process with a keyword search. It’s important that you build your SEO strategies with your ideal buyers in mind similarly to deciding on blog topics to write on. Because our customers are so well informed and seek out knowledge before purchasing we need to ensure we’re prominently displayed on search engines.
Landing Pages – Landing pages that host more relevant content for your ideal customers will help convert prospects to leads. Something I continually tell clients is that it doesn’t matter if you’re sending 1 visitor or 1,000 visitors to your website. If your website isn’t converting leads then your ROI is still zero. By offering up content from a landing page in exchange for form submissions, you now have some tangible results to show for all your efforts.
Social Media Channels – Social media publishing gives you a prime opportunity to interact on sites that your prospects are spending their time on. These channels, by nature, are more relaxed and allow you to put a human face to your brand. Have fun with these channels, promote engagement and encourage honest feedback. One thing to always consider is what channels your ideal customers are using, but never feel like you have to use them all. Always try to avoid dumping the same content across all channels and calling it a day. This “rinse-and-repeat” effort likely won’t scale to your benefit. Instead, understand the one or two channels your optimal prospects participate on and focus your efforts there. Provide your very best content and don’t forget to point back to your website.