Content / Inbound Marketing, and How it can Grow Your Business
Today’s world is one of abundant information and a lack of attention. We produce information at breakneck speed over multiple platforms that work together in the ever-connected online sphere. According to IBM, we now create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day; 90% of the data that exists in the world today was created only in the last 2 years. This means buyers are empowered with all this data in their pockets, accessible at all times. This is an incentive for firms to add quality content that informs buyers and guides them to the right path for optimal solutions. This is where Inbound Marketing plays a quintessential role in your bid to generate more business.
This article explores inbound marketing, its 4 phases and how it can grow your online reach and influence..
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing focuses on attracting customers through relevant, helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer’s buying journey using blogs, content marketing, events, SEO, social media etc.
Inbound marketing is differs from traditional outbound marketing because it brings business to you with the help of content designed to address the problems and needs of the buyers, instead of you having to fight for potential customer’s attention.
81% of buyers conduct online research before they make a purchase. The instantly gratifying nature of internet leaves you with mere seconds to capture their attention and influence their buying decision. Thus, the power to give user/consumer the exact answer at the exact moment they need it, builds trust, reputation and superiority in whatever niche you are catering to.
Old school marketing tactics have moved over to make space for new methods geared at generating awareness, building relationships and generating leads. This helps buyers to find you early in their decision process, which in turn gives you a stronger influence on their future buying decision. Thus, inbound marketing is essential for your business in the current online environment to ensure you capture their attention early, and have all the information that addresses their needs.
Let’s take a look at the 4 phases of inbound that converts users to customers and how you can attract the right traffic to your channels.
4 Phases of Inbound Marketing.
Inbound marketing centres around quality over quantity. The goal is to attract the right kind of users to your website; users that are looking for the answers that you have. These are the users that will turn into possible leads, and ultimately into customers. How do I do that, you ask? By providing them relevant content that they want, when they want it.
Blogging. The holy grail of your marketing strategy, blogging about relevant content is the best way to attract new users to your website. It increases your organic search ranking and boosts referral traffic when your posts are shared with others. The key is to create educational content that speaks to the user and addresses their needs – some tips on how to write an effective blog post here.
Content Strategy. An effective content strategy will make sure you show up in relevant results for the user’s query, when they search for it. At Massive, we believe in “thinking like a user”. Tailoring your content according to buyer’s needs with relevant keywords is the key to success here.
Social Media. Social media is a great way to share rich content and engage thought leaders in your space. It puts a human face on your brand and helps you engage with prospects/customers. It is imperative to have a presence on the platforms where your target audience resides.
Getting traffic on your site is just half the battle. Once they’re there, it’s your job to serve compelling content that anticipates their questions and walks them through the buying process. This can be in the form of whitepapers, video content, infographics, calculators; really any tool or artifact that provides value to them in their journey. Regardless of how you convert, the key to success is making sure you answer all their questions and providing content that is valuable to the buyer persona is key.
Forms. Once users are on your website, they can fill out short forms to seek more information so you can continue the conversation. Make sure the forms are optimized so the process is as fast and easy as possible.
Meetings. Winning someone’s business requires communication, whether it is face to face or a virtual meeting. Make sure it is easy for prospects to book meetings with you without the hassle of going back and forth many times. This makes sure you have your ear to the possible opportunities on the horizon. Staying engaged with new leads is the best way to win a business.
Messages. Empower your sales team with the online live chat tool. Website visitors are fully engaged in that moment; talking to them in the very moment they are seeking answers is vital to creating an impact on the buying decision process.
By now you have attracted the right users to your website and converted them into leads. Next step? Converting the leads into customers. You need to be armed with all the relevant sales tools to make sure you are on top of your leads and closing them at the right time.
Lead Nurturing. Every lead is different with regards to their interests and their stage in the buying cycle. As such, they should be nurtured accordingly. The pages they have visited on your website, the content they liked, indicates the shifting interests in the prospects. Effective nurturing adapts the messaging with each lead and stays relevant to win business faster.
Email. Sometimes a lead has been through the first 2 steps, filled out a form but still isn’t ready to become a customer. This could be timing thing, or due to hesitancy in committing to the process. This is where having a dedicated email campaign can help. Emails centred around relevant, useful content for the lead can build trust with the buyer and have them ready to buy.
Predictive Lead Scoring. As your business grows, it won’t be feasible to get in touch with each lead. You have to prioritize your time and focus on leads that are the most qualified. Qualifying your leads helps you to identify the best fits for your business so as to avoid conflicts in the working relationship.
Although inbound is a way to generate business without chasing your prospects. Once you actually do win their business, it is important to keep them happy. So it is even more important to engage with customers and be a part of their success. Happy customers buy more, tell their friends and promote your business to the world and stay loyal to you. Word of mouth is the strongest tool in marketing.
Smart Content. Your customer has already been through your sales pitch, and they loved it. Thus, they are a customer. So, there is no need to bombard your current customers with content meant for leads or first time visitors. With smart content across your website, you can provide different content to visitors based on their stage of buying process and buyer persona.
Conversations. Retaining an existing customer is 12X more cost effective than closing a new lead. As such, it’s important to manage conversations with customers across all channels; responding quickly and making them part of the conversation. Perhaps most importantly, these conversations are an opportunity to uncover customer insights that will inform your product or service over time.
The world is evolving and the cheesy outbound ways of grabbing customer attention can only get us so far. Utilizing your social channels and providing relevant, intuitive content pulls customers to you by generating quality leads for your business. We hope this article highlights the importance of inbound marketing and how it can help you provide more value to your customers. If you are looking for an agency to help you with your inbound strategy, we’d love to talk.