If you've ever had a conversation with a marketer who believes in inbound marketing, you know how intense its supporters can be. Heck, there's even an absolutely massive conference called INBOUND, put on by our friends over at HubSpot. Detractors call inbound marketing a cult. Others are skeptical, mainly because they're set in their traditional ways. We like to call it exactly what it is: a strategy and concept that delivers consistent results over a lengthy period of time.
The theory behind inbound marketing is simple. Consumers - especially in this Internet Age - like to do their own research; if they have a question, rather than asking directly, they like to search for an answer. But just because consumers aren't actually asking a customer service representative in a 1-to-1 conversation doesn't mean your brand can't be the one to ultimately provide an answer. If your company answers a common consumer question in the form of a blog post or free whitepaper, people will remember where they found help.
The recognition and credibility that brands are gaining through inbound marketing is unprecedented. To show you how to take advantage of these benefits, we created a short video on How To Improve Customer Engagement With Inbound Marketing:
1. Create Buyer Personas
Have you heard the saying, "Different strokes for different folks?" It just means that we all like and prefer unique things. The same goes for your customers; you have to think of consumers as individuals with specific needs. If your customer base is big enough, however, you'll start to see groups emerge. When you notice trends, start documenting what you're seeing so you can create buyer personas. Each group of customers will face their own problems, and therefore will be interested in your products or services for varying reasons. The better you understand your customers and what keeps them up at night, they more success you'll have in selling to them.
2. Nurture Leads Using a Sales Funnel
These days, making a sale is more of a marathon than a sprint. A sales funnel is the path that you nurture your customers along toward as they get closer to a purchase. It involves providing information, keeping in touch and showing consumers how you add value to their lives.
3. Leverage Quality Content
As with most forms of marketing in 2015, content is the core focus of inbound marketing. The more targeted content you produce, the more new potential customers you reach. Quality content helps you prove your worth to potential customers, and if you're lucky, people will find your content useful enough to share with their network. When you begin to produce great content on a regular basis, you can leverage it by asking for consumers' information in exchange for access to your content. The more details you have on your potential customers, the better you'll be able to define your customer personas; everything works together!
4. Converting Landing Pages
Although content is integral to successful inbound marketing, there's no denying that converting landing pages are the single most important component of inbound campaigns. Because much of the process is automated, landing pages are where all the magic happens; customers find you, they give you their information and most importantly, they discover what your products and services are all about.
5. Multiply Your Efforts Using Workflows
As I mentioned, automation is a big part of inbound marketing. By using workflows, you can keep targeted content flowing to your potential customers with minimal extra effort. You do less work, and potential customers see the content that answers their questions. It's no wonder inbound marketing has a cult following. Are you ready to take the plunge?