Last week we shared a blog post about the 5 W’s; who, what, when, where, and why of Inbound Marketing. So we thought it is only appropriate to not leave you hanging and follow up with the how.
So how do you actually achieve your company goals through inbound marketing? How do you cut through the noise online, especially in the information-heavy world of social media?
You use the Inbound Methodology to help steer the course and keep you focused on the quality content your company has to offer. Let everyone else chase the gimmicks. Your long term strategy should be to attract, convert, close and delight in a helpful, credible way.
Start with knowing who you’re trying to reach. Everything you do in your marketing must be tied back to your persona. HubSpot describes a buyer persona as a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer which is based on real data and educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals. Do research, identify trends and create a fictional story.
Optimize your website by making it as fully functional and perfect as possible. Work on search engine ranking, but don’t focus exclusively on “being number one” on Google searches. There is a lot of time and money wasted on this that ends up being fairly arbitrary at the end of the day. Satisfy searchers first with unique, credible and helpful content, then the search engines will follow.
Think about website design. Overly complex and poorly designed websites scare away visitors while beautiful websites have the ability to establish instant credibility and retain visitors. Think about your personal interactions and reactions to websites. What are you attracted to? What makes you cringe and never return? If you’re unfamiliar with design or don’t know what to look for, seek advice from someone who does. Web design is a huge industry and rightfully so because design functions behind the scenes, it’s subtle and can have incredible effects on the brain without a person realizing it. Educate yourself.
Focus on keywords, quality content through blog writing and content offers. Think about how you’ll distribute content through social media channels and what roles each channel will play. For instance, a post to Facebook should be different than a post to LinkedIn. Think about the audience you’re trying to target and speak their language.
Visitors into leads through using proactive approaches. Use a call-to-action (CTA) to present a choice to visitors. Depending on the stage of the buyer’s journey, offer visitors content in the form of an eBook, Webinar or case study, or a purchasing guide and worksheet.
If you’re offering something to people, they should expect to give something in return; a name, an email. Let the amount of information you require the reader to submit determine the quality, depth, and size of the content or vice versa. Remember, there is a balance to this and if you’re giving something away, it is acceptable to ask for some information in return.
Once you’ve gathered contact information you can add them to mailing lists, enter them into a HubSpot workflow, and continue to engage them. Now is the time to nurture the lead into a customer and pass them along to your sales team. Email is a great way to gain trust that can encourage leads into becoming a customer. Segment your contacts and tailor your emails to each lead to help with engagement. You want to determine who your contacts are and send them the right information.
right content + right audience + right timing = success
If they’re engaging with content, it may be time to reach out with a phone call or set up a meeting.
One way to help bridge the gap between your marketing efforts and sales team is to ask questions to segment contacts by location, role, or behavior. What are their pain points? Remember, prospects make 60% of their purchase decision before talking to a sales rep. Leverage the buyer’s context to know who you’re talking with and the stage in their buyer’s journey.
By going above and beyond the expectations of customers, there is an opportunity to turn them into promoters. The customer’s experience is formed from the beginning interaction when they’re attracted to your website as strangers, so your job is never complete just because you make a sale. According to HubSpot, there are three pillars of customer delight:
- Innovation- change is better than the status quo.
- Communication- being personal and available to help people is ideal.
- Education- Empowering is better than ignoring. Build a customer’s knowledge.
Delighting is about cultivating relationships and having customers turn into evangelists for your company. This means listen to customers, ask questions, help and educate and lastly, follow up with them. The better the experience the more likely they will share it with friends, family or on their social media. As a result, you’ll have new strangers being attracted to your company, and the cycle will continue.
As always, be sure to stay tuned to Paveya’s blog to learn more about digital marketing and feel free to get in touch to let us know how we can help you.