Inbound marketing strategies
What is inbound marketing?
Old school marketing was about pushing products in front of people hoping, sometimes this would have the opposite effect, repelling rather than attracting. So how do you market in a smart way today? Inbound marketing is a strategy designed to attract customers… sort of like a honey pot or like a magnet drawing in the right people. This methodology is based on creating value rather than creating a product and trying to sell it. It works on the concept of creating value by offering content to engage your customers.
By focusing on creating value and building relationships, your sharing and providing information that has value, your building trust rather than just trying to just sell a product. This also demonstrates your knowledge in the industry and shows your willing to go the extra mile. Its really about building value into your brand, whilst creating brand loyalty.
Creating value around your product offering can be done in a myriad of different ways. But it’s really about identifying where your customer is at on the buyers’ journey and developing conversational pathways within your content around each stage of the buying process to lead your customers to want to explore and be delighted with your product offering that is providing solutions. Attracting customers to view, enquire, and to eventually buy your products/services is essentially what the inbound marketing methodology is about which is to attract, engage and delight your customers.
Define your value proposition
First things first, you need to define your value offering. It can be in the form of a short statement or 3 words. It should be unique and one that distinguishes your brand apart from your competitors. Your value proposition is part of your brand identity.
So your value proposition gives your customers a brief snapshot of why they should engage with your products or services, it tells them why they should choose your products/service and communicates the benefits and gives them a sense of confidence and a level of certainty that what your offering has value.
For instance, Sharp Spring uses simple-to-read language confirming its value proposition by using the words ‘Powerful, Affordable, For Everyone‘. By confirming the strength of their product and its affordability and accessibility, provides a sense of ease, simply by those three factors or words.
Now with that in mind now we need to figure out how to attract
How to attract and woo your customers
There are three stages of the inbound methodology that align alongside the buyer’s journey. Within each of these stages, the buyer’s journey runs parallel.
ATTRACT – Draw in the right people with content that provides value
ENGAGE – Present insight and solutions that align with your customers pain points and goals
DELIGHT – Reassure and empower customers by supporting them to find success in their purchase
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What is the buyers journey
The buyer’s journey is the path a customer takes during the initial phases of purchasing a product. These stages are identified as first becoming aware of the problem, then considering solutions, and then finally making a decision to purchase. When you’re using the inbound marketing strategy you’re building content around each of one of these stages, to attract, engage and delight your customers.
Build content that walks yor customer along the buyers journey
Stage 1 - Awareness
This is the first stage of the buyers’ journey, it is the stage where the customer discovers your product and or services and is learning about your offering. This is an important step as it is where you need to match your content offering to the customers pain points and or goals.
- Content that is educational, does it have facts or examples does it build awareness?
- Value proposition needs to be clearly defined
- Use social proofing to build credibility and give your customers confidence
- Promote your content via social media platforms
- Provide promotional details and discounts
- Write blog articles that address their pain points, some examples are:
- Product guides and useful tips & tricks
- Information on how your product/service resolves their issues
- Exploring product/service advantages, highlighting benefits
Stage 2 - Consideration
- This is the second stage in the conversational pathway, content needs to be solutions orientated and needs to provide answers
- Provide answers to the questions of how and why this product solves their issues
- Craft your content based on the value of your business so that it creates a long term business relationship
- Create a lead magnet – this can be white papers, e-newsletters, trial subscription, free consultations, booking appointments
- Set up email marketing to add new subscribers to further reinstate solutions and continued engagement
Stage 3 - Decision
This is the final stage whereby your customers have found the solution to their problem and now have made the decision to purchase. This is a stage whereby you need to nurture your customers by giving them the confidence they have made the right purchasing decision and then gathering feedback to ensure you have completed the final stage by following with your customers if they were happy with their purchasing decision.
- Does the content sell the service or product, use case studies, demonstrations and pricing
- Satisfaction surveys provide you with feedback on the customers journey
- Setup thank you landing page or thank you email
- Review ideas for improvement
- Respond to social media feedback
- Offer content that is smart, warm and inviting and welcomes them on board
Stage 4 - Nurture
This is the stage of looking after your customer and responding to any feedback that they provide. This is a vital stage as it allows you to review any of the stages that may need to be refined and look for ways on how you can improve the process.
- Respond to any feedback on social media or Google reviews
- See where you can use a story of a happy purchase and build a case study to further develop or enhance your content strategy for stage 1.
Hope you found this article useful and it provided you with some ideas you can implement into your marketing strategies.