Inbound marketing focuses on placing irresistible content on your website which acts as a magnet to pull your customers in. This is in contrast to the traditional outbound marketing practices of the past which consisted of pushing your message at your target customers eg. Direct mail or telesales.
In today’s online climate, in order to get a return on your marketing pounds, particularly for smaller businesses, your focus should now be on developing content-driven inbound marketing activities.
If done correctly, and not in an overtly pushy sales driven way, this will attract the type of customer you are looking for and keep them coming back time and again.
The first stage is to bring the customer to you
In order to attract prospects to your site you need to develop irresistible content that they both need and want. This content should be placed on its own landing page on your website.
Critically they need to want the content so much that they are prepared to divulge their personal details, such as name and email, in order to obtain it.
To give you an example of irresistible content, if your business was teaching people how to play golf irresistible content might be “The top 10 tips to perfecting your swing without spending a fortune.”
This content could be produced in the form of an eBook, YouTube video or white paper but the key thing is that whatever format it comes in it is placed on a landing page on your website.
Once you have developed your irresistible content you then need to attract your prospects attention to it. There are many different ways to do this with the most popular listed below:
- Create a promotional eBlast campaign showcasing your irresistible content and send it your prospect or mailing list. This can be done on free to use tools such as mailchimp or dotmailer.
- Create a blog, write a post all about the irresistible content and then share it with all your friends and followers on social media channels such as Linkedin and Twitter.
- Place call to action buttons on your own and partner websites to lead visitors to the irresistible content
The second stage of inbound content marketing is turning those site visitors into leads
Once you have your prospects’ attention, before handing them your irresistible content you first require them to disclose their contact details in order that you can start to nurture them as a lead.
This is why it is so important that the content is interesting enough for them to hand those details over!
Take care you are not asking for too much information from those showing ‘initial’ interest that you put them off, or that you let those who are fully ‘bought-in’ get away without providing enough. For example for a first download you only need to collect their name and email address but when they are signing up for a second download you will want to ask what other areas of your business they are interested in so that you can target your offering to that individual.
Converting the leads into customers
Once you have collected your prospects contact details you can start to engage with them by starting a dialogue. Because they have now interacted with you in order to receive the irresistible content they have become warm leads and will therefore be more open to your product or service.
However, the key marketing challenge is making sure your communications are tailored to your prospects based on the information they have provided. The most common channels are listed below:
- Create and send an email newsletter which has content that you know they are interested in with specific product or service offerings.
- Follow or connect with them on their preferred social media channel and start a conversation with them there.
- Create a new piece of content that you think they will be interested in and will lead them to a potential purchase.
The bottom line is that by providing your prospects with information that is not overtly sales-driven you are building a relationship that is built primarily on expertise and trust. They will be far more likely to purchase from you if they perceive you to be an expert in your chosen field and not a pushy salesman.
There are a variety of tools on the market to help you manage inbound content marketing and the nurturing of leads but they tend to be costly and out of the reach of the majority of small to medium sized businesses. The good news is that there are FREE tools out there that can help you manage all aspects of the process and will cover these in more depth in a future blog.
Inbound content marketing whilst arguably time-consuming is the most cost-effective way for all businesses to develop their prospect pipeline and generate more qualified leads and sales. The days of pushing your message at an unsuspecting audience do not work in the online era. Your prospects are now looking for your products and services online and you need to make sure that you catch their eye by providing them with information that grabs their attention and draws them in.
Waypoint is a Winchester marketing company specialising in delivering marketing strategy, content development and lead generation.
For more information on how to develop your inbound content marketing or help with your digital marketing strategy please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org