Inbound marketing is a modern way of marketing which doesn't rely on interrupting potential customers, instead aiming to develop content which appeals directly to them. Intending to delight, educate, amuse and inform, tailored to each step of the buyers journey.
Marketing has changed dramatically since the internet came along.
How do you go about developing your own inbound marketing strategy?
Creating buyer personas
It’s important to understand deeply who it is you're attempting to connect with. Once you’ve done this you can address their concerns, motives, desires, and interests. We call these ‘buyer personas.’
Once you understand who your likely customers will be it’s possible to appeal to them, effectively.
So once you know who you’re trying to attract you can develop a strategy to reach them.
First and foremost you need a web presence which converts. A staggering 81% of online shoppers research before making a purchase.
It’s crucial to have a website that performs well. It needs to look good and be designed in a way that feels intuitive to its users.
The sites structure needs to be in line with users’ expectations, they need to be able to find what they are looking for with ease. User experience is integral to trust. When your website does not feel intuitive and your users have to start thinking about where things are, they also begin to question how trustworthy your site is.
66% of purchases begin with an online search. Your website is where first impressions are made. Six in ten of us are worried about credit card fraud. Meaning the most professional websites help to ease buyers insecurities. So appearances are everything.
Increase traffic to your website
The most effective way to do this is through blogging. We turn to Google with questions not answers, therefore if you create content which addresses these queries, Google will place it in front of your potential buyers.
Google is all about being helpful. If you have well-structured and helpful content that appeals to your target audience, Google feels what you have to say is important and therefore you’ll rank higher on search engines.
It’s not just all about blogging, we need to incorporate keywords and calls to actions.
Now they’re listening, what’s next?
Call to actions
A call to action is simply a subtle encouragement for a user to take action. These can be in the form of encouraging the user to download a whitepaper, attend a webinar or generally anything that would be valuable enough for them to volunteer their details.
To transform a visitor into a lead we need to offer something in return. Therefore, free whitepapers, webinars anything you feel would be enticing to your audience.
To transform a visitor into a lead we need to create a connection, to do this we use forms. And when it comes to forms, the simpler the better.
A landing page is a web page which exists solely to capture a potential customers’ details. They are optimised to do this as effectively and efficiently as possible. It’s where the 'calls to actions' land. There’s much less clutter and you wouldn’t expect to find the conventional website elements.
Keeping track of leads
Once you have your valuable contacts it’s important to maintain a relationship with them. This is how you go about delighting your potential and current customers. A customer relationship management system is a streamlined and an effective way of management. Find out more here.
Everybody is now a potential ambassador for your brand. With social media we can share our thoughts in minutes. A relationship between customer and brand should continue long after the sale takes place.
By continuously nurturing your leads beyond the purchase stage they continue to think about you, putting your products forward to friends, family and sharing their positive experiences online.
By keeping your buyer personas in mind and developing content to appeal to them you keep your brands name fresh in the minds of your intended audience.
Social media and email marketing are ideal ways to do so.
This infographic from Hubspot describes how marketing has changed over the centuries and is well worth a read: