"How can I win customers over?" This question is as old as marketing itself. In a slightly broader context, perhaps even as old as the human race. In this playbook, we explain how to use Inbound Marketing to succeed in attracting the attention of your target audience, identifying their true desires and needs, and responding to them accordingly.
The following tried-and-tested Inbound Marketing techniques turn any oh-so-quiet online marketer into an irresistible customer magnet.
Don’t search, be found!
Inbound Marketing is a sales method that builds on being found by customers. Because as every single person knows: "He who stops searching is found." Outbound Marketing – the desperately searching counterpart to Inbound Marketing – usually tries, relatively indiscriminately, to reach a broad mass through mail, print, radio and TV advertising, flyers, SPAM and telephone. In contrast, inbound marketing employs the much more subtle methods of Content Marketing for customer acquisition and retention: eMail, SEO, social media, blogs, etc., supported by Marketing Automation. Videos with real information value instead of annoying run-of-the-mill TV spots. Relevant blog posts instead of meaningless print adverts. High-quality content that creates added value and makes users curious about finding out more, instead of cold calling. Inbound Marketing promises not only more stable customer relationships in the long term, but also cost savings through more targeted communication and multiplier effects via intrinsically motivated customers who redistribute your content.
In the right place at the right time
However, being found does not mean sitting back and waiting. You still need to get out there. It’s hard to be found at home, as every single person knows. Nor will you be found if you hang out on the second page of the search results. In order to be successful in getting found, you first have to ask yourself the following questions: Where does my target group like to hang out? What interests them? What are they searching for? Position yourself accordingly. Visibly but unobtrusively. Demonstrate depth by using your Inbound Marketing activities to offer content on topics you know to be relevant to your audience. Without advertising or selling. In the initial phase, your attention and your communicative focus should be exclusively on your target person.
Everything is possible, nothing is a must
Don’t rush anything! Don’t make the mistake of telling everything at once. A clumsy sale offer at the first point of contact is like a marriage proposal on a blind date – the probability of success in both cases is devastatingly low, making the attempt not worth your time or your money. The first touchpoint should be more like a happy coincidence, a supposedly fleeting touch that leaves a subtle but powerful trail. It sows a seed, which – if properly nurtured and cared for – may germinate only weeks, months or even years later. Or not. To use the vocabulary of the content marketer: content seeding spreads content in a strategic way that targets viral distribution within the target audience. Those users in which the seed germinates – that is, those who are interested in the content – will be offered further content in the course of subsequent Inbound Marketing activities. This further qualification of leads is part of what is known as lead nurturing, which ultimately aims to convert leads to customers.
Inbound Marketing is an art – but not one that cannot be learned. We recommend a 4-step approach:
1. Generate traffic
The first step is to make the visitors aware of you – that is, to bring traffic to your channels. In principle, a distinction is made between organic and paid coverages, depending on whether you make contact with your audience via paid advertisements or not. In any case, how well your content is optimised to your audience's search terms using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is critical. Because if you cannot be found, you won’t get any visits. None.
2. Turn visitors into leads
“May I have your number?”
In the second step, visitors won through relevant content will be converted into leads if they are interested in further content about your information and service offerings – interested enough to share their contact details with you. If, for example, you have led a customer to your landing page via your social media channel – in other words, if you have won them as a visitor – you can give them the opportunity to sign up for additional content via your newsletter.
3. Convert leads into customers
“Would you like to come back to my place?”
In order to convert your leads to customers, verify them in the next step and try to convert them to orders in the best possible way. But that's not all. Inbound Marketing is not about a one-timer, but about sustainable partnerships. You do not drop your clientele like a hot potato after the first order, but keep on caring for them. In this way, you can build long-term relationships with your customers that are profitable for both parties.
4. Analyse activities
"How was I?"
In order to make your Inbound Marketing activities sustainably profitable and satisfying, you must regularly measure their success. Analyse the effectiveness of your actions and adjust your strategy accordingly. Modern tools can help identify potential for optimisation and bring you closer to your target group.
We are convinced that this Inbound Marketing methodology will enable you to get the most out of yourself and that you will soon make many customers very happy. If you want to know more about the concept of Inbound Marketing and what its purpose is, click here.
Should you have any further questions, we will be happy to assist you as your wing team, your sales doctors, your matchmakers.
Otherwise: Game on!
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