In the previous article we talked about Inbound Marketing in general. Today we will go a little bit deeper exploring an important aspect of inbound marketing. We will talk about transforming people who are strangers to your brand to promoters going through the buyer journey.
Inbound Marketing became the most effective marketing method for doing business online in the past decade. More and more big companies and startups are adopting and adapting to the new way to market their products. The new marketing methods changed the way marketing was practiced for decades: buying, begging, bugging your way in to the customers pockets. Inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company, brand, and products, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your targeted segments’ interests, you naturally attract traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.
Your relationship with your customers start long before they know you even exist. Before starting your company or launching a new product, you must research your prospect markets, differentiate the different segments in those markets and choose your targeted audience. Each buyer now starts as a stranger in the buyer journey. And it’s up to you to make the first step.
Step One: Attract
We said in the previous article that we are now in the Connection Age. At any given time, everyone is connected somehow to something or someone. People spend a lot of time communicating and connecting and that means that they don’t have much time or attention for you.
The trick is that you must predict based on research and facts what is it that your targeted segments want to read/watch and create it for them. Now they have a reason to virtually visit and learn a thing or two about you. Tools used for this step: SEO, social media, website pages, blogging and more.
Step Two: Convert
Now that the buyer is no longer a stranger, you must convert them into a lead by collecting their information. You would at least need their email address, any other contact info is a plus.
Remember that in return to a lead’s extremely valuable contact information you must give them something in return like an ebook, access to something valuable or just be creative with this part.
More: A lead is someone who might buy something from you in the future. There are two types
of leads: Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Qualified Lead. An MQL is someone who understands your product and is interested in buying it especially from you, but isn’t the perfect fit sales wise. An SQL is a lead is someone who is ready to buy your product but still has questions about it. You must understand both very well and be able to differentiate so you don’t waste resources.
Step Three: Close
Now that you have leads who like you, it’s time to give them a deal and close them. Connect with them in a way they would be happy to see. Send them emails with calls-to-action, remind them with your offers on social media and reach out to the outdoor places they’ll likely be. But don’t bug them. It’s risky if you’re not doing it right.
Moreover, To close leads you must have efficient Customer Relationship Management making sure you have the right information at your fingertips and any given time. You must integrate your CRM with a closed-loop reporting system to insure that your marketing efforts and resources are going in the right place.
Step Four: Delight
The final step is delighting your customers. Your customer service has to be top-notch; your customers have to continue to like you even after they bought your product. Take surveys, respond to feedback, and always keep an eye on what is being said about you online. Word of mouth can make you or break you. There are so many ways you can delight your customers after sales. Get creative thinking about those too.