Marketing evolved through advertising and the deal was trying to go out and trap your clients and prospects through advertising, direct mail and sales driven promotions, In the euphoria and battle for attention a distrust amongst consumers towards advertising and faceless corporatations with ulterior motives emerged to spoil the fun! So now we had a dilemna – how can you hope to serve the very people you want to fall in love with you when those same people don’t even trust you??
So as the old school effectiveness of advertising and promotional strategies dried up what has replaced it. A very warm welcome to Inbound Marketing, it is here to stay. To call it a “marketing” strategy is slightly undervaluing it, its true purpose is for a company wide cultural revolution where being good for the customer meets good for the business.
For the traditional business owner reading this article what is Inbound Marketing? It is the flip in approach from shouting and fighting for attention in a crowded marketplace to letting clients find you by creating relevant content, blogs, engagement, the promise of continued value so you become the brand of choice (with a great, profitable Call To Action) when they are ready to buy. It’s a long game but when the traction does come success builds on success and your authority intact, you have gone through the know, like trust, buy, building authority and strong roots for a long term relationship along the way.
Customers are now more self sufficient researching whatever they need on the privacy of their own phone. Over 80% of us undertake some sort of self driven on-line research. In fact think back to when you last had a query or needed an answer or solution, I bet the first action you took was to google it on your phone.
So through the inbound approach you implement the know, trust, like and buy model. Your customers are finding you themselves and researching and absorbing your message, in their time and place of choice so attention and interest is high. Whether your customer is ready to buy now or later you can remain being the trusty advisor and expert they can turn to.
For me, and this is the kicker, as numbers are not just for accounts Inbound Marketing is not the sole job of the marketing department. Inbound Marketing is the perfect company wide culture for everyone to buy into. Everyone in your organisation should be thinking how what they are doing can attract, delight and engage your prospects and clients.
Want to get going on an Inbound journey. The first 3 pillars for creating an inbound marketing approach:
Stop flogging products and switch to content marketing – articles, ebooks, blogs, webinairs, podcasts, video, find your favorite there are plenty to choose from. When you are planning content think value and education – this is not a pitching competition you are presenting your knowledge, expertise, be authentic, native and relevant to your market. This is authority and trust building and there is no such thing as too much content as nobody will see everything you put out. When someone searches you out as they are ready to buy and are doing their research your bases are covered and they will find you. Everyone is on social media so your clients are too and they are waiting to hear from you.
Social Media – choose your platform, or if I can correct myself choose your ideal client’s platform(s) of choice and hang out there with great posts, engaging in what they are interested in and getting conversations going. Coverage and exposure is still very good in the main (especially LinkedIn and Instagram) so go for it, stop aimlessly scrolling through your feed and start to post a steady stream of content.
SEO focus – a hugely complicated and really exciting subject (see my previous article on googleads) but as a start get thinking about searches a prospect would make if they were looking for your products or services and get these phrases into your website text and content. Your content needs to reflect what your customer is looking for rather than you talking about you. For more advanced SEO PPC/Googleads requires budget and strategy but executed well it will drive warm leads to your door looking for a strong call to action (CTA).
What is not to love about Inbound Marketing – stop flogging products and get a new, relevant direction in your communications.
I am Laura Greenwood and I created my business “Your Lead Generation” to offer the plug in marketing expert “doer” that I was looking for over the 20 years I built and ran our family business. From strategies to “done for you” marketing contracts and £99 Ask Me Anything Marketing Calls I can help you and your team get into action and create lead generation strategies that convert to sales. Telephone 07703 520490 or email email@example.com