by Natasha Cartwright, Katapult.
Let’s face it, nobody enjoys being marketed to. From fast forwarding adverts, and advanced spam filters to browsing incognito, fast advancing technology is making it so much easier for consumers to press the mute button on our marketing efforts.
Buyer behaviour is changing, rapidly, and so too is the way businesses are structuring their marketing campaigns.
Inbound marketing is a term you have probably heard being thrown around once or twice, but many people are confused as to what it is, and how to integrate the methodology into their marketing plan successfully.
In this blog I will explain the Inbound Methodology, and set you up with five essential tips you’ll to help you on the road of inbound success:
Attract, convert, close and delight
These four words are the building blocks of Inbound Marketing, and will guide a prospect from being a complete stranger, to a promoter of your business.
Unlike traditional marketing techniques, inbound marketing means you no longer need to shout as loud as you can in a busy market. The art of the methodology is to create content that answers the problems of your buyer persona, resulting in you building trust, credibility and increasing the quality of your leads.
When it comes to attracting people to your website, marketers need to be focusing on quality over quantity. Yes, it’s great to see the number of visits you get mont
h on month rise - but are the people arriving at your website the right people?
There are a number of tactics you can use to attract more relevant traffic to your website, these include:
Optimising your website for search: SEO is a buzzword that most marketers are now familiar with. It’s the process of ensuring your website is found when prospects search for a term online.
Blogging: At the heart of the inbound marketing methodology comes a fantastic blogging strategy. Your blogs are the best way to attract your buyer persona’s & build trust. Your blog needs to include educational content, that answers questions and covers relevant trends.
Social media: In order to deliver a successful inbound marketing campaign, you need to be not only creating remarkable content, but also getting your content out there to the right people at the right time. Social media is no longer something that your son/daughter watches funny dog videos on, it’s your platform to bring your business to life, make noise about the content you’ve created and sell your products and/or services.
Once you’ve got visitors to your website, the next step of course is to encourage them to convert and become leads.
An effective conversion path consists of both parties (you, and your prospect) gaining value from the interaction. You’ll need to create an irresistible offer for your prospect, something that they are willing to trade their personal information (such as email address, and details about what they do for a job) for. This could be in the form of a free webinar, event, eBook or case study. The content needs to be something that they wouldn’t be able to find easily in one place online.
Once you’ve decided upon and created your offer, you need to make it simple for your prospect to make the exchange of information on your website. You can do this by making a simple conversion path - a standard inbound conversion path consists of:
Calls-to-Action: These are the signposts to your content, the placement of your CTAs need to be well thought out, and only placed on pages where the offer is relevant and stand out on your web pages.
Landing pages: This is where your prospects are directed to when they’ve clicked on your CTA. Your landing page is where you sell the offer, and also where the exchange of information takes place. A top tip for ensuring your landing pages convert is to remove anything that may distract the user - such as additional CTAs and top navigation.
Conversion form: One of the biggest causes for bounce rates on conversion landing pages is an overly long form. Only ask the amount of information that is necessary. For example - if your offer is an eBook, do you really need to know the person’s phone number and address? Think about the information you would be willing to give if you were in your prospect’s shoes.
Thank you page: When your new lead has converted, it’s important to consider their next step. On the thank you page you can return the navigation, to allow them to roam freely across your website. Also consider featuring links to relevant content across your website such as informative blogs or product/services pages that are closely linked to their recent download/enquiry.
Once your prospect has converted into a lead, it’s time to play your cards right and secure a sale. But what steps can you take to qualify and close your leads? There are a few tactics you can use to help nurture your leads, without being pushy or irritating:
Segmented email campaigns: Are you guilty of bulk sends of emails,without much consideration of whose inbox it will be landing in? I think we all are. Did you know that segmented emails get 15% more opens and a whopping 60% more clicks? Take the time to review your database, and create lists based on demographics, lifecycle stage or even geographic area and base your email sends on what those people would like to hear.
Marketing automation: If you’re not already using marketing automation, you should be. Automation is the process of setting up lead nurturing emails that will help push your contact further down the marketing funnel - and the best thing about it? Once it’s set up, you can sit back and watch the conversions roll in. You can learn more about the best automation software of 2017 here.
Targeted remarketing/paid advertising: Over the years, paid advertising has become a huge player in our digital marketing strategies. Big players such as Google and Facebook now make it so easy to have your content, product or service put in front of the right people, at the right time. Remarketing allows you to target people who have already converted or have visited your website recently, and will allow your product to be shown to them natively as they’re browsing the web.
So by this point, you’ve successfully secured a sale through the use of inbound marketing (woohoo!). But what happens after this?
Many marketers and sales people forget that customer delight is just as important as closing the deal in the first place. The inbound marketing methodology encourages you to take people from prospects to evangelists, someone who will go on and tell other potential customers about your service/product. Let’s be honest - nothing beats a word of mouth recommendation.
Customer delight comes from every interaction you have with your new customer or client, it’s ensuring that they don’t just make a purchase and never hear from you again.
Consider creating a marketing automation campaign that will check in with the customer, and make sure they’re getting on okay with their purchase. Use dynamic content, such as smart CTAs and text across your website to ensure that they are only ever seeing content that is relevant to them. Engage with your customers on social media by setting up listening streams on Twitter for existing customers.
Launching your first inbound marketing campaign doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time and budget. Inbound is all about marketing to people who actually have an interest in what you do, and are actively searching for your product or service as a solution to their pain points. Download our guide here