Your customers need help, they need guidance and they need to know that you are on their side. At a time when cold calling and direct mail is a very risky strategy that could potentially harm your brand, the inbound marketing approach seems more appropriate than ever.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is, quite simply, attracting customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. This approach is made for the modern world, where consumers have more power, will carry out their own research and come to their own conclusions as to which brand of company they prefer. By providing your target customer with relevant and useful content along their decision-making journey, when they come to making a choice, they are much more likely to choose the company that has been the most helpful. The alternative, outbound marketing, is disruptive, interrupting your audience with sales messaging that they simply do not want and are not ready for.
Inbound marketing is focused on creating connections, providing your customers with what they are looking for and solving problems that they are already struggling with. But how do you apply it?
To give you some guidance, here are our top 10 tips on how to best embrace and apply inbound marketing to your business strategy.
Top 10 tips for inbound marketing:
1. Create a simple plan. Firstly write a simple content plan that will help keep you consistent and, in the long term, save you time. Content marketing is an effective way for you to keep in touch with your customers at every stage of their relationship with you. A cohesive content plan can steer your customer interactions exactly where they need to go.
2. Focus on the customer. Don’t talk about what you do, talk about your customer’s problems and goals and how to overcome them. Tailor your offering to support the changing needs of your customers. By identifying how your product or service can fit the current market, you can support your customers whilst keeping revenue flowing.
3. Create buyer personas. Sending the same message to all your customers is not a productive use of time, resource or budget. By understanding who your ideal customers are and knowing their individual needs and requirements, you can tailor your messaging to best fit them. Creating customer personas is a great way to understand your customers and prospects better. The most effective buyer personas are those that are based on market research and data from your current customer base. The number of personas you have is dependent on the size of your business and offering. Here is a guide to get you started.
4. Stay current. Now, more than ever, you have an opportunity to be a thought leader for your industry, using your expert knowledge to provide updates and forecasts on what the future holds. This is not just interesting and valuable content, but it will cement your role in the wider conversation. Google Trends is a great tool to keep updated with what your audience is searching for. Any content that you produce to answer these queries will be gold.
5. Change up your format. If you were previously communicating with customers in person, the conversation doesn’t have to stop when face-to-face contact isn’t possible. Take the conversation online: digital tools such as Zoom, GoToMeetings or Google Hangouts help you to connect with your customers remotely.
6. Talks and events. Connect with your peers, customers and prospects any way you can. At times like these, webinars and video conferencing are a great way to deliver your message and provide value to your clients.
7. FAQ content is a great way to answer questions that people care about. Keeping your customers informed of the latest action, updates and support that’s available is vital. This content is a great addition to your website and can even help your landing pages to appear in search results relating to your industry.
8. Conversational marketing for instant support. With AI, chatbots and messenger, it is crucial that we can deliver the more immediate communications that our customers expect.
9. Get social. People are now using social media more than ever. After all, social media is one of the most important forms of communication. Keep active on social media. Your existing customers will appreciate your updates and new prospects will take notice of the useful, engaging content that you’re posting. But don’t just post; have a strategy, a personality and think differently if you want to get noticed.
10. Plan ahead. Is your strategy as effective as it could be? Are you delivering solutions and opportunities that have a positive impact on your customers? Use this time to look at your customer pipeline, or review your sales and marketing alignment to make sure that your business is working exactly how it should be.
Get in touch and see how FINALLY can help you and your business through inbound marketing and HubSpot.