It’s agreed that inbound marketing is the best strategy to promoting and building your brand online. In a digital era where consumers religiously leverage search engines, social media networks, and business websites to make purchasing decisions, inbound is the way to get in front of your desired audience to grow a sustainable company in 2017.
There are four key components to inbound marketing which include Attract, Capture, Close, and Delight. For success, it’s important to have all elements working to produce well-rounded results from your online efforts. As you test and measure each piece with your audience, you’ll begin to formulate the perfect inbound plan for your brand.
If you’re just beginning to implement inbound marketing or looking for ways to tune-up your current strategy, here are the necessary 4 steps to create an Inbound Marketing Plan that yields results like more traffic to your sites, quality leads, sales, repeat sales, and loyal followership.
#1 Attract Visitors
The first component is getting people to your site…but not just anybody. You want targeted, quality prospects that are interested in what you have to offer. This requires having a clear understanding of your target audience and their pains, problems, and needs. The more clarity you have with your market, the better you can align your content to their interests.
Attracting visitors is about sharing messages that best resonates with your target market. Developing buyer personas is a key process that helps you discover in-depth who your ideal customer is and how to produce content that gets them involved in you!
Once you’re clear on your audience, here’s how to draw them to your website:
- Social Media: social networks are sending tremendous traffic to blogs and websites. Offer value to your followers by sharing your quality-rich blog posts that positions your brand as an expert
- SEO: optimize your blog posts and website for SEO so your audience can find you in the search engines
- Retargeting Ads: perfect way to keep your brand “top of mind” after people leave your website. Your ad will follow your visitor wherever they go online with retargeting
- Blogging: blogging is superb for boosting visibility, solidifying your expertise within your space, and getting more people to your site.
#2 Convert Traffic into Leads
Now that you have visitors on your site, the goal is to capture leads to build your prospect list. This entails giving an offer that is enticing enough that they are compelled to give you the goods (i.e. name, email, and/or address if applicable).
Again, when you’re in tuned with your market, you know exactly what they want. So your freebie could be a discount coupon, eBook, checklist, video how-to…anything that is valuable to your buyer persona.
This works well when your offer is congruent to the message you’re sharing in your content. For example, if your blog post explains the “5 Exercise Steps to Lose 10lbs in 14 Days”, a great offer would be a downloadable checklist they can print out that quickly illustrates those steps.
Keep in mind that the goal of your content marketing is to generate leads. Landing pages and webforms are tools needed to successfully grow your list from your content. Giving a specific call-to-action, or telling the visitor what to do next, is critical to moving them from visitor to lead prospect.
#3 Close Sales & Gain New Customers
The next part to inbound marketing is converting your leads into customers. The good news is your list is already qualified; they’ve already expressed interest in your company by opting in. Your objective is to simply cultivate your list by continuing to solve their problems, give value that enriches their lives, and show how your products/business/services are the solution.
Social proof and customer testimonies are strong motivators to drive leads closer to buying decisions. Consumers want to know “will this work for me?” Testimonials show that if it works for someone else, it can work for them too!
Here’s how to specifically close sales in your inbound marketing strategy:
- Nurture subscribers by sharing blog posts, segmenting your list for personalization, while also promoting sales and product launches content to boost profits
- The benefits to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system include increased productivity, driving sales, and fostering positive customer experiences. It helps organize and keep track of your leads to effectively close more sales
- Set up marketing automations. Businesses that automate their lead nurturing process with targeted messages experience better sales opportunities versus companies who do not. Put your email, social media content, and other website actions on autopilot
#4 Use Value to Delight & Turn Customers into Promoters
You’ve closed a new customer…excellent! But it doesn’t stop there. This final step is where you build loyal, raving fans who gladly promote you to their networks.
How do you make this transition? By continuing to share value that speaks to your audience. Your goal is to consistently bring fresh, new content that keeps your market in the know. Tools such as surveys and social monitoring are ways to gain feedback to improve your customer initiatives and create awesome experiences. Also getting customers involved through user-generated content is great for keeping them connected with your brand.
Staying abreast with your market positions you to upsell and create new products that continue to solve problems. You are giving the people what they want…and they will love you for it!
Inbound marketing is indeed the best way to promote and market your business online. The benefits are immeasurable when you consider the impact this strategy has on your overall marketing campaign…truly turning strangers into customers and promoters of your company!