Nobody likes cold calling. Not the person who makes the call and certainly not the person who receives it. Unfortunately, many businesses still rely on 20th century outbound marketing tactics like cold calling because they simply don’t know a better way of producing leads.
Inbound Marketing is that better way. It’s a systematized process to take a stranger and turn them into a committed customer. And what makes inbound marketing truly great is that instead of having to going out and find customers, you attract them to you. This approach is not only more effective, it’s usually less expensive. According to a recent study by HubSpot, inbound marketing leads cost 62% less than traditional outbound leads.
Inbound Marketing introduces a lot of new concepts, so it can seem a little overwhelming at first. To help make it a little clearer below you will find overview of the four steps in the Inbound Marketing process:
#1 Attracting The Right Customers
One of the benefits of inbound marketing is that you don’t waste time selling to people who are unlikely to buy your products or services. Instead you focus on attracting people who are most likely to convert into qualified leads. But in order to attract your ideal customer you must understand who they are. That means having an in-depth knowledge of their:
- Demographic Details
Once you understand your customer you can design content to attract them. One of best techniques is blogging. By creating blog posts that answer your ideal customer questions you will naturally attract them to your website. Another important part of your strategy should be social media. Using your social properties you can share your content, interact with your customers and show the human face behind your business.
Finally you need to make sure that your content is optimized for the internet. You need to discover the search terms that your prospect is using when they are looking for information about your industry on Google, Yahoo or Bing.
#2 Gathering Contact Information
The next step in the process is to obtain your prospective customers contact information. Your customers contact information is valuable and so you need to be willing to offering some of equal value in return. That could be an eBook, a free report, or a list of resources. Whatever you provide it must be something that helps your prospect with their challenges or helps move them towards realizing their goals.
Throughout your content you need to have calls to action. These are buttons and links which direct the reader to take action. Typically when they click on one of these calls to action they will be taken to a landing page. A landing page is a web page which serves only one purpose – to obtain the readers contact details.
#3 Converting Prospects Into Buyers
The third step of the process is taking someone who has expressed interest in your products and services and converting them into a paying customer. One of the main tools that we have at our disposal is email. Because you obtained their email contact details in the previous stage you can continue to educate your prospect with a series of automated emails. This also gives your prospect an opportunity to get to know you and your business.
Automation has significantly transformed the way that we can nurture our prospects. You can decide which sequence of emails a prospect receives depending on how they initially entered your sales funnel. For example if you were a dentist and you have a report on cosmetic veneers you might have a follow up email sequence specifically designed for people who downloaded that report. You might have a completely different email series for someone who submitted a contact form to learn more about teeth whitening.
As you continue to provide value to your prospective customer you should also be giving them opportunities to purchase your products and services. And by measuring the time your customer has been in the sales funnel you can select the optimal time for a sales representative to contact them by phone.
#4 Continuing To Engage With Existing Customers
Existing customers are your businesses greatest asset. This is why it is important to continue to provide value to them even after they have purchased from you. This might include introducing them to other products and services that you offer, that could help them even further. It may also mean engaging with them on social media and asking them about their experience with your business.
This step of the process is essential because you can significantly increase the average life time value of your customer. When this step is performed correctly it can also turn your customers into ambassadors for your brand.
Do’s and Don’ts Of Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing is a very strategic way of approaching lead generation and customer retention. As such, it is something that requires thought and planning. One mistake that many businesses will make is to start using social media or to begin blogging, without taking a more comprehensive look at how this fits into their overall sales funnel.
If you would like help with understanding how you can establish a systematized approach to getting leads for your business, reach out to us at FX Digital we would love to help.
Your Next Step
Your next step should be to clearly identify who your ideal customer is and really try to understand them and their needs. This one step will make designing the rest of your inbound marketing funnel much easier.