Change. Times change. Customers change. Their needs change. And your business changes.
So why hasn’t your marketing strategy changed?
In a post-Amazon age, customers are more savvy and well-educated than ever. They know that your product (and even the service that is your product) might be no better or worse than your competitors. Each of whom has learned how to effectively channel to your potential target base. And the sad truth is, you might not even be on their radar.
Which is why you need to draw them to you, instead of pushing yourself on them. Your marketing strategy should be a magnet—and a powerful one at that. You need to be attracting the right customers with the right message, through the right medium, and at the right time.
Inbound marketing can be thought of more as an attitude, rather than a technique—although it does rely heavily on the latter. It’s a way of providing a unique customer experience through direct engagement. At its heart, it relies on three specific pillars:
All of which means you have to…
And they’ll come rushing in, right?
Except… it’s not that simple. Particularly when it comes to strategies. Don’t forget—your competitors are also using inbound marketing tactics. You need to develop an inbound marketing strategy that’s both powerful and distinct. Here are five ways to start:
By now, you probably have a rough idea of what your ideal customer demographic is. But how well do you know them? Really know them? Do you know their profession? Their income? Their education level? Their interests? What else they follow?
Analytic tools can be incredibly valuable in identifying trends in web searches as well as social media. But they can also reveal more about your customer base as a whole. Specific details which provide the missing pieces of the puzzle. And from that, you can craft a composite “persona” of just what that ideal customer looks like. And that’s not only a valuable tool which can help you craft relevant content. That’s a strategy for brand identity.
One of the biggest misassumptions many businesses make is that content simply means an attractive website. And they’re wrong. While this should no doubt be a significant part of your inbound marketing strategy, content can be just about anything. A blog. A social media profile. Streaming video. If you leave any sort of digital footprint, it’s content. The question is: how are you going to optimize it?
This is why it’s important to build a customer persona. This is why it’s important to use analytics to decipher trends. This is why you should familiarize yourself with basic SEO strategies. Remember: The right customers. With the right message. Through the right medium. At the right time.
If you’ve generated your content wisely, you should have a steady stream of eager customers who are fully aware that you—and only you—can provide them with the solution and product they need.
Well… no. One of the fundamental components of distinguishing yourself from your competitors is credibility. Credibility takes time to develop. But you nurture it by engaging with prospective customers. The key to engagement isn’t in pitching yourself, however. It’s in simple interaction. Answer their questions. Be personable. Offer to guest blog on relevant sites. Follow your competitors—although, it might be more appropriate to think of them as compatriots. Continue to generate content, content and more content. Over time, that funnel of customers is going to swell, significantly.
If they’ve followed your blog, social media posts or any other engagement, chances are your potential customers have already visited your site. They may have even signed up for your newsletter. Your inbound marketing strategy is gaining traction. But they’re just leads.
That’s because they’re not fully convinced. Consumers have gotten significantly shrewder over the last ten years. They don’t want to be thought of as “just leads.” And they want bargains, not bargaining.
If your service is in B2B? Offer free white paper downloads. Host webinars. Anything you can do to set yourself up as an authority. Are you an online retailer? Use exit pop-ups offering discounts. Personalized live chatbots. Exclusive email offers. Anything you can do to convert visitors is fair game (and there are a million ways to drive visitors into leads). Remember—your leads want personalization. To feel like they’re being rewarded. To feel like they’re more than just leads.
In the past, the only way to get results in traditional marketing techniques was through testing. And it’s no different with inbound marketing. In fact, it may be even more relevant.
Digital marketing is a constantly evolving landscape and one you need to learn to adapt to if you hope to survive. You need to review which inbound marketing tactics work for you and which ones don’t. You need to clarify and refine the ones that do and discard the rest. Otherwise, you’re simply wasting your time. And your tactics will change because the digital world itself is constantly changing. SEO changes because keyword rankings change. E-commerce capabilities change because of security changes. Consumers change because their needs change. Shouldn’t your marketing strategies change, too? If you want to know more, check out our website at http://michaeltasner.com/.