Hi there! I am Oleg Campbell, CEO of Reply. In this post, I’ll give you some practical tips on how to leverage your inbound marketing.
With the domination of social media and widespread access to the internet, traditional marketing methods are being challenged. Rather than spending a fortune blasting out advertising to the masses, inbound marketing allows you to draw your ideal customer to you, by creating valuable content tailored specifically for them. Compared to old-school advertising, inbound marketing allows you to attract qualified leads at a relatively low cost, making it a popular choice for the savvy marketer.
However, if you want to create an effective inbound campaign, one that compels your dream clients to pick up the phone or drop you an email, you can’t just throw any old website with a blog online and expect great results. To make sure your inbound marketing is generating the best results, make sure you’ve addressed these key point:
Any kind of marketing is more successful when you know who you’re marketing to. However, for inbound marketing, it’s absolutely essential. Because the aim of the campaign is to create something valuable that will appeal directly to your ideal customer, you need to know exactly what will appeal to them.
One of the biggest mistakes I see is people basing their customer personas on assumptions about their ideal customers. As a result, they gain no real insights. The real benefits come from talking directly with actual real life human beings. Talk to your existing customers and find out what problems they’re facing. What kept them awake at night? Why did they choose your product/service?
Throughout the process, take note of the language they use. Make sure that you find out more about them personally. What’s their job title? Where do they hang out?
If you don’t have any customers you can talk to, don’t let that be an excuse. Find people who you think would be your ideal customer, and listen to what they have to say. This is an essential step and forms the basis for the rest of your campaign.
Now that you have a solid understanding of what your ideal customer needs, you need to step up and provide it. Take what you’ve learned about your customer’s needs and identify how you can best help them.This can take a number of different forms. Often you’ll find free trials of a service, but the best campaigns go further. At Reply.io we provide educational and helpful content for marketers, including courses on effective email communication. Author Ramit Sethi provides free tools to help his audience make more money. British supermarket Tesco provides ‘Food Love Stories,’ recipes with an emotional hook.
As you can see, the content doesn’t have to specifically be a watered down version of their service. Tesco makes their money selling groceries, not recipe books. However, in each case, something valuable is provided that will help their specific customer.
The important thing is to make sure this is actually worthwhile, and not some regurgitated fluff. Your offer should be something that has a clear value to your audience, and at the very least be worth the time is taken to consume the content.
Tip: As well as deciding what content you offer, make sure you’re offering it in the best format for your audience. Use the information you’ve learned about your ideal customer to determine whether they prefer to read posts, watch videos, listen to podcasts, or something else.
Spread the Word
Even the greatest content will do you no good if no-one knows. To make your campaign a success, you’ll want to make sure your website and content are easily discoverable. Two methods you should definitely be using are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and leveraging existing platform.
SEO is a vast subject which can easily overwhelm the best of us. As soon as you think you have it nailed, Google goes ahead and change their algorithms and your latest tactic may suddenly be useless. Rather than trying to become an expert, learn enough to get a grasp of the basics (I recommend Moz’s helpful guide). Then, use reputable tools, such as the free Yoast WordPress plugin for your blog posts, to help you avoid any obvious mistakes.
Existing platforms are a great way of getting the word out when your own platform is limited. The most obvious examples are social networks: Facebook alone has over 2 billion active users. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your business. For a start, many of these platforms now push paid content, meaning if you want to get eyes on your service you have to pay.
More importantly, you want to be sure that your ideal customers are actually there on the network to begin with. The audience demographic for Snapchat is a world apart from LinkedIn. As mentioned before, when you research your customer personas, make sure you find out where they’re present online; Don’t forget other online communities, beyond the standard social networks. For example, at Reply, we’ve benefitted from being active on sites like Growth Hackers and Quora.
Provide Reassurance and Confidence
If you’ve attracted visitors to your site, you want them to stick around long enough to benefit from your content and hopefully learn more about you. Sure, if you’ve followed my advice and provided truly valuable content, that will certainly go a long way. However, there’s more you can do to convince your audience they’re in safe hands.
Be transparent. Make your company and contact information easy to find. Include an About page, so visitors can easily learn more about you. Establish a human connection; your visitors will be more likely to trust you if you demonstrate your company is run by real people, rather than anonymous strangers. This may be as simple as including photos of you and your team.
Tip: Make the most of any social proof you have. For example, testimonials and reviews from existing customers will make a big difference, reassuring potential customers that you can be trusted.
Inbound marketing provides a fantastic opportunity for attracting your perfect customer, but for maximum returns, you need to make sure that it’s carefully planned out. By getting to know your customers and providing genuine valuable content, you will give your campaign the best chance of success.
Reply is designed to help you manage the email marketing for both your inbound and outbound campaigns. Learn more about successful marketing and grab your free demo today.