Inbound Marketing has been all the rage for the last ten years or so. Its popularity and influence has made it The Beatles of the digital marketing space. But what is it, how do you do it efficiently, and how do you show its value? This whole month, we’ll dive into the specifics of inbound marketing, its different aspects, and how to do it well.
According to HubSpot’s Inbound Methodology, the four stages of inbound marketing are Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. This week, we’ll delve into how to attract valuable customers.
Great customers aren’t just your fanbase, they’re actually part of your band, giving you feedback and broadcasting positive reviews, creating word-of-mouth campaigns.
So how do you bring in these brand ambassadors? Much like starting a band, you have to build authority and show yourself as an expert in order to attract the highest level of band members (customers).
The first tool for doing this is through creating an engaging blog.
Your audience wants relevant content that answers a specific question pertaining to your industry or product. To create a truly valuable blog for your readers, creating authoritative yet engaging content on specific subjects is important. You want your blog posts to not only relate to your business but also be interesting for your customers to read.
From the band: If you want to create a rockabilly band, the people you want to attract must be able to play rockabilly and have some interest in doing so. You don’t want to attract a rapper or an opera singer if that isn’t the music you want to make.
In the same vein, creating content that answers commonly asked questions in your space or takes part in a timely and relevant conversation is the best way to attract customers who see value in your product.
Having a blog also builds visibility. If your content offers new information or a new perspective and is shared properly, other businesses will want to piggy-back on your knowledge, sharing your content on their social channels. Great! This builds your brand as an authority in your space and helps with search engine results. The more people share your content, the better your SEO. Remember: Every. Visitor. Counts. Once you widen your funnel and get leads through the door, you can start looking at your analytics and optimize for your highest valued MQLs. But for now, you need to know where to start.
From the band: To increase tryouts, you need people to know who you are and what level you play at. Putting up fliers at your favorite music store and posting ads will get the word out to players that will be interested in joining your band. If your fliers and ads are compelling enough, even the non-musicians will want to spread the word.
It’s the same with B2B tools or services. When you talk solutions and your content is engaging, word will spread about your value.
Making Readers Into Customers
Each new blog post provides an opportunity for you to build new leads and draw your readers in to become customers. Remember to always include a call to action with a link back to a relevant product at the bottom of each post. However, if a link isn’t relevant, simply leave the links on the sidebar. Relevance is essential here. Adding links and photos can make your post more engaging, but remember, it must be relevant to your business and applicable to your audience.
Another useful tool is gated content like a how-to guide, eBook, webinar or anything that provides actionable learning points. People search for advice all the time and love getting answers to questions as soon as possible. When this content is gated, it requires something from your audience such as an email address (to fill in your drip campaigns) or requesting a free trial. Keep in mind that the perceived value of your offer must be greater than the requirement for access.
From the band: When creating a band, you’re also creating a community, a subculture. Make sure that’s well defined before talking about it to potential members. What is your vision? What kind of sound do you want to produce? When you know what message you want to put out into the world, like-minded people are more likely to support you.
Last tip of the day: don’t be lazy. Too much content, especially blog content out there is the obvious product of laziness. Do your research and write something you’d actually want to read. The more you double check, edit and reread what you write, the better your blog post will be.
Posting 2-3 times a week can help build traffic, leads and get more views, but only if your content is great. Planning an editorial calendar will help you get organized and will create deadlines to help bust out your writing on time.
Who knows, a couple hours of writing may turn into a million views over time!