Out with the old, in with the inbound.
What is it?
Instead of tirelessly trying to catch the attention of your target customer, wouldn’t it be great if they came to you first and requested your information, essentially giving you permission to market to them?
“Uh, yea, in a perfect world where customers would just line up at the door with their wallets bulging with cash? Nice try, Flying Hippo, but that doesn’t exist.”
Now hold it right there. This kind of marketing does exist, and it’s called inbound.
With inbound marketing, you create and deploy educational content that solves the challenges your potential customers are facing. Instead of being intrusive and annoying with cold calls, interruptive ads and other traditional advertising methods that people tune out more and more everyday, inbound marketing attracts people to your website when they’re interested in finding a solution to their problem. Your customer seeks you out instead of you chasing after them.
A standard inbound marketing strategy consists of four key pillars
1 / Optimized websites that include blogs, targeted content, and social media attracting visitors instead of interrupting them with marketing messages.
2 / Conversion mechanics using calls to action, landing pages, and forms to gather prospect and lead data.
3 / Lead-nurturing, lead-scoring, and follow-up processes that move leads toward a purchase decision.
4 / Delighting customers with smart content and social media marketing that deliver personalized information to keep them engaged for the life of the relationship.
If you don’t have a plan, the you know what hits the fan.
Before you can hit the ground running with inbound marketing, you’ll need to decide on a few things. First, you’ll need to decide on which inbound marketing agency you’d like to be your partner. Inbound has a lot of moving parts, and many companies don’t have the infrastructure to do it on their own. Then, it’s time to strike up a conversation. To get the most out an initial meeting with an inbound agency, it’s good to understand your goals, timeline, budget and challenges beforehand. Include your company’s decision-makers in these conversations, and make sure everyone is on the same page. After an initial meeting, the exciting stuff (like a custom marketing and strategy plan) can happen, and you can get your inbound marketing plan in action.
Sounds pretty good, right? And the only fans involved are the kind that follow your brand loyally, not the kind that blow “you know what” around.