No matter how great your product or service, if people don’t learn about it, they are never going to become your clients! Getting the word out about what your business has to offer is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to promoting and selling your product.
Take our friend, Brian, for instance. His business had a lot of potential to delight customers and meet their needs. But he was having a difficult time getting the right people to discover what he had to offer. He had tried different types of advertising, all of which ate up a lot of his budget but didn’t seem to have any traceable effect on his business.
Brian was sure there had to be a better way to get his brand message out to the right people! And that’s when he heard about Inbound Marketing.
Outbound vs. Inbound Marketing
Before we get too far into more specific marketing tactics, it is important to shed light on the two types of marketing.
This traditional marketing method means that a message is sent “out” into the world (often in a massive shower), in hopes that some of it will hit the target and gain a response. You can recognize this in print ads, billboards, radio, direct mail, cold calling and telemarketing. This style is typically interruptive and forces itself on the recipient--whether or not they are actually interested.
Fairly recent in the world of marketing, this approach is more sophisticated in tactics and response. But it is also more productive as it draws potential customers “in” where they are offered valuable content that leads them toward conversion. Sometimes referred to as “content marketing” this is the approach of the 21st century and provides a much higher return on investment (ROI).
Effective Tips for Content Marketing
Just a short overview of a highly-involved process, take a look at this information that includes some key factors of the marketing funnel that turns your target audience into committed clients or customers:
Draw in the Right People:
Although you need to initially put your message into places where it can be discovered, once you are found, the expectation is that the right clients will come to you. This initial interaction can work through social media, particularly through visual marketing. As your message catches the eye of a person in your target audience, ideally they will click on it and begin engaging with your message.
Embrace Up-to-date Technology:
In order to draw in prospective clients, you must be attractive to them. Therefore, your technology must be presented in a state-of-the-art manner. If your website is reminiscent of something from 1998, your clients will assume your business methods are also outdated and will move on to greener pastures.
Provide Value and Education:
Once you’ve attracted them, your goal is to teach potential customers why they need your service or product, before you actually try to convince them to buy it. Think of it as an investment in a long-term relationship. And, first, you simply need to start a conversation.
If your business is going to be viable, you should have something to offer that your clients want. For inbound marketing to work, you are offering information that is valuable and useful to them. You can provide this in the form of blogs, online white papers, or other useful information that fits within your niche.
But, be forewarned--only offer your target audience what will add value to their lives. If you don’t, your business emails will end up in the dreaded abyss of the spam folder.
Convert and Move Forward:
Depending on various factors (the type of business you run, the price tag of your item, etc.) you may find that the funnel leading toward closing a sale takes days, weeks or even months. Ideally, once they’ve converted into a client, they are committed and will move forward with you--assuming your product or service lives up to expectations.
Of course, just like any relationship that you hope will last, you’ll need to continue investing in it for the future. Once your clients learn that you are dedicated to delighting them and providing for their needs, they’ll come back time and again. And hopefully they’ll also share their experiences with others!
For more practical details about the impact that education, inbound marketing and other factors have on propelling your business to success, take a look at my masterclass here.