Winning today requires an inbound marketing strategy. Let’s assume you have stopped the insanity and want to help people buy rather than bug them trying to sell them. Buying works. Selling is desperation. Your products and services are more likely than ever to be bought than sold.
Here are the three parts of an effective inbound marketing system which need to be in place.
With so many choices today, you must be found by someone looking for you. Getting found is based on your lead generation systems that position your content and syndicate it on the web. There are a lot of scams focused on the mechanics. Getting found is first and foremost weighted by remarkable content. Without remarkable content, all the tricks of the trade erode your brand, your SEO ranking and your reputation.
People need to be able to tell others about the value they found in your content. It should help them solve a problem, have greater enjoyment or enrich their education process. The consistency of your content allows you to have an audience which will promote you with their easily distributable network. It all works exponentially. The few who consume your content are the ones that matter. They know the many who are seeking their position as the curator.
The number one goal is to create awareness and get found. Visitors to your site are the specific goal. It is step one. You better know what you are doing and you better be committed to consistent, relevant and remarkable content. Nothing else can replace this. The good news is that if you have this in place, your competition will have to work awful hard to unseat your enviable position.
After a visitor comes to your site, they may be in and out of the site if there is nothing to lead them. You must have a call-to-action that is relevant, timely and personal. It needs to lead to a nurturing process. The nurturing process engages an unready buyer. By the way, most of your visitors are unready buyers. When we think of something, we typically search for it quickly. We start educating ourselves. In the process, we may be clicking on and off many websites until we find what we are looking for. If your site is not leading your buyer, then it is another blur in the mind of the visitor.
Your nurturing processes should be specific to the buyer profiles which you are seeking. The problem they are trying to solve along with the education and value proposition need to be part of the communications and follow-up from your marketing automation system.
If you lack lead nurturing, it is likely because you are in the selling mindset rather than they buying mindset. You will miss many opportunities having only one proposition – buy now. Many may buy later if you date them well. The key here is to convert your visitors to leads.
This is the step most selling organizations jump to first. They convert before they have permission. Lead conversion is a formality after the first two parts of an integrated inbound marketing strategy. The process is continuous and works together.
In the old economy where products and services were sold, we built up sales organizations, processes, presentations, pipelines, and the infrastructure to support outbound efforts. Today, the customer buys when they are ready. Helping them become ready is part of lead conversion.
Typically, your anonymous visitor raises their hand. You exchange anonymity for value. They are nurtured. Then, they want to take a next step because trust has been built. Your brand starts to mean something. Then, a presentation of your value proposition is done personally, online or in an automated way. Getting to “Yes” happens after the presentation. Proposals, pricing, negotiations and credibility checks are done. You are on the path.
Lead conversion requires access to the give and take around your value proposition. The sales funnel tightens in this phase. Your inbound marketing produced the mindset of the buyer you are seeking to do business with. They are choosing to move from being a lead to a customer.
Getting A Customer Requires An Integrated Approach
There are plenty of examples of brands that do not get it. People do not want to be sold. You don’t like it either. So why do it? Two reasons come to mind – disconnection and laziness. Disconnection from how people really approach buying means that you will set up a system about you rather than about who you are trying to win.
Laziness because the hard work or the price to pay is formidable. Instant gratification gets in the way of a system which produces a predictable result. Try being a buyer for a day and think like your buyer. Once you see the ease of price comparison, clicking around and finding what you are looking for, the option to be airtight in your marketing approach as an inbound integrated system will become all too obvious. You are not in control. Your buyer is and they are wanting you to make it easy for them long before they even talk to you.
How is your own sales and marketing process working for you? Feel free to comment below.