To get the greatest results from your marketing, you must, MUST have a plan. Simply creating great content hoping that your target audience will love it just won’t cut the mustard.
This often comes much easier if you’re naturally analytical and much harder if you like to get things done and move fast. But when you combine a fast mover and an analytical person, you get a recipe for greatness.
And this is really what marketing is about, it’s finding whos the best person to do the job, and the job has multiple moving parts.
Throughout this article, I will share how marketing has changed and how interruption style marketing (outbound marketing) has been dethroned by attraction style marketing (inbound marketing).
This vital shift in how you conduct your marketing could possibly be the difference between your marketing being a flop or a roaring success.
Why this is important to your digital marketing success?
You may wonder why this shift in marketing is important, and that would be a great question. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, many businesses still failed to fully embrace the digital marketing phenomenon. Very few gave it much attention; they maybe had a Facebook page and had probably dabbled with search engine optimisation (SEO) or some paid ads but never really gave it their attention.
As the pandemic savagely ripped through businesses across the entire globe, more and more companies began to realise that if they had any hope of surviving the pandemic, they would need to become more digital.
COVID-19 accelerated everything! And it’s not going back, or if it does, it will be a watered-down version. So marketing changed, and it had been changing for a long time, but with this acceleration at play, businesses need to play catch up, and they need to play catch up fast.
By the end of this article, you will have a greater understanding of the modern way of selling, knowing as ‘Pull’ or ‘Attraction’ marketing, more commonly known as ‘Inbound Marketing.
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What is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers using content marketing, blogs, events, search engine optimisation (SEO), social media, PPC, valuable content and more, all tailored to them.
The inbound methodology works because it helps build deep, meaningful relationships with your customers, empowering them to reach their goals.
How is inbound marketing different from traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing, known as outbound marketing, interrupts your audience with content they don’t always want.
This could be:
Will digital marketing work for my business?
For some businesses, outbound marketing still works, producing results that can often outperform inbound marketing.
The idea of this article is not to discredit traditional outbound marketing methods. Instead, it’s to help you see how buyers have changed and how you can better help them with their buying journey.
Instead of being an interruption, hoping to get their attention, you attract them with valuable content and conversations that establish you as a trusted advisor.
The inbound methodology originally coined by HubSpot in 2005, but not popularised until 2012, is applied following a three-step process.
Step 1. Attract:
By presenting the right message, at the right time, to the right person, you establish yourself as a trusted advisor and not just another salesperson.
Step 2. Engage:
By presenting insights and solutions that align with your customers’ known pain points and goals, you can increase their likelihood of buying from you.
Step 3. Delight:
By helping and supporting your customers to find success with their purchases, you empower them to become brand ambassadors.
How does inbound marketing work for my business?
By creating a process that helps to fully understand your customers and how they buy, this gives you powerful information that allows you to create compelling content that attracts your customers to you instead of your competition.
By creating multiple marketing campaigns, each designed with a specific purpose, you can help your buyer go through the whole buying process.
Typically campaigns look like the following:
- Lead generation campaign
- Conversion campaign
- Brand building campaign
Each campaign is made up of projects, and these projects could be things such as:
- Website landing pages
- Email marketing campaigns
- Social media posting
- Case studies
- Blog articles
- plus much more
Campaigns that perform the best follow a proven method, and throughout the following pages of this article, I will share with you how we do this and why it’s vitally important we do this.
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) & Buyer Persona
The first thing we do is get to know your ICP and or your Buyer Persona, or depending on your industry, this could include both.
By understanding their challenges, pain points, and goals, we get to know what’s important to them; this helps us understand why they should work with your company instead of your competitors.
With a better understanding of your ICP and buyer Personas, we can learn the language they use.
For example, do they use inside ‘proprietary’ language,
or street ‘software’ language.
Nothing will turn off your customer quicker than making them feel foolish, and speaking to them in a tone that doesn’t align with them is a sure-fire way to alienate them.
Every buyer goes through the same process, whether buying software, running shoes or a pet dog.
That process looks like this:
They become aware that they have a challenge that is causing pain or stopping them from achieving their goals.
They research, read, watch, and explore the available options to help them solve their problems.
The buyer evaluates their options and decides on the right solution they feel will solve their challenge, remove their pain or help them get to the goal.
You may have content that has been produced for your customers before. With a greater understanding of your buyer, their objectives and buying journey, we conduct a content audit.
This audit helps determine what content you already have, such as blogs, videos, social media, and anything else you have created to assist buyers with their buying decisions.
From this content, we can either repurpose it to align with the buyers’ journey or refresh it to make it more relevant and personalised to their needs.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Audit
Search engine optimisation is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to your website or a web page from search engines.
In short, it’s about ensuring when someone searches for products and services that align with your offering, they find your website, not your competitors.
By optimising your content, such as blogs posts (more on this later), you push yourself higher up Google’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page), which brings a flurry of new traffic to your website, which has also been optimised to capture new leads.
By running an SEO audit, which is basically an evaluation of your website that grades the site for its ability to appear in search engine results pages (SERPS), we know any issues that may need to be repaired or improved to boost your website search engine performance.
Simply having an attractive, well-designed site doesn’t guarantee anyone will find it, and if no one can find it, you won’t get any leads from it.
With a clear plan for getting your website found in Google, it’s time to determine which strategic keywords should be targeted in the content of your website and how that content should be served to the users and the search engines.
Because we have done the Persona research at the start, we now have a better understanding of your target market (Persona) and how they search for your content, services and products and helps you answer questions such as:
- How many people are searching for it?
- What are they searching for?
- In what format do they want the information?
You may deeply understand your product and specialist names (Inside Language), but does your audience search for your product, service or information using that language?
Answering these questions is crucial to keyword research.
Blog Topics And How They Help
The reason most blogs fail to generate any leads for businesses is not due to the quality of the blog; it’s because no one is search for the topic of the blog written.
You see, without doing the upfront work, you are literally guessing what you think people want or merely thinking that just because you know they need it, that they also want it.
Unfortunately, people don’t buy this way, people hardly ever buy what they need, but they almost always buy what they want.
Blogs that convert visitors into leads are written purposefully for the reader, and by carrying out keyword research, we know what questions they are asking. This gives us the information required to write compelling blogs, personalised to the reader, and personalised content works.
Simply capturing an email address that is thrown into your database isn’t going to produce a customer for your business; at this point, they are only just aware of you and your products or services.
They now need to be nurtured, NOT SOLD AT.
An email workflow takes your buyer through a journey that helps them answer questions or even challenge the status quo and can vary from answering known pain points to more general ones.
Knowing exactly how they came into your sale pipeline helps decide the email topics that they need to be sent to help them through their buying journey.
Social Theme – Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Everyone uses social media, but not all social media platforms are built equally. You don’t visit Facebook to consume the same content as the content you would consume from Pinterest; the same can be said for Twitter and LinkedIn.
So why would you post the same content to all platforms? But people do, and then they say things like SMM doesn’t work; the harsh truth is that SMM isn’t the problem. The way most conduct their SMM is the problem.
Usually, this can be attributed to time. Creating unique and customised content for each social platform takes a massive amount of commitment; that’s why we create a social media channel plan.
This template provides a purpose, an editorial plan and a way to measure the success of each SMM post, and it also ensures that your content is aligned with your overall marketing campaign.
Worksheet & Project Management
Finally, everything we have agreed to deliver is documented in a shared worksheet that shows who has been assigned to each project of your campaign and the progress of the project.
We also add your team (if applicable) to our project management software; this allows them to actively get involved with both the marketing campaign and projects that make the campaign work.
Throughout the whole campaign, we assign SMART goals to the campaign; this allows us to report back on growth statistics and show you exactly how the Return On Investment (ROI) is performing.
As stated at the start, this article is not to discredit traditional outbound marketing methods. Instead, it’s to help you see how buyers have changed and how you can better help them with their buying journey.
And by knowing who the buyer is, how they find answers for their questions, you can build a resource centre that delivers them with the right message at precisely the right time.
Are you missing massive potential?
As of writing this article, it’s estimated that Google processes approximately 63,000 search queries every second, translating to 5.6 billion searches per day and approximately 2 trillion global searches per year. And a proportion of those searches are for your products or services.
How much business are you losing by not being visible?
When you have a clear plan and a marketing strategy, you put yourself in a greater position of success. Gone are the days of hoping you find the 50% of marketing that works; when you embrace inbound marketing, you can clearly see what works, what needs changing and what you need to start doing.
Marketing need not be difficult; it’s actually quite simple when you know why you’re doing something, especially when it has an outcome attached to it.
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