What is inbound marketing? How can it help a small business like yours? Simply put, inbound marketing is a tactic that focuses on making customers identify themselves to you. Here’s how to use it in your business.
Inbound marketing is an excellent tool for any size business. Instead of pushing advertisements with conventional sales pitches out to a target audience, inbound marketing uses various forms of content to inform or entertain and capture enough interest from potential customers to draw them into your business or website. It can be less expensive and often more effective for small businesses than outbound marketing.
With billions of people turning to the Internet to educate themselves before making purchases, it’s no wonder businesses are finding inbound marketing to be so effective. With a website, content, and social media, business owners can provide information their customers are looking for, winning their attention, confidence and ultimately their business.
Inbound marketing isn’t fool-proof, though. You have to devise an effective strategy. The way to do that is by focusing on the best way to attract, convert and close consumers. The following will help you do that.
Attracting Consumers to Your Site
Once you have a website, your goal is to drive as much traffic to it as possible. You do this in several ways. Among them:
- Search engine optimization
- Social media marketing
- Online advertising
Keyword research is important for attracting customers. It helps you know what trems and phrases your prospects are searching for on Google, Bing, etc. Once you know that, you know what words and phrases to put in your page titles, headings, and content. Those words are among the factors the search engines look use to rank your site on their results pages when someone does a search.
Once you have completed the preliminary work in search engine optimization, it’s important to continue to add content to your site. The content should be related to your products and services, and what your consumers want to know in your industry. Always think of your buyers as you are writing and publishing content. They are the ones who you are trying to convert, so they matter most.
With social media marketing, you will use your website content to drive consumers to your site. This is where the quality of your content matters. If you have the information people on social media want to read, they will be more willing to come to your site.
Headlines and lead-ins for your content are important with social media posts. Make your posts interesting by sparking curiosity. This is what will make people click.
Converting Consumers on Your Site
Once you have people coming to your site, your goal is to convert them. Converting means getting them to act in some way. While you would love for them to make a purchase, sometimes, it’s not that easy. You will have to give them something free. Yes, more than just the content that led them to your site.
Actually, you can use more content to get them to buy from you. Many people will have an opt-in available for people to download free valuable information. For example, if consumers enter their email address or phone number, they will receive a(n):
- Spreadsheet tools
- Video series
- Monthly newsletters
It doesn’t matter what you give them. What matters is that you give them what they need and want. They must really want to learn or use what you have for them to make them act.
The other factor in this is time. People want immediate gratification. This means you should have a way for the free gift to be sent immediately upon opting in. This way your consumers will be pleased and they will be more open to your guidance.
Closing Consumers in 1-2-3
Once you have people in your world, you can lead them to a close. You will likely have to divide up your consumers into three groups:
- Consumers who are researching the service or product
- Consumers who are thinking about buying the service or product
- Consumers who are ready to make the purchase
You will need to approach the close differently for each group. The first group will need a lot of information to convince them they need your service or product. These consumers would benefit from eBooks, whitepapers, etc.
For the second group, you don’t need to provide as much information. They’ve already done the research, so now they are just looking for the right time. These people want discounts or special offers. You can close them easily with an online coupon or added gift with their purchase.
The third group can be easily convinced to buy with a discount, but you don’t necessarily need one. You can simply give them a call to action with an easy checkout process to close them.
Attract, convert and close are the steps in being successful with inbound marketing. Set up your strategy, implement it, and see how well it works for you. Chances are, you’ll be like many others who have seen outstanding results from it.