We often get approached by businesses asking us to increase their website traffic via an SEO or PPC campaign. People have a pretty good understanding of what SEO and Pay Per Click are and how they can generate targeted website traffic. However, when it comes to Inbound Marketing and its associated benefits, their understanding tends to be much more limited.
Generating traffic is all well and good, but if it’s the wrong type of traffic, or your visitors don’t convert, it will be a waste of your hard-earned time and money. This is where the inbound methodology comes into play… To attract, engage and delight is key to a successful marketing campaign. It’s not just about getting traffic to your website.
OK, so what is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is the process of attracting qualified leads to your website, converting leads into customers, and engaging and delighting them henceforth. By providing relevant, timely and valuable content you can solve your visitors’ challenges and move them one step closer to becoming a proud customer.
An inbound marketing campaign is made up of many moving parts. Blog posts, landing pages, call-to-actions, content offers, email automation, social media posts and videos, to name a few. Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) plays a big part in the promotion and optimization of this content, as too can Pay Per Click. The first stage of an Inbound Marketing campaign is to attract the right people to your content. There are different methods of doing this depending on your business and industry, but essentially you need to get your content out in front of the right people at the right time.
Can SEO or PPC work on its own?
I’m going to use a food analogy here… Imagine a lovely juicy steak (ooh yeah!). Would it work on its own, with no side dishes? To a certain degree it would work. It would still taste nice (if it was cooked right), and it would solve your hunger (if it was big enough). But it would be missing many key elements of what makes the perfect meal. Now imagine if we added some chunky chips, some green beans or buttered asparagus, and a lovely sauce to pull it all together. Now your talking! OK, let’s build on this… Let’s throw in a lovely starter… How about some Scallops with crispy bacon and parsnip puree? Perhaps a rich chocolate desert for afters? Now we’re in the realms of a seriously gratifying meal and a delighted customer.
So, what’s this got to do with Inbound Marketing? Well SEO and Pay Per Click can both be important elements within an Inbound campaign, but on their own they will deliver limited results. Remember the Inbound methodology – Attract, Engage and Delight. SEO and PPC are tools you can use during the attract phase, making it easier for potential leads to find your site. But for your campaign to be fully effective you also need to engage, convert and delight your visitors. Getting visitors to your website is essential, but it’s your landing pages, CTAs and content offers which will convert this traffic into leads.
Using Inbound Marketing to Convert Leads into Customers
Once you’ve attracted prospects to your website, you need to collect their data. This is essential and can be done by offering them something of value which, in return, they will be happy to give you their contact details for. The key word here is “value”. Whether this is an eBook, software demo, free trial or access to an expert webinar, will depend on what works for your business and what stage the prospect is at in their buyer journey. Below is a list of content offers which can be used for each stage in the buyer journey:
- Tip Sheet
- How-To Video
- Educational Webinar
- Product Webinar
- Case Study
- Free Sample
- Data Sheet
- Demo Video
- Product Comparison
- Free Trial
- Live Demo
- Discount/Special Offer
Targeting your prospects with the right message at the right time in their buyer journey will determine how effective each content offer is. If your prospect is in the awareness stage and is carrying out research, a live demo or free trial will not work. They will find an eBook, whitepaper, or how-to video more beneficial towards their research. If your prospect is ready to make a purchase decision, a product comparison or data sheet will not be what they require at this stage. A live demo, estimate or discount, would help nurture them towards making that purchase.
Inbound Marketing to Delight Your Customers
One of the key elements of the Inbound methodology is the delight stage. Going above and beyond your customers expectations is the perfect way to retain their custom and convert them into your most faithful brand advocates.
How to delight your customers
- Offer a solution to their problems and challenges.
- Be available and responsive when they need you and give them your full attention.
- Educate and empower your customers in order for them to avoid problems in the future.
- Help your customers to succeed and exceed their expectations.
- Encourage feedback from your customers and, ensure you listen to their feedback, positive or negative.
- In every interaction with a customer be enthusiastic and welcoming.
- Create one-of-a kind experiences for your customers and go above and beyond their expectations.
And remember don’t just give your customers a juicy steak, give them the whole 3 courses. Allow them to be metaphorically wined and dined and treated like royalty. Go above and beyond their expectations by giving them a memorable experience which leaves them truly delighted.
To find out more about Inbound Marketing, get in touch with our team for a friendly, no obligation chat.