The internet has completely transformed business to consumer relationships. With retail giants shutting their doors for the last time, and customers choosing online alternatives due to competitive prices and convenience, it’s imperative businesses adapt if they want to survive the online purge.
The modern consumer now consults internet for the best reviews and prices around. A recent study has shown that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before purchasing a product (source:Adweek). So how can your business make a dent in this new online ecosystem?
Inbound marketing involves attracting customers with helpful and relevant content, throughout the customer’s purchasing journey. Through channels like blogs, search engines and social media you can raise your presence online and seek to educate your target audience by simply providing value.
In contrast to outbound marketing, it’s not necessary to battle all of your competitors for airspace. Inbound marketing focuses on attracting leads by being so helpful consumers can’t help but make a purchase. Instead of bombarding customers with endless emails, phone calls, pamphlets and adverts, customers choose to interact with your business due to your trust and credibility.
Inbound’s Methodological Magic
There are four stages to Inbound marketing: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight. The key goal is to create visitors and turn them into advocates for your brand once they have been delighted by their purchasing experience.
Stage 1: Attract
It’s not about generating endless streams of traffic, you want qualified leads that are likely to consume your content and eventually make a purchase. By developing a content strategy which addresses different areas through your the buyer’s journey, from education of the industry to committing to buy your product over alternatives. Often the best way to attract visitors is through creating quality blog posts and making sharable content on social media. By understanding your target audience and the most important concerns and questions people in your industry have, it becomes possible to attract visitors to your business.
Stage 2: Convert
The next vital step is to convert your website’s visitors to leads. Provide several communication channels and continue to provide value. Popular channels for conversions include chatbots, free consultations, lead generation pages and email lists. Once there is a form of communication, it’s important to provide content relevant to your target audience. For example by segmenting your email list, depending on their stage in the purchasing funnel and addressing your lead’s concerns directly in the consultation.
Stage 3: Close
With visitors being attracted by your quality content and enticed by exciting incentives, it’s important to give your lead a great reason to make a purchase. By focused emails relevant to customers interests, frequent calls to action, discounts and follow-up consultations companies can begin to close a sale. By understanding your target customers, providing education and addressing their concerns directly it becomes possible to reduce any friction preventing sales.
Stage 4: Delight
Creating an exceptional experience for your customers, is a great way to build trust and credibility. By delighting your customers, you can generate amazing business reviews and referrals. With 92% of individuals trust word-of-mouth recommendations, making it one of the most trust-rich forms of advertising and people paying 2x more attention to posts and recommendations from their friends, delighting your customers has never been more important. (source: Nielson and GlobalWebIndex)
By guiding consumers through your purchasing funnel and providing remarkable value every step of the way, customers will advocate and share your business on your behalf. With consumers now researching endless competitors to find best prices and value, being helpful and providing exceptional value has never been more important.