With the ability customers have to do research online, 60% of the buying process is completed before your customer walks into your store or lands on your website. How can you influence a buying decision before you talk to a prospect? You need a method of reaching prospects before they are ready to buy, when they are still in the research stage of a buying decision. Inbound marketing is the ideal way to engage a customer and draw them into your sales funnel. Ok, this sounds great in theory but how does it Inbound Marketing work?
Start with the Basics of Inbound Marketing
The basic concept behind inbound marketing is that it is your job to determine what your prospects are searching for, what they need in order to make a buying decision. Once you determine a customer’s need, you can provide them with information or answers to help them find a solution. The result of this give and take is to begin to build a relationship with your customer. By interacting with the customer, studying their behavior and fulfilling their need, your customer then comes to rely on you for answers.
Understand your target market
Inbound marketing is about understanding the people behind the revenue that drives your business. By building a profile of your target customer or buyer persona, really digging deep and getting to know that person, you can learn how to assist them in the best way possible. By providing them with the answers they need, you build trust. A good customer profile can help you learn what your customers want to know. The bigger the product or service is that you are selling, the more questions customers will have about it. While some questions can be answered with a FAQ, others need to be explained more fully. You can use these questions as an opportunity to offer your customer a whitepaper on a complicated topic. A library of whitepapers answering common customer questions in full can lead a customer to the results you desire. You can also become known as the expert in your field quickly this way.
Become the Expert in your Niche
Inbound marketing is often about education. Educating you customer or client about your company, products and their benefits will drive them to convert. Of course, the ultimate goal of inbound marketing is to increase conversions, revenues and profits. However, you start by issuing an invitation of sorts to the customer via your marketing campaign. If they are interested in the invitation, they will take a step closer to conversion.
Drawing the customer in
Inbound marketing is an incremental approach to drawing in your prospect. Whether you start by placing an ad, writing a blog post or using social media, once your customer follows the initial pathway to your store, you can issue a call-to-action to get them to take the next step. You can think of it as a breadcrumb trail leading to your door. As they follow, they become more confident in taking the next step until they buy the item you are selling.
A completely successful inbound campaign will end with the customer’s purchase. They have made the decision based on your information, however you provide them with the information they want instead of the information you want. It is a win-win all the way around.
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