Traditionally, marketing involves methods such as cold calling and TV commercials to gain customers however, these techniques are no longer working. Customers do not respond well to intrusive advertisements and pushy sales reps, with ad blockers and caller IDs it is harder for these methods to even work. Buyers habits have changed, just ask yourself what it takes before commit to a purchase – the likely being hopping onto the Internet to research the product.
Inbound marketers flip the traditional model on its head and puts the customer in centre stage. By listening to what the customer wants, it is possible to create marketing that they love. Creating content which has the user in mind such as blogs, eBooks, videos and free demos are more likely to appeal to the customer than a rigid script from a telemarketer.
Below are just a few of the principles inbound marketers adhere to.
Buyer Personas – being a customer centric model means you need to know who your ideal customer is. The trick here is not to target everyone, not every visitor is going to be a lead. Buyer Personas allow you to gain information on demographics, behaviour patterns, goals and motivation. You can do this through researching current customers and even competitors customers. Once you know your ideal audience you can create the right content for them to enjoy and convert into leads.
Educate – the mistake many brands make is by making everything about them and their products or services. Inbound practices suggest rather than talking about yourself show your potential customers that you are a trusted influencer in the industry. Educate your customers on their problems and solutions based on the research gathered from the buyers persona. Create blog posts such as “5 tips for killer content” – educating your customer will attract the right people to turn into customers.
Build trust – trust is the hardest thing to gain but the easiest to destroy. Indeed, this applies to the business industry too. Trust should be built from the first interaction with the business not just post sale. With 65% of people cutting ties with a company due to poor customer service, you cannot afford not to. Make sure you are solving problems and empowering the user at every opportunity – ensuring to follow-up leads in a timely manner.