As a marketer, your job is to capture the interest of your prospective consumer audience and inspire them to give you their business. How exactly can you accomplish this, though? As experts in the field, we recommend that you…
“We now interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post with this important ad!”
Well, that was annoying!
If that disrupted your flow of thinking, you’re not alone. Consumers across the globe are fed up with the interruptive nature of traditional ads and are taking measures to avoid them at any cost — literally! We actually live in a day and age where people are willing to pay money to stop ads from popping up on websites, when streaming videos, or when playing games on their smart devices.
So why are you still trying to push ads on customers who clearly don’t want anything to do with them? There’s a smarter, faster, and more affordable way to attract consumers to your business. Don’t believe us? Read on to learn more about why inbound marketing techniques trump traditional advertising every time.
Okay, we get it. Ads have reigned king for decades and you’re scared of ditching them for something new. Change can be scary, but remaining stagnant and refusing to move away from something your customers hate can be equally scary. It’s time to face the fact that advertising just isn’t as effective as newer, better inbound marketing tactics.
Why is this? Well, we’ve already proven a point about ads being downright annoying. Today’s consumers go online in order to connect with others and learn new information — not to be bombarded with pushy advertisements that interrupt the flow of their day. When an ad pops up and detracts from a user’s online experience, they become irritated and resentful. This actually makes them far less likely to respond favorably to any marketing attempts by the brand, both in the present and the future. Secondly, advertising is expensive. A lot of money has to be poured into each individual advertising campaign, and with more and more customers turning against these ads, it’s simply no longer worth the investment.
The good news is that there’s a better way to do things! Inbound marketing empowers you to give the people what they want and grow your business – all while spending a fraction of your former marketing budget! We know it almost sounds too good to be true, but stick with us here because we promise you that it’s not.
Modern consumers see themselves as independent researchers. Instead of picking up a phone or physically going into a store and dealing with a sales representative, customers go online to research products and services on their own. Effective inbound marketing, then, allows the customer to find you rather than you finding them. With the right strategy, you’re able to attract casual “researchers”, move them through the sales funnel, and earn their business, all without the customer realizing that they’re being marketed to. Pretty sneaky, right?
Inbound marketing, of course, does require an investment in your time and efforts. Capturing the interest and trust of your audience can only be accomplished through hard work and dedication. This means formulating a plan that will allow you to understand and get to know your customers, pull them in through multiple channels, and nurture ongoing relationships. Be sure to stop back next week to learn how to create and put such a plan into action so that you can upgrade from traditional advertising to the world of inbound marketing.
Know Your Audience
If you’re going to appeal to your target audience, you need to know something about the individuals and groups of people that you’re trying to sell to. This is best accomplished through the creation of buyer personas. This involves sitting down and considering all of your demographics. For each demographic, create and name an individual that will represent that group. Maybe “Executive Ed” or “Homemaker Helen”, etc. From here, brainstorm the buyer’s interests, motivations, dreams, aspirations, pain points, and needs. This will help you understand what makes them tick, thus helping you create content that caters to their unique demands.
Create Stellar Content
Content is the backbone of any inbound marketing campaign. People go on the internet to look for valuable, helpful, inspiring, or engaging content that will capture their interest and spark their imaginations. Using the buyer personas you created, think about the industry hot topics and current events that might appeal to each persona and build content from there. Blog posts, white papers, ebooks, videos, infographics, and more can be used to fill this need. Again, consider your audience before making decisions about the right type of content to use.
Search Engine Optimization
Using key words and phrases throughout your content is a great way to increase your search engine rankings — if it’s done correctly. Google bots are good at picking out content that’s stuffed needlessly with keywords as an attempt to pull in readers, and they will punish you accordingly. Instead, think of the terms your buyer personas are most likely to search for and build meaningful, relevant content around those words. This will improve your rankings organically and draw consumers to you.
Make it Shareable
All of your content should be sharable. When readers like what they see, they want to have the ability to share it on Facebook, re-tweet it, pin it on Pinterest, etc. Consequently, you need to be set up on these social platforms so that your content can be redistributed to new readers with the single click of a button. You should also be posting updates about your content on your own social media accounts. This will expand your reach faster than ever before.
Finally, it’s extremely important that you take a personal interest in your consumers by engaging with them on social media. Listening to conversations about your brand, answering questions, and responding to comments (both positive and negative) will help your buyers get to to know you on a personal level, thus building brand trust and loyalty.