Your customers are using Google and social media to discover information about their business problems and how you (and your competitors) can help them solve those problems BEFORE THEY TALK TO YOU. Nearly every purchase begins in a search box today. Will your customers be able to find you?
Content is how Google and the other search engines find you; the beginning of a relationship with new customers; and how you keep helping existing customers improve their knowledge. We work with you to identify your personas (the fancy marketing word for “your customers”), what they buy from you now and what their business challenges are, and then begin to define your voice to attract and retain customers with useful content.
Let’s be clear what we’re doing. Without sounding cynical about this – because we aren’t! – the purpose of all marketing is to drive customers into the loving embrace of your sales team. We will continue to talk about creating useful content for your audience. And this is a good thing in and of itself. However, the ultimate reason you’re doing this is to improve your sales while decreasing the cost per lead. We don’t want you to lose sight of this reality in the midst of what you might consider a bunch of high-minded, kumbaya, feel good crap that gets in the way of sales. At least until you work with us.
Marketing leader and author Seth Godin says “Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left!” But it takes time. We’re not saying that so we can twiddle our thumbs for 90 days while we pocket your checks. We say that because it’s true. It takes time for search engines to find you. It takes time to build (or rebuild) trust with customers. It takes time for us to lay the groundwork of persona interviews and deciding on the most likely campaign that will begin to drive qualified leads to your salespeople.
Your success IS our success. But overnight successes are built over time. Give us that time and your support; we’ll give you success.
Getting Inside Your Customers’ Heads: Persona Research
It’s hard to market and sell without a thorough understanding of WHO is buying your products and services. We’ll interview groups of your existing customers to learn what makes them tick – personally and professionally – so that we can meet their information needs and wants. We call this Buyer Persona Research.
Websites Designed to Educate and Generate Leads
Your website is effectively your online storefront and the foundation of your online marketing efforts. Most websites do a poor job of generating leads – and is your site optimized for mobile? If not, your customers aren’t finding you when they search for solutions on their smartphones. When we design a website, it turns into a lead generation machine by offering useful information to your buyer personas.
People are turned off by slick (usually not-so-slick) brochure-ware sites that scream “Me, Me, Me.” Let’s be blunt: your customers don’t care about you. They care about solving their business problem. Your blog will become a key contact point with your customers – providing them with the answers they’re looking for. Fact: sites that are updated frequently do better in search results. With new posts packed with useful information targeted to your customers’ needs, more customers will start coming through the “doors” of your online storefront -- your 24/7 sales rep.
Social Media to Engage Your Targets
Missing from too many inbound marketing efforts is the marketing of the marketing content. We use social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ to expand your company’s reach by engaging with key thought leaders in your market and encouraging your staff, sales team, and customers to share and engage with your content.
Search Engine Optimization So That You’re Found
The best SEO technique is to write – frequently – useful content that your customers want and need. But there are tricks of the trade around SEO that can help boost the findability of that content. We do keyword research to determine what your prospects are searching for. Then we ensure that all of the content on your site – blogs, landing pages, and your website itself are configured correctly so search engines (and your customers) find you.
Smart Calls-to-Action Generate Leads
We will create calls-to-action (CTA) throughout your blog, website, and emails to ensure that your customers and potential customers are feeding into your sales funnel. Not just “contact us for more information”, these CTAs are targeted at personas and will lead them to the information they will find most valuable (such as ebooks, special reports, and other offers) – and enter them into the lead nurturing process.
Lead Nurturing Qualifies Leads
While we believe the new ABC of inbound is “always be connecting,” your sales goal also needs to focus on the old school message of “always be closing.” But you don’t want to try to close too soon and scare off a customer. Patience is key as you want to wait until a lead is ready – you don’t want to pounce too soon.
Why “waste” time being patient? After all, you’ve got a quarterly goal to hit. Here’s why:
Lead nurturing will move your leads through three stages:
Each time someone reads a blog post or downloads an offer through a CTA, we “score” them. As they download offers, they are also placed into an email nurturing campaign where we’ll move them from awareness to decision, taking the guesswork out of which leads are ready for your sales team.
Training Empowers Your Reps
Most sales reps are used to the traditional sales process of “always be closing” and need to rethink how they sell to Buyer 2.0 via the inbound process. We ensure that your sales reps are ready to handle these inbound leads. They learn about the buyer personas that we’re targeting together so that they can “connect” so that they can more effectively close. Because your inbound marketing is based on Hubspot, the leader in inbound marketing automation, your sales team will also be able to see every step in a lead’s journey – and be able to have great conversations with them.
Ready to Get Started?
These components all work together and build on each other to move Buyer 2.0 from stranger to customer to fan of your company. One of the best aspects of inbound is that it’s not a “one and done” campaign. Your blogs and content assets will continue to generate leads for months or even years after they’re created. Once your inbound campaign gains momentum, it will keep growing – so long as you keep blogging and creating content for your customers. And, you’ll establish a solid business advantage over your competitors.
Sophisticated online marketing initiatives require thoughtful/holistic planning, collaborative development processes, and expert execution. Our new journey into inbound marketing would not have occurred without such confidence in these—hallmarks of a Prospect Builder managed marketing services engagement.
Robert Caldwell, VP of Marketing Datamax, Inc.