It’s official: marketing has changed. No more blatant slogans, sales arguments such as “As Seen on TV”, “Product of the Year” or purely “paid” strategies… We are in the era of inbound marketing, marketing that is useful to the target audience it reaches. A phenomenon born with digital and reinforced by social networks.
Inbound Marketing is one of the most important components of content marketing. It is about turning a simply curious person into a customer who adheres to your content, your values and, ideally, an ambassador for your brand. In business language, this consists of transforming prospects into leads. How? By offering them useful content in which they can find themselves. This practice is in contrast to outbound marketing, which is the more traditional form of marketing.
“Who am I talking to?” This is the first question to ask when adopting an inbound marketing strategy. A real reflection must be carried out on potential customers. It is the “buyer persona“, a fictitious representation of the typical customer, its archetype in a way. What is their professional situation? Their expectations? You need to know their technical and professional vocabulary. To be as relevant as possible, you need to identify what challenges they face on a daily basis, what their needs are. The persona sheet must gather 4 key pieces of information: role and work, professional (BtoB) or personal (BtoC) objectives, challenges and sociological information associated with the persona.
Once the person has been properly identified and understood, concrete objectives must be set. Combined under the acronym SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). Objective: sort out what is measurable and what is not, and above all, set achievable objectives. You can’t really control that 100% of your readers like the article or really read it (especially at the beginning). On the other hand, a more reasonable and achievable goal is to ensure that your content has been shared 10 times within one week on social networks.
But providing interesting content is not the only condition for effective Inbound Marketing. A good inbound marketing strategy works hand in hand with SEO expertise and an intelligent presence on social networks. Writing a blog is the easiest and most effective way to get started in inbound marketing. Mainly because a blog is the best way to boost the SEO of your website. Regularly publishing interesting articles is an excellent way to attract and retain internet users. Understanding the technical language of your target audience is very important here. You can’t write articles full of concepts that you don’t fully understand.
By requesting a minimum amount of information in exchange for access to your premium content, you collect the information you need about your prospects. With a simple email address, you ensure a way to keep in touch with your visitors. By regularly sending out your latest articles, you keep interest in your site intact. Keep in mind that the emails you send must be interesting for your prospects and not just for you. No internal company news, no bragging about your new contract. Focus on your articles and what you can bring to your leads as useful information. A newsletter should be short, concise and enjoyable to read.
It is important to make your communication as personal as possible, so you must address prospects personally. This is the only way of personally engaging your visitors and prospects. Even in the context of mass consumption, personalization is studied with the utmost seriousness. This is part of the reason for Amazon’s success. By offering items related to their customers’ previous purchases, the site does not just have the intention of boosting its sales, but ensuring that the visitor feels understood and “pampered”. The more the customer feels at home with you, the more they will want to stay with you.
In the B2B sector, the pre-purchase reflection phase is much longer. Prospects need as much information as possible before engaging with a company.
The first step of this journey is the discovery phase, which corresponds to the moment when the prospect becomes aware of his or her needs and makes an initial search to find existing solutions. The second step is the consideration phase, where the prospect prioritizes his needs and the solutions they will have to use.
The last step is the decision phase: the prospect has already eliminated most of the solutions, but is still hesitating. This is where you have to convince them that your company is the best solution for them.
The creation of an eBook (example: ebook from DAM to MRM ) should also be considered if your company is in a B2B-oriented sector. An eBook is a powerful tool to attract qualified prospects because it shows your expertise in your field. Of course, you must ban all promotion of your products and focus only on “interesting” (versus “interested”) writing. The more neutral your tone and the more the reading is appreciated by prospects, the more credibility you will gain. An eBook should contain clear figures from legitimate sources, quotes from recognized experts and customers. The goal here is to establish the book’s credibility with readers. In the interest of transparency, it is also important to date the eBook. An eBook from two years ago may contain information that is no longer current, but the reader will be informed and therefore your expertise will not be questioned.