Stop Selling! Let The Consumers Buy Themselves!

Nov 28, 2014
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Gone are those days when your audience will entertain your ads even on getting interrupted by you while they are on their go. People don’t like interruption marketing anymore. In fact, they never liked it earlier also but then they didn’t have any option.

However, now internet has given them the control to do the kind of shopping they want. So, better you be smart enough and don’t irritate them by trying to push out your interruptive marketing message to them.

Besides, if you think about yourself also, how can you forget those long walks, going door to door or making continuous calls to make even a single sale as it used to be equally frustrating for you as well and not just for the consumers.

Although a lot of marketers still practice these ways of marketing or say outbound marketing where in you sometimes end up turning even your brand proponents to brand opponents.

Looking at the bigger part , most of the marketers now have shifted their budget towards inbound marketing where in you don’t actually sell your product or services , you in fact generate the need for your product among the consumers by various efficient tactics like content marketing and compel them to approach you instead of you approaching them.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing is advertising a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, e-newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand.

In simple words, it’s about producing and sharing good and valuable content with the consumers through various channels.

Creating and sharing good content helps make your business easy to be found, earn the attention of the customer, bring them to your website, convert them into leads and finally sales.

Why inbound Marketing Works?

Had you been the customer, what kind of marketing have you preferred?

Sales representatives interrupting you while you are busy with your work or the one in which you were contacted when were in relaxed mood and had free time.

Obviously, given option nobody will like to be interrupted.

This is what inbound marketing never does. I mean it never interrupts you. It simply makes valuable and informative content available to you through different channels and educates you on something you are interested in.

It never coerce you by adamantly trying to make a sale, it rather connects to you, interacts with you instead of telling interruptive stories. It intends to add some delight to your life instead of distracting you while you are on your go.

Besides, people anyway don’t appreciate selling and that too if it is being done obstinately like it happens in outbound marketing.

How inbound marketing works:

Inbound Marketing process

Inbound marketing not just helps you convert strangers in to your customers but even into your brand proponents.
There are four steps involved in this process, which are

1. Attract

Getting traffic to your site is the first thing that you do in inbound marketing. But remember it is better to have 500 hundred visitors who are likely to convert into sales than 1000 thousands visitor flocking your site who are just the lookers and have no buying intentions. So make sure you are targeting your audiences well based on various factors such as their demographic, interests and so on in order to bring qualified visitors to your site.

How to attract qualified traffic to your website

Blogging:

It is one of the best ways to attract new visitors to your site. Creating educational content on industry issues and the most probable issues customer are going through and posting them on your blog will certainly help you get found by your potential customers.

Social Media

Sharing relevant and useful content on social media and engaging with the potential customers will foster a better interaction between both of you leading to more seasoned traffic coming to your site.

SEO

Usually, a customer visits to your website through search engines while they are hunting for something they need. Hence, make sure you have optimized your website for search engines to have prominent visibility, by making use of tactics like content creation, link building, relevant keywords selection and webpage optimization.

2. Exchange

Now when you have started getting visitors to your website, it’s the time to start converting them into leads by gathering their contact information that you get in exchange for something that you offer them such as an eBook, a tip-sheet or whitepapers. You offer them some valuable and educational content for which they provide you with the information you are looking for i.e. their contact information like email address, phone number et-cetra.

How to convert visitors into leads

Calls-to-Action

The first thing that you need is an enticing call-to-action to compel the visitor to take an action and move down the sales funnel. So calls-to-action are crucial for lead generation. Some examples of calls-to-action are ‘download a free eBook’, ‘attend a webinar’ and so on.

Landing Pages

Landing page is where the visitor lands after clicking on the call-to-action button and get the offer redeemed in exchange for some information that will be useful for your sales team to start a conversation with them. This is where the visitors get converted into leads after filling out the lead capture form.

Lead Capture Forms

Since, lead capture forms are something that provide you with some relevant information about your visitors or say about your leads now; they must be optimized for smoother movement of customer through the sales funnel.

3. Nurture

It’s true that they have shown interest in your product by sharing their information in exchange for your offer still, not everybody has a buying intention or is sales ready lead. So now, you will need to nurture your leads through various methods. It is about nurturing your relationship with your potential customer by sending targeted, relevant and useful messages to them from time to time.

How to nurture leads

Email Marketing

Through email marketing you send an automated series of emails to the leads at the starting phase and get them converted to sales ready leads before you hand them over to your sales team.

Marketers need to have the unique qualities in their emails for clients to get plead with and become interested in their emails. Like in any other form of marketing, a good and valuable content plays important role in email marketing as well.

Calling

You can inform customers about the offer they were interested in by calling them at a suitable time. Ask them which time suits them and follow-up with them accordingly. Basically, lead nurturing by calling includes the following steps:

1) Creating the rapport with your lead
2) Knowing the needs of your potential customer
3) Giving the required information and clearing their doubts
4) Creating needs by sharing the benefits of the product
5) Informing them about the ongoing offers if any.

4. Convert

So, till now you have attracted your target audience, exchanged your offer for their information, nurtured your relationship with them and now it’s the time to convert these potential leads into customers.

5. Measure

Now, there are certain things that need your attention. You have been making so much effort to convert a visitor into the customers but would you be getting to know that which marketing efforts of yours are bringing the best results, what part of you traffic is getting converted to leads & leads to customers, how much are paying for one lead and one customer and so on.

Here you need to take the help of web analytics to measure and analyze your efforts and results that you are getting.

What to measure?

Traffic:

I. Unique Visitors
II. New Vs repeat visitors
III. Traffic sources
IV. Reference websites
V. Popular pages
VI. Number of pages in Google
VII. Bounce rates
VIII. CTA Performance

SEO:

I. Keyword Performance
II. Search Ranking
III. Traffic from search
IV. Inbound links

PPC:

I. Click-through Rate
II. Cost per click
III. Traffic from Search
IV. Inbopund links

Blog

I. Referral sources
II. Blog subscriber

Social

I. Audience Size and Growth
II. Engagement

Email

I. Subscriber
II. Click through arte
III. Growth rate
IV. Sharing and Forwarding

6. Retain

Making a sale doesn’t mean you have reached your destiny and that you should forget about your customer now. Now you should think about retaining your customer so that they should come to you again and again and become your brand proponents.

How to retain the customer

Social Media

It is a wonderful platform that helps you to provide the real-time customer service.

Emails

You can make use of email to provide remarkable content to your customers and at the same time introduce your new products or services that they might find interesting.

Inbound Marketing Vs Outbound Marketing

Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing helps you make the consumers approach you first and then you can follow various inbound marketing tactics to develop trust and relationship with them and finally make them convert into your customers.

While outbound marketing is pushing your message out to the customers through various mediums like telemarketing, TV, radio, direct mail etcetera, inbound marketing is providing solution to the consumers by educating then through informative, useful and good quality content.

Inbound marketing is consumer-driven, interactive, well-timed, content-rich and solution based however; outbound marketing is marketer-driven, disruptive, hard sell and product based. This is the reason why consumers are getting more and more inclined towards inbound marketing these days.

Inbound Marketing Tips

Employ Strong Website Design

Your website is the base of your inbound marketing. Make sure it as helpful, useful and well designed as it could be. When a good site design can easily convert visitors to customers and bad one can repel them instantly. As far as building site and managing content is concerned you can use web-based tools like WordPress.

Keep Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind

In SEO, you optimize your website for search engines so that you rank well in it when your potential customer searches for product or service you sell or simply types in any query related to your business. There are so many ways you can do so such as by cross-linking, blogging, keyword use and so on.

Promote your website and Content

You have created really a very lovely website and wonderful content however unless you promote them, they aren’t going to give your results you want. There are a number of ways you can promote your site and content such as email marketing, social media and so on.

Focus more on content

If website is the base of inbound marketing, content is its heart. Do research and find out common industry issues or the common issues that most of the consumers are facing and create good, informative and helpful content that contains solution to these issues.

There are a number of ways you can educate the customer through content such as through blog, eBooks, white papers, webinars and so on.

Measure and Monitor

The best thing about inbound marketing is you can measure it at its every part. So do it to get maximum ROI (return on investment) in the minimum resources and budget. Measuring your marketing campaigns helps you figure out which of them isn’t performing well and that you should keep them on hold and continue with those which are performing well.

Afterword

It is high time that you should adapt to the emerging trends of the world and its inhabitants. Last five- seven years have seen a great change in the way people work and live and that you being marketers also need to adapt with it. Now when, inbound marketing has made marketing much consumer-driven, interactive, well-timed, content-rich and solution based, consumers seldom entertain those interruptive messages that you push out while doing outbound marketing of your product or service.

Hence, instead of pushing out interruptive messages try connecting with consumers in the places and on devices they prefer. People love inbound marketing because it never tries to distract them or interrupt them while they are busy with something else; it however gives them the control to engage with brands on their own whims in terms of time, place, device they use and so many other factors.

So, stop selling, let the consumers buy themselves. Just try to integrate context with content and give users a more affluent, relevant, and personalized experience.

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