The web and social media have forever changed the tactics of marketing.
Sending more promotional messages through traditional push-based tactics doesn’t work any more. So leading businesses are using inbound marketing (or “Pull Marketing”) to more effectively attract new customers.
But simply “telling stories” about your products is not enough either. Making emotional appeals to your prospects to have them buy your products and services is going past the realm of “not working” to actually working against many brands.
Today’s consumers want to learn. They can sense whether marketing is spin and self interest or truth and altruism. The more trustworthy and helpful your content, the more your customers will listen.
To support this effort at our company, my colleagues Travis Teo and Lisa Halim (@lizhalim) have created an infographic called The Definitive Guide To Pull Marketing to lay out the basics of inbound marketing…
Inbound Marketing 101
- Pull marketing seeks to have a dialogue. Pull marketers know the customer controls the conversation.
- It is thought provoking, timely, mutually interesting, and easy to find
- Inbound nurtures and develops long-term relationships by serving the needs of your audience.
- It helps your audience to influence or participate in the conversation by taking their feedback seriously.
- Pull marketing accepts that you have to earn your audiences attention since they are in control.
The 6 Steps to Inbound Marketing Success
- Develop an effective marketing strategy. Marketing is an investment in the growth of your business, not an expense.
- Create and maintain a powerful website. An effective website is the hub of all your online marketing and lead generation activities.
- Generate more traffic through effective blogging, social media, SEO and paid search. By increasing the traffic to your website you increase the number of opportunities for visitors to convert into leads.
- Convert traffic to leads. Create effective offers and calls to action that appeal to potential buyers at all stages.
- Convert Leads into sales through effective nurturing strategies and marketing automation.
- Measure everything! The most important measures are: Traffic to leads, Leads to customer, cost per lead and cost per customer. But the image also provides 24 measures you should use for each inbound marketing tactic.
Earn the Right to Be Heard
Conversations with customers are easy to kill. Customer service agents who cannot satisfy customer needs at the first contact. Difficulty contacting your business. Web sites that are not user friendly and do not serve customer needs in a timely manner. No matter what marketing channel you choose, make sure your customers do not experience these tragic consequences of a poor strategy.
Follow these simple best practices to entice your consumers to listen… and buy:
Search Engine Marketing
- Give your audience members the content they want
- Deliver content that uses terms that are frequently searched on a variety of search engines
- Include appropriate calls-to-action on your website and landing pages
Your Web Site
- Create Web pages that include search-friendly keywords that your customers are using
- Recommend and display content that drives the next step in the buying process
- Refresh your content frequently
- Gather audience insights from social channels
- Get the resources you need to facilitate a conversation with the audience
- Develop and adhere to a content calendar that aligns to customer needs
- Include inbound numbers on all of your communications across all channels and media
- Train inbound agents on all your products
- Make sure your inbound hotline is accessible across all phone devices
- Conform to permission marketing best practices across all channels
- Make sure chat functions are available across all digital channels
- Give agents what they need to provide an optimal chat experience for all consumers
Third-Party Web Sites
- Use third-party sites to publish your content
- Drive content that media sites will rank high on search results
- Prominently display hotline, chat, and contact us forms
Download this reminder tool to help create your next pull campaign
Check out the infographic “The Definitive Guide to Pull Marketing.” Download and post it to remind you how you can create a winning pull marketing campaign.