The Best Marketing Strategy That Works
Every business that wants to succeed must have plans for marketing. At the core of your marketing plan is a marketing strategy. The strategy you put in place is what brings all your marketing goals together into a comprehensive plan. According to Investopedia, your marketing strategy is the overall game plan for reaching people and turning them into customers of the product or service that your business provides.
The whole essence of marketing is to get people to see your product or service. Also, marketing helps them to take the next step to becoming customers or clients as the case may be. The way and manner you do it determines the results you get.
It is important to state that times have changed. The marketing strategies that worked before have become obsolete. They no longer yield results. This is because the strategies were based on outbound marketing.
The Era of Outbound Marketing
A trip down marketing lane shows that outbound marketing was only effective some 10, 20 years ago. The strategy was to push a product or service into the space of people. Whether or not the person wants it, marketers didn’t care. They just want anybody and everybody to know what they are selling.
TV commercials, radio ads, telemarketing, banner and display ads, billboards, newspaper and magazine ads, cold calling, pop-ups, and contextual ads were all media for outbound marketing.
That era is gone. There’s a new kid on the block that gets better results. People now have ad blockers to deal with pop ups and unsolicited ads. As of 2017, the CTR for display ads was a miserly 0.05. I’m sure by now, it has gone down to 0.01.
Even though marketing was easy to control, conversion rates were very low, marketing cost was high, and there wasn’t a long-term value. This made a lot of B2B marketers look out for other marketing techniques that deliver better results.
Enter Inbound Marketing…
With Consumers becoming smarter, coupled with changes in their preferences, it became obvious they weren’t going to be bullied into buying stuff. They now prefer to do their due diligence before making contact with any business outfit. They are faced with tons of options for a particular need. So, they use every means available to them to know the best product or service that meets their specific need.
Inbound marketing pulls prospects to your business rather than push your business to them. With an inbound marketing strategy, you get your business in the radar of people who need what you offer.
So, inbound marketing is the marketing strategy that works now.
Why the Ado about Inbound Marketing?
In the world of marketing today, the anchor phrase is value creation. The only way to create value is to understand what your ideal clients need. You give the things that help them improve in a certain area or even live better lives. This is the focus for inbound marketing. You attract the right people to your business and not going around looking for anybody and everybody. These ideal clients are people you can impact, earn their trust, and give them the best service they need.
To be able to build trust with prospects, you need to target them with helpful content. This is not just any content. The content you give to them has to be relevant to them. It has to touch their pain points and help them solve specific problems. The content has to be relevant enough to attract your ideal clients.
So, with inbound marketing strategy, you don’t force yourself to get a prospect’s attention. By creating valuable content, you help your ideal clients solve pressing life and business challenges. With that, they look up to you as the person with the solution they need.
Bottom line: The best inbound marketing strategy helps you attract prospects, build credibility and trust, improve sales, and grow your business.
Stages of Inbound Marketing
Truth is, whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, inbound marketing delivers great marketing results for you. This is because you don’t only get to sell your customers, you give them a memorable experience. An experience that gets them satisfied and keen to recommend your business. This is possible because inbounding marketing keeps you in sync with your customer’s journey. Your ideal client’s journey is what informed the four stages of inbound marketing.
The stages of inbound marketing are lead attraction, lead conversion, sales closing, and customer satisfaction.
So, let’s have a detailed look at these stages.
1. Lead Attraction
Remember I said that one of the flaws of outbound marketing is that you target anyone and everyone. It doesn’t matter if they need what you have or you have what they need. You just scatter your marketing seed and prays it falls on a good soil. Well, it is a different ball game when it comes to inbound marketing.
With a great inbound marketing strategy, you don’t just target anyone. You don’t indulge in random marketing that wastes your time and money. Rather, you have a clear understanding of who your ideal client or perfect customer is. You have a well-researched profile of them. You know their desires and pain points. You can relate with their challenges and problem. The best part, you have the solution they need.
Armed with this information, you can deploy an inbound marketing tactics that works. Whatever technique you deploy – email marketing, social media, blog posts, etc. – you get results. Your ideal customers are attracted to you because they can resonate with your content. They see the solution to their problems when they consume the content you dish out to them.
When it comes to lead attraction, inbound marketing delivers great results.
2. Lead Conversion
The next stage in the inbound marketing process is converting leads to prospects.
It is important to know that a lead is different from a prospect. You have to bear this in mind if you must manage your leads to the point of conversion. Anyone who shows interest in your business, maybe by downloading a content or watching a video, is a lead. They are leads because they have not been qualified based on the client avatar or profile you created. Remember, everything you do in inbound marketing revolves around the persona of your ideal client.
But, when a lead is qualified, they can now be seen as a prospect.
So a lot goes into converting a lead into a prospect. This is because you don’t serve anyone and everyone. There are specific people that your product or services are designed for. They are the ones that get to enjoy the benefits and solutions you bring. They are also the ones that pay premium prices for your products and services.
If you get it right at this stage, then the remaining stages will be a breeze. This is where you know who is a fit for your business. This is where you know who to take to the next level in your marketing funnel.
3. Sales Closing
After the lead is converted to a prospect, the next step is to enroll them as clients or get them to make a purchase, as the case may be. This is a crucial stage in the inbound marketing process. This is the point where you get to reap the benefits of your marketing inputs.
No matter how good your conversion rate is, your business survival is hinged on sales. If you don’t close enough sales, you end up sabotaging your marketing efforts.
There’s a little intermission between the conversion stage and the closing stage. This is the nurturing stage. There are leads who have been converted to prospects, by matching them against your client avatar. But, they are not ready to make buying decisions yet. They have objections that require clarification. This is where nurturing comes in.
When leads are nurtured properly, it is easy to close them. They have all the information they need to become clients. They have trust in your business and its ability to give them the solutions they need. For others, they see their dreams and aspirations fulfilled by becoming your customers.
This means you have to deploy the best inbound marketing tools that can help you nurture your leads well. With these tools, you can automate some parts of your marketing, manage your relationship with prospects, and even manage the content you give out. The content you give to prospective clients should resonate with the stage they are in their buying journey.
With all of these in place, closing your prospects becomes simple.
4. Customer Satisfaction
Your marketing strategy is not complete if you don’t have plans to give your customers a great experience. It not just in the results you help them get, but how you get them that result. Did you offer them world-class support? Did you give them a hand when they needed one? How was objections and altercations handled while you served them? These and other things contribute to the experience your clients get when you serve them. Whether you are selling a product or offering a service, the situation is the same.
Customer satisfaction is non-negotiable. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, you need to create an outstanding experience for your customers. Something that they will relive and talk about for a long time. That is what determines the kind of reviews you get from them. Trust me, you need as much of those positive reviews as you can get.
Satisfied customers contribute a major part in the growth and success of your business. They help you get more clients without spending a dime. According to Small Business Trends, 85% of small businesses get customers through word of mouth. One satisfied customer is a marketing tool for you. It is easy for their peers to be convinced by their testimonial and come to you. A Nielsen Global Survey shows that 83% of the respondents patronize businesses based on the opinion of friends and family.
It is easy to build trust and loyalty when your customers are satisfied. Even when you raise your prices, they stick to you like dot com. The value and great experience they get is more important to them than what you charge.
Bottom line: Inbound marketing strategy isn’t complete when your customers are not satisfied. The prior stages are important. But, the customer satisfaction stage is the most important. You can have increased marketing results without raising your budget when you have satisfied customers.
Get on The Inbound Marketing Wagon!
What’s the point of wasting money on marketing strategies that are obsolete? Why do you still invest in outbound marketing that yields little or no results? Why do you keep forcing yourself on so many people who don’t even need what you offer? It’s time you get off that bandwagon and implement the marketing strategy that works – that’s inbound marketing.
Like I said earlier, what you need now are clients or customers that are a fit for your business. You can’t target randomly and expect to get tangible and predictable results from your marketing efforts. Remember, you’re throwing in money, and not some lucky dice.
So, get on the inbound marketing wagon today. Do less and get more from your marketing.
And if you need help implementing this in your business, click here to schedule a breakthrough session. We have a business strategist on our team, waiting to help you implement this in your business.