In my last blog, I introduced the concept of Inbound Marketing, the best way to turn strangers into customers, then promoters, of your products and services. I talked about how Inbound is all about attracting interested buyers in an “inbound” rather than an “outbound” way. And I explained that, as today’s consumers search online for answers to their questions and solutions to their problems, you’d better be an option, high up in the search rankings, or you’ll be passed over.
I also outlined the four Inbound Marketing steps in the buyer’s journey as the typical consumer goes from stranger to enthusiastic promoter of your brand: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight. In this blog, I want to discuss Step 1: Attract. I’ll tackle the other three in subsequent blogs.
For your Inbound Marketing strategy to be successful, the first order of business is to attract the “right” people to your website who are actively searching for the solutions you offer. You want the prospects who are most likely to become leads and ultimately, happy customers.
So who are these “right” people? They are your ideal customers, also known as your buyer personas (semi-fictional personalities). They encompass the goals, challenges, pain points and demographic information around which your whole business is built.
The first thing you need to do before you start to “attract” them is to know who they are. Even though they are semi-fictional, you should have the discipline to scope out the buyers’ personae before you try to catch them.
Once you’ve done this, you then build your online experience around providing those personae with the answers to their questions—the solutions to their needs. And how do you do that?
As we now know, people today search, they evaluate options, they consider the alternatives and then they decide. Once that is done, they research their decisions, talk about it with their friends or in chat rooms, and based on the feedback they get, possibly rethink what they have chosen. Therefore, brand awareness is crucial.
Are you creating, delivering and sharing content that will appeal to precisely the right people (your buyer personas) in the right places (channels) at the right times (when they’re searching for solutions)? Is your website user-friendly, easy to navigate and full of answers potential customers can use? Are you connecting with your fans and making new ones on Facebook, Twitter and all the other available social outlets?
If your answer to any of these questions is no, you’ve got some work to do!
I recently wrote a white paper explaining how to “do” Inbound Marketing, in which I covered: