Inbound marketing represents in a fundamental shift in the way that marketing is done – and it’s all in order to meet the needs of today’s customers. But inbound marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum – it has to lead to sales. Since today’s customers want to be marketed to differently, it follows that they want to be sold to differently too.
Customers want to be educated. They want lots information before they make a decision to buy – and inbound marketing can help with that. By designing your inbound marketing campaign to feed directly into your sales process, you can make sure your inbound efforts to your larger marketing goals.
Here are some key qualities of a sales-focused inbound marketing campaign:
Customer focused, question driven content.
Content marketing is a key tactic in your inbound approach, but you can’t publish without a plan. If your target audience is asking questions through their search engine inquiries or on social media, they are looking for information – so that is a natural place to start for content creation. Do research on common search terms, watch your incoming traffic keyword terms and listen on social media for essential topics to cover. By creating content – like blog posts – based on your target market’s questions, you’re right there when they search for answers.
Offer in depth content as an opt in.
Attracting attention with ongoing blog posts and social media is key – but you’ll also want to convert those visits into leads. In order to capture their contact information, you need to provide something useful. Create ebooks, white papers and buying guides that include in depth information on their biggest questions, and offer them as an email opt in. You’ll provide them with authoritative content that will help them understand their decision, evaluate their options and make the right choice – and you’ll be able to follow up in the future.
Follow up with specialized content and conversations.
Publishing content to educate your audience should lead to more informed sales conversations. With a targeted inbound marketing campaign, you can use your opt in offer as a springboard to targeted sales conversations. Once the prospect has read through your white paper, ebook or buying guide, they’re ready to ask the next set of questions on their way to making a buying decision. The content gets them one step closer to the sale – and depending on which type of content they have downloaded, your sales team can focus on having the right conversations on them to move to the next step.
By focusing on key questions and publishing regularly, you can create content marketing campaigns that support your sales team – and lead to higher conversion rates.
This is the real power of inbound marketing – to lead to sales. If you’re publishing without purpose or, even worse, focusing on outbound tactics that turn off your target market, your sales are going to drop as customers change their expectations.