by Team Yakkety Yak January 17, 2018
The sales process has changed—just ask the ghost of the cold call. Consumers now have the world’s most powerful search engine at their fingertips, and 60% of a buyer’s decision-making process is done before the sales funnel even starts.
So how do you keep up with the evolving landscape? You evolve with it, by changing the way your sales and marketing teams operate.
Introducing: Inbound Marketing.
Inbound Marketing is about providing consumers with useful resources that guide them to make informed decisions—no strings attached. It’s about empowering them throughout the sales process and continuing to be useful even after they’ve become customers. Inbound marketing prioritizes creating valuable content that will bring leads to you over investing time and energy into the hunt for potential customers elsewhere.
Developing buyer personas help you get to know your audience, which is step number one in the inbound marketing workflow. This process is all about answering two questions: who do you want coming to your site, and who is most likely to turn into a lead, and ultimately, a customer?
Get to know your current customers to identify trends that explain why they bought your product, how they learned about your company and what lead them to their final decision to patronize your business. From there, you can start to extrapolate similar “buyer personas”—generalized mockups of those ideal customers—based on the research you collected.
Once you know what your buyer looks like, zoom out to study the path that brought them to your door. The Buyer’s Journey refers to the entire process that leads someone to the point of purchase. There are three parts to the buyer’s journey: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage.
Just like the sales process, the internet has profoundly changed the buyer’s journey. Today, 44% of online shoppers start their journey with a web search. If you’re considering buying a new laptop, your first step might be consulting a PC Magazine blog post that Google provided you ranking the “Top 10 Laptops of 2016.” Here we see why inbound marketing strategies carry such value today.
Blog posts, eBooks, infographics – oh my! Inbound marketing is the point where content and context intersect. In the laptop shopping example, it’s the sweet spot where that blog post with the information you want falls in your lap at the exact moment you need it.
Your inbound marketing content should always be educational, timely and tailored to your audience. Teach them something, help them solve a problem, and make sure you are using your buyer personas to target the right people. Developing your voice, establishing yourself as a an industry expert and empowering your brand with leadership and authority in its market are all goals best accomplished with good content.
Once you’ve created quality content, the avenues where you can share and promote it are truly endless. Research where your audience spends the most time, and use those platforms to put your content in front of them. Blogs on your company website are a great starting point because link-sharing lets you lean on valuable content from previous posts, build and expand the knowledge base you share, promote the content that’s most relevant to your sales goals, and embed social sharing icons that make it easy for your readers to share your content with their own networks.
Interested in inbound? Who wouldn’t be?! When properly executed, the results of effective inbound marketing can completely transform even long-established brands. We’d love to help you get started – contact Yakkety Yak to get the ball rolling on your inbound strategy.