How do you stay on a customer’s mind without driving them out of their mind?
Imagine your favorite restaurant. The way the exceptional food, service, and ambiance combine to create a place where you truly feel at home. Perhaps you’ve had a birthday dinner here with friends, or a reunion with family. You have plenty of positive memories associated with the place, and you recommend it to anyone stopping by the neighborhood. You go back because you know it’s going to be good. They just get you.
This is how customers should feel when they think about your brand. And this is exactly what inbound marketing aims to do.
What is Inbound Marketing?
In short, inbound marketing is about approaching customers with empathy.
Inbound marketing is a marketing methodology that involves creating meaningful relationships with customers that withstand the test of time. Inbound strategies aim to attract, engage and delight.
Attract customers with thoughtful content they actually want to read.
Engage customers by speaking directly to their pain points and presenting solutions.
Delight customers with true care, and continued support even after a purchase is made.
In this day and age, so many brands are competing to be the loudest and the fastest. But customers who are emotionally invested, and genuinely satisfied with your service are the ones who come back—and tell their friends!
1. Get to Know Your Customers
Before you can pinpoint what your customer wants from you, you have to know your customer.
One great way to learn about customers is to conduct surveys a few weeks after a customer makes a purchase. Learning what solutions your product and service were able to provide for customers isn’t just helpful for improving quality—it also can improve your marketing.
But what about what people are saying behind your back? Social media listening is one way to find out. Monitor social media channels for mentions of your business, as well as keywords or discussions related to your industry. This can really reveal what customers think about your brand. And if you respond directly to customers on social media, you’re not only increasing brand awareness—you’re also taking advantage of an opportunity to provide quality customer support.
2. Create an Informative Blog
Inbound marketing is all about creating informative and exciting content to attract interest. You want to establish yourself as an authority, a source of trustworthy information, and a go-to place for thought leadership.
One incredible way to do this is to start a blog. Blogging is a powerful marketing strategy for two reasons:
It helps you gain customer trust. Publish pieces that speak directly to your customers’ pain points, and invite them into the community.
It drives traffic to your website. Every time you publish a new webpage, you increase the chance of your content coming up in a Google search. People may also share your pieces on social media, and then readers can click links within your blog post that bring them directly to your site.
3. Formulate a Compelling Email Campaign
Too many companies blast every email address they can get ahold of with impersonal, endless advertisements. But where others garner annoyance, your company can spark delight with thoughtful, personalized content.
With a 4200% ROI, email is one of the most effective channels of advertising out there. Inbound marketing can take it a step further. Personalize your email content, not just the greeting, to really cater to customers directly, and show them you have the solution they are seeking. Center email content around an easily stated and executed call to action. This is a great way to give customers agency, and allow them to opt in.
4. Allow Customers to Choose How They Interact With Your Brand
Remember, one of the key concepts for inbound marketing strategies is “attract” not “bombard with unwelcome information.” By allowing customers to decide how they wish to engage with your brand, you position yourself as a source of information, not pressure.
Chatbots can allow customers to interact with your brand on their own time, whenever they may wish. AI technology can automatically personalize these communications. Allow customers to sign up for your email list themselves. Invite customers to take part in polls, voluntary surveys, and seminars. These are all great ways to give agency to your customers, and let them come to you.
5. Get Experts Involved
Delight customers and position yourself as a trusted authority by inviting familiar expert faces in. Have experts from your field guest write a blog post.
Or consider offering a free seminar hosted by an expert. This could even be a lesson with someone within your company on how to use your product. Seminars have two-fold power: they help you engage with customers, but they also generate leads when interested folks you haven’t previously interacted with show up.
5. Stay On Top of SEO
Inbound marketing is content-focused. So make sure customers can actually find your content. SEO, or search engine optimization, is key to making sure your website comes up when people type questions related to your brand into a search engine.
Make sure to do keyword research on what words prospects usually use when searching for a solution your company provides. Then, incorporate the keywords into blog posts, and other website content. The internet is ever-evolving, so it’s critical to keep doing your research and stay on top of best practices.
If you put in the time to truly engage and empathize with customers, you can reap the long term benefits of customer loyalty.
Approach customers with empathy, allow them to opt in, and position yourself as an ever-flowing source of information. It takes time for a customer to establish an emotional association with your brand, but it does pay off in the long run.
If you’re looking to get started with inbound marketing, Vye is here to help.
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