Use word of mouth to build community locally and online.
Have you resolved to create an effective inbound marketing strategy this year? Inbound marketing is different from traditional advertising. When you're bringing in business with inbound marketing, you find ways to draw your customers into your business through superior content and connections. How can you invite new customers to your business this year?
1. Use Words to Create Community
Who is your website for, anyway? Whether you're selling a product or a service, you want people to know about its features but you need to move your content beyond description to connection. How does your web site act as a resource to those who are thinking about buying your product? How does it act as a resource to the greater community? Through ebooks and blogs, reach out to your business and customer community with your thoughts about the services and products that you provide. People need wise and well thought-out information, and if you can become a trusted resource, you've not only built a customer base, you've built a community.
2. Get Visual
Video marketing is becoming a common tool for businesses. You're familiar with the idea of the television advertisement, but video marketing goes far beyond that. Think of video marketing as a visual blog post. Your goal is to explain, to teach, and to help your customers understand. Whether it's a video that helps customers understand a product's features or an explanatory video about a particular issue in your field, getting visual content on your site is another way to build your growing community.
Generate interest by holding a webinar or other online event.
3. Hold an Event
Everyone wants to be invited to the party, so why not hold one online? Creating a webinar allows you to invite your own staff and other experts in the field to describe the work that you do and answer questions about that work. Best of all, participants don't need to show up in a particular place at a particular time. You can record and post your webinar content so that you can share this with those who were not able to attend.
4. Invite Your Leads
All of this community cultivation takes time. If you're planning to create a vital inbound marketing strategy, you need to devote staff time to generating written and video content and creating online events. You'll also need to issue invitations to your leads. Whether this is through a guest post on a blog or through social media, remember to dedicate time to the invitation.
5. Get Local
While we often focus on digital business, you want to make sure that you're attracting your local customers as well, especially if you serve a specific community. Make sure that your inbound marketing has some local content, and place yourself in local resource directories such as Google Local. You may be focused on driving general traffic to your site, but don't underestimate the power of a local presence.
6. Be Accessible
When your prospective customers visit your site and have a question, you need to be there. While you probably have an email address on your site, adding features such as live chat allows your customers to interact with you in real time. This means that instead of bookmarking your site or moving on, they'll be able to find answers to their questions and may move from being a prospective customer to a satisfied one.
7. Spread the Love
Getting new customers isn't only about content. It's also about creating a community of people who truly value what you do and who want to share this. Whatever business you're in, you have customers, and those customers have opinions. Ask them to share their opinions and you'll find out where you can improve and what you're doing well. During your customer interactions, ask customers for references and invite them to spread the word in the local community and through social media.
If you want to improve your inbound marketing strategy in 2015, you'll need to spend time building your content and connecting with prospective customers. Digital Inbound can help. With our expertise in inbound marketing, we can help you attract, convert, and delight your customers.