If it's better to give than to receive, then why do we spend so much time asking people to give to us? Traditional outbound advertising focuses heavily on the ask. While inbound marketing also tries to build up your client list, it does so in a very different way. It's all about giving before you ask.
Outbound Marketing: The Art of the Ask
Asking isn't a bad thing. When you're trying to build new client relationships or form partnerships, asking is quite necessary. Traditional marketing focuses almost entirely on the art of the ask. Companies collect information about leads and target those leads with advertising asks, which may result in an increase in customers. Inbound marketing strategies create their ask in a different way. Instead of collecting information and pushing an ask out to prospective customers, they focus on giving first.
Your inbound marketing strategy is about asking, but it's also about giving to your leads. By creating excellent content, you draw your leads into your web site. You offer your customers perks as well: eBooks, video, webinars, or tips on social media. This giving serves a number of functions. It allows you to build a relationship with current and future customers. It also helps you carry on a conversation with your customers, so that you understand their needs more deeply. By watching to see what blog posts or other online materials do well, you get to know the needs of your customers. Blogging is one way to more business leads.
As an inbound marketer, you use your giving to build a relationship, and this relationship is based on trust. Your leads know that you are a responsible, informed business, a leader in your field. They come back to learn from you. Once you have a solid relationship, it makes more sense to ask your readers to make a purchase. They're already motivated, because they know that you have the expertise and that you do quality work. After all of that giving, you can then begin to ask.
Give to your clients, and build a relationship before you ask.
The ask that you make will vary. Begin by making a small ask, capturing your leads' email address or other information. You may want to provide an incentive to your leads as well, such as a free educational resource. Webinars, eBooks, training videos, and expert interviews all provide an excellent incentive for someone to give you basic personal information in exchange for access to these resources. Once you've collected this information, you can then begin send your leads to your ask infrastructure: emails, targeted pages, and targeted products that could work for them.
A sales pitch is not a bad thing, but in traditional marketing, it's often the first discussion you encounter. A message of buy, buy, buy can turn your leads away. When you preface your sales pitch with content that builds your relationship with your clients, they'll be much more willing to hear your ask in the future. If you're working on your inbound marketing strategy, Digital Inbound can help you attract, convert, and delight your clients. Visit us today to discover how we can support your business development.