Inbound marketing has four intricate phases: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. Each of these steps builds from the previous one to create a seamless brand experience once the groundwork is complete. In today’s blog, we’re providing you with the answers to your inbound marketing questions focusing mainly on the attract and convert stages in the inbound methodology and their respective best practices. With that being said, let’s begin!
What are the overall best practices for the attract phase of the inbound methodology?
The major best practices of the attract phase include understanding who you are trying to attract, how you can best attract prospects, and the strategy of implementation.
First, you need to establish a clear idea of who you are trying to attract. Building buyer persona profiles based on the likes, dislikes, needs, timing, and behaviors of your potential customers aids in effectively communicating guidelines to your sales teams, content developers, and the company as a whole. For example, knowing your buyer personas is essential to developing content that resonates and engages with your customers. If your current content is not attracting visitors or even highly qualified leads for your sales team, going back to the buyer persona drawing board is crucial. This step, i.e., persona development, minimizes wide net advertising and replaces it with targeted and personalized messaging.
Your customers are not you. They don’t look like you, they don’t think like you, they don’t do the things that you do and they don’t have your expectations or assumptions. If they did, they wouldn’t be your customers; they’d be your competitors.—Mike Kuniavsky
Best practice: Create buyer personas for each of your ideal customer types. Make it as specific and thorough as possible. Collaborate with your marketing and sales teams, conduct interviews, and cruise the social landscape to gather important information and insight on your potential customers. We even recommend setting up a few in person interviews to ensure your buyer personas are accurately aligned with your ideal buyers. The more information you know about your ideal customer, the easier it will be when it’s time to reach out to them with your content, and most importantly, your products or services.
For more information, check out the following articles:
- Back to the Basics with Buyer Personas
- Value in Knowing Your Buyer Personas : Smart Content 101
- Tips for Buyer Persona Development
Once you have your persona profiles complete, you can begin to brainstorm the types of questions this ideal customer may have prior to viewing your products or services. If you create content that discusses pain points, answers questions, and sparks engagement, you are well on your way to attracting valuable website traffic.
Best practice: Develop content that caters to your buyer personas needs, likes, and dislikes. This content should highlight value propositions, drive engagement, and increase brand awareness.
For more information about creating content that will attract website visitors, explore these articles listed here:
- FAQ Friday: Your Questions about Advertising Content
- How to Map Content to Assist Your Website Marketing Strategy
- Organizing the Proper Content Messaging for a Better Branding Strategy
Now that you know who to attract and you have the content that speaks to the right audience, it’s time to open the gates, because the website traffic will floweth. Right? Not quite.
A key part to the last step of the attract phase best practices is distribution. Referring back to your buyer persona profiles will help you understand where you can reach these ideal prospects, and how best to approach them.
Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet.—Kevin Stirtz
Best practice: Be sure to provide value at all times. If you are sharing content on social media, we recommend sticking to at least an 80:20 rule where 80% of your content is speaking to your audience from other thought leaders in your industry and the other 20% is your own original content.
To take it a step further, you don't have to be on every platform. Work to narrow down which social platforms and distribution methods work best for your product or services, and which ones are bringing in the most engagement.
For further reading on content distribution and attract phase best practices, learn more about distribution best practices from these listed articles:
- Improve Content Marketing with Social Listening
- SEO Best Practices for Successful Video Distribution
- Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: Social Media Landscape for Business 2016
How do I convert website visitors into leads?
Converting website visitors into leads is laced with best practices for both the marketing and sales departments. Today, I think it is important to point out the most mechanical points about converting website visitors into leads and eventually customers.
The mechanics of this process include events, announcements, downloadable eBooks, and other valuable content offers as well as the way in which you should deliver said offers.
Best practice: “Every campaign you plan, whether it’s an event launch, eBook release, or product update, should come paired with a customized landing page. This page should highlight exactly what viewers need to know about the campaign at hand.” These landing pages are so important we actually covered some of your questions about them in its very own FAQ Friday: Landing Page Best Practices.
Why should I use lead nurturing for my marketing strategy?
Lead nurturing is essential to the Convert phase, because this is the make it or break point within your inbound marketing strategy. In order for you to even reach the Close phase, you have to nurture your leads with the right content, at the right time that suits their wants and needs.
Your top of the funnel content must be intellectually divorced from your product but emotionally wed to it—Joe Chernov
Best practice: Utilize marketing automation to streamline a personalized content workflow specific to your lead’s habits on your website. For example, if your lead had a habit of downloading content in relation to questions about website redesign, then you should nurture that lead with additional content solving those redesign questions. And with a marketing automation tool, you can create this redesign workflow specifically to fit your lead.
For further reading on lead nurturing and convert phase best practices, explore these listed articles:
- Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: Why Lead Nurturing?
- Lead Nurturing Best Practices for a Unique User Experience
- Increase Your Brand Engagement with Lead Nurturing Workflows
Additionally, for further questions about inbound marketing especially in relation to how all four phases function as a holistic process for your brand, learn more from these articles listed below:
- What is an Inbound Marketing Game Plan?
- A Holistic Approach to Developing Your Brand with the Inbound Methodology
- 7 Quick Tips on Embracing the Inbound Methodology for Silicon Startups
Until next FAQ Friday, keep your communication lines open. Don’t know the answer—ASK. If you have questions you would like to see featured in our weekly FAQ Friday, please submit them in the comments below or mention us @DirectImages on Twitter.
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