Inbound marketing is a key element of your sales process. It shortens sales cycles, produces educated buyers, and creates more sales-ready leads. If you haven’t read our recent post on why inbound marketing is important for reducing friction in your sales process, you’ll want to check it out before diving into this guide to implementation.
1. Define your buyer.
Create a buyer persona (or more than one if you have several targets). This helps you think like your buyer and evaluate what they need at the top of the funnel. The goal of this exercise is to align prospect needs with your solutions.
2. Locate your buyer.
Once you know who your buyer is, it’s time to evaluate where they spend their time. Do they engage with online on-demand CE because they are swamped? Maybe they interact with social media polls. Perhaps they like to read both digital and print peer-reviewed content. Broadcast content wherever your target buyer is spending their time.
3. Provide value.
When inbound marketing is done well, the content will align with your buyers’ interests and needs and be appropriate for each possible marketing channel. For example, your audience will likely engage with a multi-page peer-reviewed scientific article via print or web. Social media isn’t the most appropriate venue for that kind of in-depth information. Ensure the content you are providing is channel sensitive, so it’s adding to their experience, not interrupting their flow.
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4. Keep it light.
The top of the funnel is not the time to sell your product or service. Instead, focus on the high-level challenge your target buyer faces and add value to their decision-making. A lead magnet’s goal is to convert the visitor into a known prospect in your database so they can be nurtured with further content and warmed up for sales. Inbound top-of-funnel content should be generic and enticing enough to elicit a lead conversion (ie, the submission of a webform where you collect their contact information).
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5. Wow them with valuable content.
Now that you have a lead, you can build trust by providing more relevant content based on their previous behavior. As they progress down the funnel through a nurturing sequence and continue to show engagement and interest, begin to introduce more product-specific information. The goal is to provide the lead with enough information to reach out and ask for your product. Read more about how to construct a nurturing sequence here.
6. Ready to talk solutions?
The best customer is an educated customer. They have a clearer idea of what they need, and it makes the bottom-of-funnel experience friction-free for the customer and the sales team. In the final step of the inbound process, contact the lead to discuss their specific challenge. At this point, they are thoroughly educated, able to articulate their issue, and open to a solution based upon their needs. This can often mean a sale!
Want to learn more? Check out this article on optimizing your CRM to improve your bottom line.