If you have been following our blog recently, you will see that we often write to The Changing Landscape of Advertising and Improving Advertising Effectiveness but today we are talking about the process for which customer acquisition is supported by a content based strategy. It is called Inbound Marketing, according to HubSpot, and today we will be looking at their thoughts on the subject and how that relates to our recent conversations.
The basis of all Inbound Marketing is creating content that aligns with your target market’s interests, or to produce engaging and entertaining materials that your market wants to spend their time with. By focusing on appealing to the persona of your ideal brand loyalist, you are going to attract like minded individuals. This is an easy way to show how social responsibility efforts can be used to attract organizations to your brand presence, and why it has become the largest reason people become brand loyalists in the first place. The over arching theme- don’t disturb them with advertising, make it relevant. Give people a reason to share.
Blogging and online forums are the easiest way to appear knowledgable and authoritative within the industry. It gives your brand the chance to demonstrate their voice, personality, and values in a way that is fulfilling your viewers needs, by using a combination of search engine optimization and social publishing on the topics your target market are searching for.
From Visitors to Interested
This part of the process is where you are convincing your visitors that they want to hear from you again, or are interested in seeing what else your organization has to offer. Your content needs to be relevant enough in the previous step that they want to give you their contact information. Getting an email address from an online form gives you the chance to keep them up to date on the efforts your organization is making, by sending them e-blasts or your monthly newsletters.
Other opportunities within this step include ‘Calls to Action’ and ‘Landing Pages’. If you don’t feel right just coming out and asking for their information, take a moment give them a bit more of a reason. The HubSpot article posted above mentions to invite your visitors to a scheduled event, such as a webinar to further the conversation. Another example might be to give something away, and in return they will need to give up that information. Landing pages in these situations are used to monitor metrics to track their effectiveness.
There is one disagreement that I have with the article from HubSpot. In the final section of getting feedback on your service, the article says that the best way to figure out what your customers want is to ask them by using surveys; this is simply not true. Is it effective and worth talking about, yes of course. Keep talking and engaging with your brand loyalists and find out what they want and why the became loyal, but do so realizing a few things. Most notably, if you are asking for a logical response to an illogical decision, a survey could lead you to believe many untrue things about the behaviors of your market. But with the recent advancement in social technologies, we now have the ability to easily monitor types of research known as photo ethnography, and visual anthropology for free using Periscope.
Once you have a better understanding of your markets needs and wants (whether they tell you, or you see it your self), continue to provide content that makes them want to share, and monitor your progress. Keep track of their questions, and address their confusions in the materials you are producing. If one person is confused and speaks out, likely ten others did not ask.
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