Traditional marketing companies focus on finding customer or clients using techniques that are interruptive; for example cold calling and TV advertising… however, modern technology is making this marketing ineffective.
Caller ID is stopping cold calls, Netflix and TV On Demand makes advertising less effective and spam filters block mass emails. It’s still possible to get a message out using these channels but they cost a lot more.
The traditional way of doing things is convenient for the marketer because they can push content in people’s faces whenever they want, even when those potential customers don’t want it. But it’s not such a great experience for the user. Your potential customer.
Inbound Marketers flip this model on it’s head.
So What Is Inbound Marketing All About?
Inbound is a fundamental shift in the way we do business. Instead of that old interruption based message where the marketer or sales person had all the control, Inbound switches the positioning and its all about empowering the customers.
Instead of interrupting people with television ads, you might create videos that potential customers want to see. Instead of buying display ads in print publications, you can create a business blog that people can read… and instead of cold calling you create useful content that enables prospects to contact you when they want more information.
Inbound marketing is marketing focused on getting found by your customers. It’s totally customer focused. It’s helpful.
Think about yourself for a moment – Wouldn’t you prefer to deal with a business that is focused on your needs instead of their own?
You have probably come across some of your favourite brands that practice Inbound marketing. Maybe it’s that problem solving blog post that shows up near the top of Google, or maybe it’s the new solution that was discovered on LinkedIn or the product review that was found on Facebook.
Inbound is about being part of the conversation, not shouting “buy my stuff” in an advert.
Being a part of that conversation means sharing helpful, relevant content with the world. It’s about drawing people in. That’s why it is called Inbound. And most of all it’s about creating marketing that people love.
In today’s world buyers have all the power. Think about the process you went through the last time you made a purchase… did you call up the sales person immediately or did you hop online and do some research?
It’s time for you to embrace the fact that customers want to make their own decision. It is also about understanding that their decision may take time, so you need to nurture them on their journey.
So How Do You Actually Do Inbound?
Well the best way to start is by understanding Inbound Methodology.
This the inbound methodology:
It illustrates the four stages that make up the inbound marketing and sales process. These stages are: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight.
Listed along the bottom of the methodology are the tools that companies typically use to accomplish these actions. The tools are listed under the stage where they may come into play. But that’s not the only stage where they are applicable. Some tools like email can be essential to multiple stages of the methodology.
Let me talk you through the stages.
Starting at the beginning on the left you need to attract strangers to your site, turning them into visitors. Some of the most important tools to attract new users are Blogging, SEO and Social Media.
Once you have attracted new visitors the next step is to convert some of them into leads by gathering their contact information. At the very least you need their email address. Contact information is the currency of inbound marketing. In order for your visitors to offer up that currency you will need to offer something in return. For example; our 100 Ways To Market Your Accounting Firm, is one of our most popular currency exchanges as it provides great value in exchange for the email address.
Things you can offer include tips sheets, calculators, scorecards, eBook, money off vouchers, whatever information that would be interesting and valuable for your prospects. You can convert visitors into leads using what we call a conversion process.
Website components like calls to action and landing pages can entice these visitors and help you get information from them.
Moving along, now you have the right visitors and have converted the right leads it’s time to transform those leads into customers. In the close stage, tools like email marketing and CRM can be used to help sell to the right leads at the right time.
Inbound is all about providing remarkable content to your users. Whether they are visitors, leads or existing customers. Just because someone is already a customer doesn’t mean you can forget about them. Inbound companies continue to delight their customers turning them into happy promoters of the products and services they love.
Then the whole methodology starts back at the beginning. When promoters talk to their networks they spread the word about your product and services. These networks then visit your website and the whole process starts again.
What you don’t see in the methodology is analyse… why is this?
Because analysis is part of every single thing you do with your inbound strategy. Anything you do, any piece of content, and campaign you launch or any marketing action you undertake, should be analysed. To be a truly successful inbound marketer you need to know what is working and what isn’t, and how to implement new solutions and improve your efforts as effectively as possible.
The only way to do this is by taking the time to analyse what works, at every stage.
And that is why Inbound marketing is changing the way the world is doing marketing and sales.
To download our ebook and get a list of 100 marketing ideas for your accounting practice click here for the 100 Ways To Market Your Accounting Firm
What do we do at TwentyTwo?
At TwentyTwo Agency we specialise in helping you create a strategy, attract ideal prospects, convert them into clients and get remembered and referred. Our specialities include content marketing, blog writing, email newsletter management and social media management. We are a content marketing and digital experience agency for accounting firms. We ensure you get remembered, recommended and referred.
To find out if we can help you, reach out to our team by emailing [email protected]