We’ve made it! We’ve reached the fourth and final blog of our journey through inbound marketing methodology. Since we started, we’ve looked at how to attract your target audience to your brand, how to convert those leads into customers and clients, and how to close the deal, turning those leads into paying customers. In our final installment of the Inbound Marketing Methodology series, we’re going to explore ways to “Delight” your new customers and the most effective strategies for turning them into lifelong fans.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
The term “inbound marketing” was coined by HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan. It refers to the idea that you are marketing in a way in which you are bringing customers to you versus pushing your product or services out to them.
It’s is built on the premise that you create something of value for potential customers, build a relationship with them, and use permission marketing techniques to convert them into paying customers.
The inbound methodology promotes a 5-stage life cycle in which strangers convert into, not only customers but your brand promoters over time.
There are four levels of strategy in the methodology – Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. Each deal specifically with moving an individual from one lifecycle stage to the next.
Continue to Engage Your Newly Converted Sales
Just because you’ve closed the deal and converted a lead into a customer doesn’t mean you should forget about them and move on to the next hot prospect. Quite the contrary: this is merely the start of a new chapter.
Use Surveys to Obtain Customer Feedback
The best way to find out exactly what your customers want is to simply ask them. Surveys and feedback solicited via tools such as Poll Daddy or Survey Monkey are great ways of finding out what your customers actually think of your product or service.
Before creating a survey, think about your goals. For example, if you’re looking for feedback on your products or service, a customer satisfaction survey may work best for you. Along with the typical, “Are you happy with ‘X’,” type questions, try to include questions that solicit more feedback. Some examples include:
- How helpful do you find our website?
- What subjects would you like to see covered in our newsletter/blog?
- What products/services would you like to see added to our current offerings?
The market research survey is useful if you’re planning to launch a new product or service. Some questions to include are:
- What do you like most about our new product/service?
- What do you like least about our new product/service?
- How would you improve our new product/service?
Feedback from a market research survey may even help you discover new keywords for your marketing strategy. Say, for example, that a large number of respondents report that they would appreciate a training class to go along with your new software offering. If you choose to offer this service based on the feedback, you should also incorporate “software training” into your list of keywords to focus on.
Incorporate Smart Calls-to-Action
We discussed calls-to-action (CTAs) in the ‘Convert’ installment of this series, using them to convert new website visitors into leads. Here, we’re not using just calls-to-action but ‘smart’ calls-to-action.
So what is the difference between a ‘standard’ call-to-action and a ‘smart’ call-to-action? The standard discussed previously simply encourages visitors to click it. Everyone sees the same CTA and gets the same result. A smart CTA, however, takes things a step further. Each customer sees a different CTA based on buyer persona or lifecycle stage. This level of customization allows you to deliver both relevant and effective CTAS timed to help potential customers with their challenges at the point when they are ready to buy.
Utilize Smart Text
Smart text is another way to customize your website messaging to tailor the experience to each user group. This helps provide your existing customers with engaging content personalized to match their specific interests and needs. If, for example, a visitor to your site is a potential buyer, they will be shown content designed to entice them into making an initial purchase.
Alternately, if they are an established customer, they will see different content focused on upgrades, or ongoing support. You can target your content based on anything that you already know about your leads. As you learn more about them and your buying personas become more detailed, the possibilities get even smarter.
Harness the Power of Social Monitoring
Social monitoring should be a regular part of your engagement strategy throughout the buyer’s journey. Social monitoring helps you keep track of the social conversations that are relevant to your business. It also enables you to reach out to your customers with relevant content.
Your social monitoring strategy should go beyond just posting great content. You also need to observe and analyze your efforts. For example, pay attention to which posts are engaging your customers. Look over the posts that received lots of comments and shares. Pay equal attention to the posts that no one seemed to notice. What do they have in common? Do the posts with the most interaction answer frequently asked questions, or include a free offer? Careful analysis will help you determine what type of content to offer your customers in the future.
Another question to ask is “which channels are driving the most traffic?” Although it’s true that a balanced social media strategy integrates multiple platforms, most businesses don’t have time to post to every social media channel available. If you learn that 90% of your traffic is coming from LinkedIn, it will be well worth your time to dedicate more energy to that channel and less to the others. If you’re watching people share your Instagram posts on a regular basis but they don’t turn into conversions, you may want to consider letting go of that channel in order to focus your efforts elsewhere.
Above all, make sure to check your analytics on a weekly basis. By checking your analytics regularly, you can get a better understanding of what your customers want, how to reach them more effectively, and how to make the most of your social media accounts.
The inbound marketing methodology covers every step traveled on the road from stranger to established customer. It empowers businesses to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers, and keep them delighted and engaged with your business. However, mastering the art of inbound marketing takes a lot of work. If you are unsure where to begin, contact us, and we can work with you to implement an effective inbound strategy for your business.