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Think Like Your Prospects To Build Solid Inbound Marketing Strategy

Your Inbound Marketing Content Is For Them, NOT For You

Inbound Marketing Strategy Means Thinking Like A ProspectInbound marketing strategy is so important to us that we spend between 30 and 60 days working on it for our clients before we consider even one tactical deployment. One of the lessons we learned very early on is that most of you don’t apply the right perspective when you’re creating your own marketing strategy.

As an example, we don’t care whether you and your team like the messaging or not (well, maybe we care a little because you have to sign off on it). We ONLY care if your prospects connect with it, if it speaks to them, if it moves them emotionally and if it gets them to take action. Those are the measures. We’re not creating messaging for you; we’re creating messaging and differentiation for your prospects.

So, you might think your 30 years of experience is super important. But, when we look at your market and see that your closest competitors have 10 and 18 years of experience, suddenly your 30 years doesn’t look as impressive.

It’s not about you; it’s about them. Keep that in mind as you work on your 2016 marketing strategy.

Here are some tips to make sure your inbound marketing strategy stays focused on your prospects and not on you.

Understand Their Pains

If you stop thinking about your business and start thinking about how you make your own purchase decisions, you’ll quickly see the light. The first step in realizing that a company might have something you want is them connecting with you. Remember, we’re not talking advertising. We’re talking inbound. So, when people have needs, they search to satisfy those needs, they find your site and they visit it. The first question they’re asking themselves the moment they land on that site is, “Does this company do what I need done?”

If you can’t answer that question for them with the messaging on your current site, they’re gone in seconds. Upon arrival, they have to feel 100% sure that you do what they need done. That is step one in the process for every single visitor to your website today.

The best way to do this is by showing them you understand their pain. When Square 2 Marketing started, our website had a headline: My Marketing Isn’t Working And I Don’t Know Why! That was the pain our prospects were feeling. We understood their frustrations with traditional marketing options.

We have a client who sells safety products to manufacturing plants, like gloves, eyewear and hard hats. The headline on their site is: Don’t You Want Everyone To Go Home Safe Tonight? For safety managers at plants, this is their biggest concern: protecting their people. You have 10 seconds to get a new site visitor to feel (yes feel, as purchasing is emotional first and rational second) like you can help them.

Deliver Solutions That No One Else Delivers

Bad news: Getting them to feel like you can help them is only the first hurdle. Now, you have to quickly help them see what you can do for them and how it’s different from the other options they’ve already seen or are going to see as they continue their research. Remember that today, buyers are coming to you 75% of the way through their buyer journey before they ever identify themselves. That means they’ve researched your company and your competitors, they’ve been to your site a few times and the sites of all your competitors, they’ve asked around, they've looked for reviews and they’re highly educated.

In the same 10 seconds you have to grab them emotionally, you also have to show them what makes you different than everyone else who does what you do. The better you are at this, the more reason they'll have to look around longer, click on more pages, download more content and get more emotionally connected to your company. We’re trying to make them feel safe. If they feel like your company is the safest choice, you get the business.

Provide Social Proof

Speaking of safe, one way to do this is with social proof. After all, no one is going to believe what you say about your company on your site. You’re not objective. But, if there are other people who look like your prospects, with the right titles at the right companies, your potential prospects are going to feel much safer.

You do that on your site with videos, case studies, testimonials and even client logos. No one ever got fired for hiring IBM. Have you heard that phrase before? That illustrates our point. IBM is almost always the safe choice. Even if the project doesn’t work out, who can fault a guy who picked IBM over all the other smaller competitors? Help them know, like and trust you, and you’re well on your way to making them feel safe enough to hire you.

Create A Remarkable Click-To-Close Experience

Another way to stand out in your space and get prospects to feel comfortable with you is to create an experience that starts when they visit your website and ends when they become a new customer. This is just like how Disney creates a remarkable experience from the time you step into one of their hotels through the time you leave.

Having a great website packed with educational content, one that's easy to understand and navigate with multimedia content options, is how to get off on the right foot. But, if you do this right, people are going to convert, and how you treat them after they convert is important, too. You need to nurture them in an educational way. You can’t bombard them with emails or phone calls just because they downloaded your whitepaper. Think that nurture phase through as part of your marketing strategy.

If you nurture them properly, they’re going to want to talk to you, and your sales process has to match your marketing process. If your salespeople start calling and asking for appointments, wanting to send pricing or contracts, people are going to get nervous. That is the opposite of what we want them to feel, which is safe and secure.

Good strategic thinking actually maps this process out from the first click all the way through delivery of the products or services you sell. This gives your prospects and clients many reasons to talk about your business, to share their experiences and to tell stories that get other people excited to do business with you, starting the cycle all over again. This is good inbound marketing.

Use Data To Make Adjustments In Real Time

Strategy is a requirement, but once you get out of the strategy and build phase of any inbound program, you enter the optimization phase. This is the time when you’re tweaking your tactics to get them to produce even better results. You might be doing a great job with organic traffic to your website, but if you drive more social traffic, more referring site traffic, more traffic from email and more direct traffic, you could literally improve your website visitors by five times. This directly translates to a 5X improvement in leads generated as well.

A landing page that’s converting at 20% can be upgraded to convert at 30%, and this directly impacts the amount of leads you’re getting. Look at the data and create a list of prioritized upgrades. Make sure you work those down each week to create a continuous improvement effort week over week and month over month.

Social Media Strategy For Professional Services Firms Start Today Tip – It all comes back to thinking like your prospects. All the planning, messaging and tweaking starts with understanding their pains and providing solutions, answers, content, support, guidance and counsel to help them. A wise man once said, “Worry about the prospects and customers, and the money will come. Don’t worry about the money.”

If you apply the prospect’s perspective, the rest of your marketing will fall into place nicely. That includes how you treat them during the sales process, too. The result will be more leads, more customers, quicker signings and larger deals. Be patient: This takes time, but it’s worth it in the end.

Square 2 Marketing – Inbound Results Start With ME!

Posted By Author Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.

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