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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistWed, Jun 10, 2015 8 min read

Inbound Marketing Helps You Stop Educating And Start Inspiring

Inbound Marketing InspiresYou’ve read this a hundred times (probably at least 50 times on this blog alone): Educate your prospects, and they’ll want to do business with you.

That’s accurate if you want to use inbound marketing to take your business to the next level, but consider upgrading your content and messaging from education to inspiration.

Since your prospects are people, and people make purchase decisions emotionally, they’re moved by the feelings your business evokes deep inside their minds and bodies.

You might think that people care about your price, your terms and the detailed features buried in your software or service. While you’re not entirely wrong, they are definitely more interested in your ability to help them achieve their personal goals. These are things like getting promoted, receiving company recognition, making more money or having more free time.

The truth is that people make all of their purchase decisions emotionally and then rationalize them while working out the details. That is where inspiration outpaces education, and knowing this helps you build an inbound marketing program that outperforms all the others.

If you want to upgrade your inbound program and take your content marketing from education to inspiration, consider the following upgrades.

Don't Underinvest In Your Marketing Strategy

There are a couple of very important components of your marketing strategy that have a major impact on whether you inspire your prospects or not. The first is messaging. The stories about your business – told by you (in your marketing), your sales people, your prospects and your customers  are critical.

The second is differentiation. If you know what makes your business special, and this resonates emotionally with your prospects, you’re going to generate a significant amount of leads. We typically refer to differentiation in another way, one that helps our clients better understand what it means to be different. We ask, “What makes your business remarkable?” Remarkable is a word that denotes something more than different and requires you to do something NO ONE else does.

It’s going to take thought, insight, creativity and hard work to create compelling, emotional and inspiring stories and differentiation. Don’t take shortcuts, get inpatient or rush to get past this stage. If you do, you run the risk of negatively impacting program performance.

Here’s an example of outstanding, emotional and inspiring messaging:

Arbill sells safety products to industrial businesses: hats, gloves, boots and eyewear, to name a few. They could have created messaging regarding their extensive inventory, their high-quality products or their competitive pricing. Instead, they led with “Everyone Goes Home Safe Tonight.” First, the messaging is all about their prospects, not about themselves. Second, it strikes an emotional chord with every Safety Manager: I want my people to be safe. Well done, Arbill. If you want to see how they execute their inspiring marketing strategy, click here to visit their website.

Spend Twice The Time On Your Content Marketing

At a high level, blog articles drive visitors, and long-form content (like whitepapers) drives leads. But, if you want to inspire your prospects, you need to spend more time creating truly compelling blog articles and even more inspiring educational content, including infographics, videos, whitepapers and e-books.

When you do your blog article titles, try creating 10 of them instead of one or two. When you plan out your premium content offers, try answering your prospects' hardest question rather than the easiest one. As opposed to doing what you’ve seen your competition do, do something completely different. Take a dramatically unique position on an industry issue. Take a risk. Take a stand. Trying to keep everyone happy is an extremely effective way to get hardly anyone’s attention. You should be writing content that gets people talking. If no one cares, is it even worth writing?

Spend more time creating content marketing strategy that clearly delivers inspiration to your target personas month over month. This is going to get your business noticed, get people talking and drive people to your website, where they turn into leads for your business.

Upgrade Your Website Every Month

The days of one-and-done websites are over. Today, growth-driven design and conversion optimization make your website a living and breathing entity that needs care and constant feeding for it to thrive. What this means is that you have to be more proactive around the experience your visitors are having at the page level.

What emotional and inspiring stories do they see on your home page? What page do you want them to visit next? What are the stories on that page? What action do you want them to take? What are you offering in exchange for that action? This planning and strategy should be mandatory if you want leads from your site.

Today, don’t plan on spending a year getting a new site up and out. Instead, plan on making adjustments to your site every single month so that it continually improves and your inbound marketing program performance drives up and to the right over time.

We live in a quick-fix society, and everyone (business owners, CEOs, marketing VPs and sales managers) is looking for results today, not tomorrow. The quality of your marketing strategy, content marketing and website has a major impact on how your inbound program performs. Sometimes, it’s better to spend more time to create marketing that inspires your prospects to take action. Don’t look at the desire to create inspiring marketing as a failure, but rather a positive, strategic choice made by you or your inbound marketing agency with the knowledge that it will pay off for many years into the future.

Start Today Tip – Take a look at your current website. Does it inspire action? Does it make you feel anything at all? Take a deeper look at the content you’re creating. Does it tell a story? Does it position your prospects as heroes for their insight or intelligence? Great marketing might make you feel uncomfortable. It's designed to help your business stand out and appear to be different from all of your competition. Most important, make sure that your marketing speaks emotionally to your prospects and inspires them to take action.

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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.