Athletes talk about letting the game come to them. Similarly in today’s business climate, you can let the customer come to you. But you have to entice them to do so with relevant content.
Today’s consumer now goes online to research. They compare vendors and prices, and seek advice from peers on social media, says Iliyana Stareva, author of “Inbound PR.”
In response, Stareva notes, many marketers have switched to an inbound approach that brings consumers to them.
Tips on doing so:
Change your perspective. Pull instead of pushing. Rather than sticking to old outbound tactics of direct mail or interruptive advertising, create relevant content that attracts people to your business, Stareva says.
She adds that a thought leadership blog and an engaging Facebook (FB) or LinkedIn page are far more effective nowadays. Why? Because individuals decide whether to stay in the loop with what you’re doing or not.
Outbound sales and marketing “tries to force people, and it no longer works,” Stareva states. “Inbound, on the other hand, attracts them through valuable content designed specifically for them and shared on the channels that they use. When you leverage your owned media, you let your content be your 24/7 sales rep all year round, saving you time and bringing you results.”
Personalize content. Your storytelling must always answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” from your stakeholder persona’s perspectives, not yours, Stareva says.
She says that 80% of people make purchasing decisions without ever speaking to a company representative. This means “they want you to help them make that decision through valuable content created specifically to answer their questions throughout their decision-making journey,” she said.
Be aware of what your content really stands for and how you can make a difference in your audience’s lives, says Justin Champion, author of “Inbound Content.”
Doing so “will set the tone for your entire content marketing strategy,” he adds.
Optimize your message. Creating content that enhances search engine rankings is another way to bring your customer to you.
And the best way to get your content ranking on search engines is to solve problems for the reader, Champion says. This as opposed to just optimizing your content for search engines.
Once you have a quality piece of original content that isn’t just saying what everyone else is, “keep growing it to be best in class,” he says. And make an effort to improve your website’s domain authority by becoming a great link builder.
“This is what gets your content higher rankings on search engines.”
Choose quality over quantity. It’s better to have less but more in-depth content instead of a library of high-level underperforming content.
Champion reports 20% of HubSpot‘s (HUBS) content accounts for 93% of their leads.
“Most people focus on creating content consistently as opposed to doubling down on creating quality content,” Champion adds. “More content does not equal higher search engine rankings.”
In fact, shallow content can hurt your domain authority.
Stay fluid. You don’t just create content and then stagnate if you want to keep customers coming to you.
“If you make a plan and are consistent in approach, then you’re giving yourself the best chance at achieving ROI from your content efforts,” Champion said. “You’ll have the opportunity to grow an expansive library of content, making you and your business content-wealthy.”
He calls inbound marketing campaigns short-term strategic initiatives that are meant to support a long-term content strategy. “Consider launching one per quarter, every three months,” he said. “Doing so will help you build a valuable and sustainable content machine.”
Always test. What do customers want? Ask them.
“You should always be looking for opportunities to improve your content,” Champion said. “The best way to do this is start with your current audience. Consider asking for feedback on the content they’ve consumed — what they like and what they want more of.”
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