Learning about a product used to happen in the store, office, or wherever a purchase would eventually happen. An employee of the company used to be the ultimate source of product info. Today finding out about products happens on yelp, youtube, through blogs, social media, or on product review and comparison websites. Today’s customers trust independent reviews more than a seller’s posted claims.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is drawing the customer to you, by earning their trust and demonstrating an understanding of their needs.
Hubspot, who coined the term “Inbound Sales”, says “Due to the proliferation of marketing materials on the internet, the modern buyer is no longer dependent on salespeople for necessary purchasing decision information. Inbound salespeople see the need to personalize the sales experience to the buyer’s context.”
“MARKETERS NEED TO BUILD DIGITAL RELATIONSHIPS AND REPUTATION BEFORE CLOSING A SALE.” – CHRIS BROGAN, CEO OF OWNER MEDIA GROUP
Buyers now do their research about your product independently, and what they want from you has changed. They want to know you’re an expert, get your advice, including suggestions that might resolve their issue before they purchase a solution. Potential customers want to rule out the possibility that they don’t need your product, clarify what their problem really is, and gain confidence that your product or service will create the desired result for them specifically.
They want to trust you. They want to have experience with you. This is inbound marketing. Your blog, resources on your site, your social media postings and comment replies, these are where your customer begins their “buyer’s journey”, dipping their toe into the water of working with you.
In an Inbound Sales marketing plan, there are stages of the “buyer’s journey” and you can identify where your prospect is in their journey by their behavior.
They’re becoming aware of their problem or need for a solution. They utilize valuable content you’ve made available free to the public. The information offered is specifically of value to people that might make good customers for your business.
If you sell jewelry, this might be information on observing differences in types of gold.
As customers are getting closer to buying, they might need more specific and harder to find information. You offer it in exchange for their contact information and permission to contact them. Now you’ve shared valuable information and gained a way to contact someone considering products like yours.
Your jewelry store might email a printable template with ring sizes to scale on it, so your visitor can lay a ring that fits them on the page to see what size they’re wearing.
Your visitor now knows they’ll be buying something to meet their needs, but they’re not sure what they’ll buy or from who. At this stage they need to know why buying from you can be best, what the differences are between comparable products, and other information that clarifies the next step.
A way to schedule a custom jewelry fitting would be an appropriate offer here.
“MARKETING = GETTING PEOPLE TO KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST YOU.” – JOHN JANTSCH
Now your digital presence is ready to facilitate a buyer’s journey. Your visitor will have found you to be useful, knowledgeable, and they’ll feel comfortable doing business with you. Then your visitor contacts you, and they find your company to have a focus on being helpful. You continue building trust and make your company an obvious choice to do business with.
For help creating your inbound marketing plan or creating a website with the buyer’s journey in mind, contact D-Kode Tech.