Most website strategies are about throwing up a bunch of stuff and hoping something will work to convert a stranger into a customer. The beauty of an inbound methodology is all about creating content specifically designed to appeal to your ideal customers. Inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and works to convert before closing the sale, unlike many sites who ignore the convert and jump too quickly to the close. Having content that appeals to your target audience at each step is what turns a website into a marketing machine.
Step 1: Attract
You don’t just want to attract any traffic to your website, you want to attract the right traffic. Who is the right traffic? The ideal customer, or the buyer persona. Buyer personas represent the audience you want to reach. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. The way to attract your buyer personas is through helpful and informative blog posts, social media, and the correct use of keywords.
Step 2: Convert
So you’ve attracted some visitors to your website, now its time to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. You need their email addresses and other important information you would need to help you understand which buyer persona they would fit into. In order to get people’s contact information you have to offer some sort incentive. That incentive can be a free eBook, white papers, or tip sheets, and tools such as call to action buttons, landing pages, and forms are the avenue to gathering peoples’ contact information.
Step 3: Close
Good job! You’ve turned strangers into visitors, and visitors into leads! But now the tricky part is closing those leads into customers. How can you most effectively accomplish this? Certain marketing tools can be used to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times. CRM (Customer Relation Management) helps you keep track of the right information about the right customers, and a series of emails with relevant content builds trust with a lead and helps them become more ready to buy.
Step 4: Delight
Step 4 pertains to each and every step discussed so far. You need to make sure you provide quality content to your visitors, leads, or customers. Think about every person who will come across your website or company and engage them with content, experiences, and products they love!
Stop guessing, start knowing
The beautiful thing about using an inbound methodology is that it provides the framework to identify and test what you are doing. It is not about throwing things up on a site and wondering, but about analyzing what is working and doing more of those things. Does it take work, commitment, and time? Yes. But the winners are those who are not guessing, but using the power of the internet (data) to help them attract the right people to their site.
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