As we move into a new year which will (hopefully) be much better than the last, take a moment to look over your marketing materials and ask yourself, “Is this really geared toward helping my audience?”
If not, it might be time to switch up your marketing approach. If you’re relying on traditional methods – sending emails to huge lists of contacts, paying for radio or television audiences, mailing printed pieces to… everyone – well you’re probably not seeing the returns you had hoped for.
An inbound marketing approach can help with this. Rather than focusing on creating content and just blasting it out there for all to see, put your audience first and consider the following:
1. Where does my audience prefer to consume content?
It’s kind of pointless to advertise where no one is. If you’ve been participating on platforms with limited success, maybe that’s because the people your marketing is targeting simply aren’t there. Do some research and see what social media platforms they’re on, or if your email lists are bloated and full of contacts for whom your services aren’t a good match.
2. When people first come across my business, how much do I have to sell them?
As customers discover your business, they’re probably already aware of what exactly they need. Therefore, there’s no benefit in driving a “hard sale” where you teach them what your business does, how your services can help them directly and etc. They already know.
Instead, you need to prove to them that you are an expert in your field. You can accomplish this through relevant and useful content. Free content downloads, a blog and multimedia placed strategically throughout your website can bring your content to the forefront and help position you as a leader in your industry.
3. How can I make this easy for them?
You’ve heard all about people’s short attention spans, how long people stay on a single webpage and so on. Throw all those statistics out (or at least place them to the side) and instead ask yourself, is my content – including webpages, emails and more – easy to use and navigate? Is it easy to go from reaching the blog to requesting a free consultation?
Putting yourself in your audience’s shoes means you want solutions, now. Don’t make them navigate through unnecessary extra webpages or hard to find contact info. Keep this information prominent and easy to find.
In everything you do, imagine you’re a customer stumbling across your company for the first time. How will you present your information in the simplest possible way that proves you’re knowledgeable on the subject, worth following up with and, most importantly, easy to contact?
Make it a marketing resolution to target specific segments of your audience and craft content that will help you appeal to them. By doing this, you’ll keep costs lower while also potentially increasing your ROI. Focusing on a smaller, more segmented audience eliminates the need to invest in costly mass media and instead craft content more reflective of your audience’s needs. This will, in turn, increase the odds of your targets paying attention to your content.
Once you’ve developed some content that really takes your audiences needs into consideration, you need to build a campaign to launch it. To help you with this, we’ve created a free inbound marketing campaign checklist. Follow these guidelines, step by step, and get started generating new leads.