The buyer-seller relationship has changed over the last 20 years. Buyers now hold the power. Greater access to data and reviews has given the buyer the ability to research, compare and contrast more than ever. Marketers, brands and sellers must understand this and shift accordingly. One of the biggest adjustments sellers need to make is from Outbound marketing to an Inbound marketing philosophy. More than ever, this means doing everything in your power to give your customers an experience that is second to none. Your current clients will be your brand ambassadors, if they are provided a positive experience throughout their interactions with your company.
How does this shift our marketing approach?
Content is king and it must provide value to the customer rather than an interruption. Content should also be relevant to the stage in which the person finds themselves along their buyer's journey. Here's an additional resource on the Stages of the Buyer's Journey
84% of marketing executives say they plan on developing a process to map rich media content assets to buyer journey stage. (Source Aberdeen)
How Does a Marketing Stack like HubSpot help facilitate the "Inbound" philosophy and strategy?
1) You need to make yourself easy to find when someone needs your help. When someone says "I want what you have." That's an Inbound lead. The focus should be filling the top of the funnel with these types of leads. In
Whether it is communicating better with current clients or attracting new leads, an Inbound growth stack will make things more enjoyable for you and your buyer. The combination of videos within blogs, connecting and redirecting to a pillar page and real time SEO optimization to be some of the most addictive tools provided by HubSpot.
Here's a video explanation from SMA Marketing.
2) Capturing Inbound leads involves the use of forms and lead flows, messages and prospects.
A form collects multiple pieces of information from a potential customer. Your website most likely already has one of these. You will want to sync all of these to your HubSpot tools to track and measure their impact on one dashboard. Seeing real leads, especially marketing qualified leads, coming into your contact list in real time.
A lead flow is a pop-up form on your site, blog or landing page that asks simply for a potential customers email. An email address allows HubSpot to identify several key pieces of data. First, it will back date and show a full history of the pages that person has visited on your website. If the email uses the company's web domain you will have access to all public company information. If a visitor has previously dismissed a pop-up form, they won't be see that same pop-up form for 14 days.
Messages or chat allows you to converse with leads where they are without having to ask for their information. It's important to know that you can be strategic as to which pages you put these on and also which customers you want to chat with.
Prospects is a list in HubSpot that identifies companies that have visited your website. A great tool to use if a lead has gone cold but starts to re-engage with your website. It might be a great time to reach back out to them if they are researching your brand or service.
How to decide when and where to create and distribute content?
25% of marketers cite reaching the right audience as their top priority for 2013. HubSpot, 2013 State of Inbound. (Source: HubSpot, 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Research Report)
Awareness Stage Content Suggestions:
- Educational Content (video if/when possible)
- Editorial Content (video if/when possible)
- White Papers
- Research Reports
Consideration Stage Content Suggestions:
- Expert endorsement content
- Comparison analysis
- Live interactions
Decision Stage Content Suggestions:
- Case Studies
- Trial Downloads
- Product or Vendor Demos
- Free Trial Downloads
Content in video format brings a secondary level of data and analytics. View time and engagement data provided with video is powerful tool for understanding your best content and also which content works on each platform. The Animoto blog is a great resource for quick overviews on topics such as these.
Creating video can be a cumbersome and intimidating process. Follow our website and blog for in-depth tips regarding storyboarding, production, equipment, editing and distribution.
Ultimately, video and social media marketing are only going to increase in popularity as the younger generation moves into the workforce. So it's a good idea to get started sooner rather than later.
Closing the Communications Gap
Defining your various client types (Buyer personas), from consumers to franchisees to companies interested in product or service is the first thing you'll need to create within the HubSpot Marketing Platform.
Once you do that, you'll have a bird’s eye view of where they were coming from, how they are using your site and what type of information they are consuming. That’s invaluable data, and it's used to further develop the strategy.
Creating content to appeal to each persona type, such as information for business owners and articles on the benefits of your product or service for consumers. Adding Landing Pages with Smart Calls-to-Action and Smart Forms, will help to progressively build a profile of your best prospects.
Workflows are the next step. Use these to automate communications and engagement with your leads. Each follow-up email is different depending on how the prospect has responded. A single Workflow can have many branches, which makes the nurturing process seem almost like a one-to-one personal interaction.
Your sales team can then use the HubSpot software, particularly the Contacts Dashboard to prioritize the best prospects to engage with for a potential sale.
The sales team will see which emails the lead opened and when, what links they clicked on and how they reacted to follow-ups. They gain an understanding of the person’s wants and needs, and they should craft a personalized pitch based on that. For example, they might make a B2C call to someone who is interested in your services and can help solve the customer's problem. That whole call will be about the recovery benefits, rather than weight loss or general health, because that’s what the customer wants to hear about. It’s leading to a lot more closed deals.