Marketing has always had concepts that remain relevant throughout the years, but it's also constantly changing as technology advances and buyer shopping habits and methods change. As trends, the economy, consumer preferences, and other factors change, marketers have to consistently take a proactive approach if they want to see conversions.
Inbound Marketing Blog
Last week, some of the Tribute team attended INBOUND, an annual conference in Boston filled with actionable education, endless inspiration, human connections and amazing keynote speakers. After those four and a half days of straight learning (and a bit of fun), we left Boston with over 32 pages of notes on how we could improve our client marketing strategies as well as our client experiences.
As we’re sharing these visions with the rest of our team and our clients, we wanted to touch on a few of the major takeaways that can be useful for everyone.
I don’t know about you, but I like to check out several companies (online and in person) when searching for a particular product or service. If time permits, I could be searching for several hours. Researching is always my go-to when I'm on the hunt for something specific. You wouldn't believe the time my husband and I recently put into finding a new mattress. In our search, there were a few factors that really swayed us in our decision. Quality of the product and how it solved our needs were obviously the top two. But the third factor had to do with the companies themselves. Our online experience with each company played a huge part in determining which stores we actually wanted to take time to go to in order to try the mattresses. Let me tell you, there were a lot of brands we dismissed right away. Maybe their product WAS as great as they tried to market it to be, but the experience we had on their websites and the reviews they had floating around swayed our minds away from doing business with them. Why was that?
I've noticed an interesting trend in Facebook... more so in the last few months, but I think it's been growing for a number of years. Facebook (and most other social media platforms) has always been intended to bring like-minded people together; to bring friends together. It's been intended to allow people to continue to build relationships when they aren't in the same physical location.
Sometimes it feels as though the purpose of social media has become a place to tell everyone else they are wrong. It seems it's become a place that does a very good job of sowing the seeds of discontent. Because of this trend, I think it completely changes how we market.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the more times you connect with your customers, the more likely they are to remember you and choose your company's product and/or services over a competitor.
In marketing, the official term is called ‘touches’ – an instance where your customers see or interact with your company.
When it comes to customer delight [see the Four Actions of Inbound], 'touches' can go a long way. According to Stacy Willis on iMPACT, "When expectations are met, you have customer satisfaction. When expectations are exceeded, you achieve customer delight. How do you get there? By being human. Listen to your customer and their needs."
Studies have shown that it takes at least 7 or more touches to generate a person’s interest.
So, how do you make sure you interact with customers in an engaging way and often enough so that your company becomes memorable without you spending a fortune trying to do so?
In the Elements of an Inbound Marketing Campaign, we covered:
- A checklist for the technical aspects of an inbound marketing campaign, including landing pages, thank you pages, follow-up emails and workflows.
- Ways to drive traffic to your offers via additional types of content such as blog and social media posts, as well as emails.
- And the kind of skill sets you’ll need to make it all happen, including a designer, web developer, writer and a Google SEO specialist.
With all of those basics laid out, we wanted to delve deeper into the email marketing portion. Although many businesses (maybe even yours) may dismiss email as simple one-on-one digital communication that doesn't require strategy, it is actually a powerful tool that too many businesses miss out on because they don't understand how it can be used for so much more.
Remember the days of needing a college email address in order to be verified to sign up for Facebook?
As the kids say, "lol!"
Now, according to Hubspot, there are reportedly over 1.5 billion daily users on the social media platform. Because so many people are on it, so are most businesses so they can get their products in front of more users.
If you've ever tried talking with someone who doesn't seem to listen to you, you know how annoying it can be. You try to make a point, but they just run over it like a steamroller and talk about something that interests them.
Why is this so frustrating? Because, even if they don't mean to, these people send the message, "I only care about me. I don't care about you. You don't matter."
No one likes hearing this. Especially not potential clients--after all, why give money to someone who doesn't respect you? That's why it's so important to understand buyer personas and the buyer's journey--it helps you create content that tells customers, "We understand you, we value you and we have what you need."
Have you ever thought of the parallels between marketing your business and dating? They are more similar than you might think. Trying to find the right prospects to invest your marketing and sales efforts into can be a lot like finding love. And when you're looking for love (or creating buyer personas for your business), it's just as important to know your deal breakers as it is to know the characteristics you are attracted to. Let's break it down.
They're Just Not That Into You
Think back to your dating days (or, if you're still single, think about the current dating pool). You might have run into this one particular type of guy/girl. They had something that you really liked, but it always came with waaaaay too many red flags. Perhaps you even worked out a kind of checklist for this type: