Whether you are a freelancer, a consultant, a freelance coach, or a chartered accountant, inbound marketing is the right digital strategy for your industry. why ? Because the sales cycle of your services is relatively long and responds to complex problems, requiring your customers to inquire and inform themselves to find the most suitable solution for their needs. However, all these online searches are a great opportunity for you to make yourself visible by providing useful and relevant information and prove your expertise. But how is such a strategy deployed? This is what we have discovered now.
Inbound Marketing, a “B” to “B” oriented strategy
The principle of inbound marketing is to find new customers by providing them with the right content at the right time according to the different stages of the buying journey they are in.
Unlike traditional marketing, it is about being visible to your audience with useful and relevant content that can allow your prospects to move forward in their thinking and buying journey.
In fact, sales cycle from B to B takes place in 3 main stages:
- Discovery stage: It’s the moment your target discovers a problem or opportunity and inquires about it.
- Thinking stage: At this point your audience has identified their problem and is looking for the best solutions to it.
- Decision making stage: This is the moment when a potential customer knows their problem and knows how to solve it. All he has to do is figure out who is going to set it up.
You should always create your content around these three stages and help your potential customers move on to the next stage.
To achieve this, you will have to rely on three pillars: natural references, content marketing, and marketing automation.
But how do these three elements intertwine together? How can you concretely implement such a strategy for your service provider company? Here’s what we’ll see now, simply by following the internal marketing funnel:
To effectively build such a strategy, you must first clearly define your audience and analyze the different stages of your buying journey. To do this, rely on building buyer personas and creating your content for them.
Next, you will need to set SMART goals. In order to help you manage your activity, it must be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
Once that is done, we can get to the heart of the matter and learn how to deploy an inbound marketing strategy in 4 steps:
1. Attract visitors to your site and your content
The first step is to drive traffic to your website and content. To do this, you must rely on the pillars of content marketing and natural references.
By creating a blog with educational articles targeting a specific query and SEO strategy to gain visibility on search engines, you will be able to generate a large flow of traffic in the medium to long term.
But other channels for gaining traffic are possible and even recommended:
- Increase the visibility of your content through social networks
- Highlight your content and generate traffic instantly with ads. But instead of promoting an offer, you are highlighting the educational and educational content.
2. Qualify visitors into potential clients
You then need to qualify your visitors as potential customers. In fact, it is unlikely that visitors will immediately convert into customers given your field of activity. You do not sell impulsely purchased products, on the contrary, it requires time to think.
You must retrieve at least one email address by providing premium content that you exchange for personal information. This premium content, called lead magnet, can be of any kind: white papers, webinars, demos, video training…
To promote your lead magnet, use banners and pop-ups on pages that are adapted to the topics covered.
3. Take care of your prospects
Once you have collected personal information about your site visitors, you will need to work with marketing automation software.
Thanks to this tool, you will be able to run scenarios that automatically send a series of emails and other means of communication (SMS, posts, etc.) depending on the interests expressed by your prospects and the stage of the buying journey in which they are located.
To see where your prospects are in the buying journey, you will have the option to rank your prospects based on the interactions they have with your content. For example: 5 points for reading a blog article, 20 points if they go to the pricing page, 10 points if they download a technical document… When the point limit is reached, the script runs automatically.
4. Turn your customers into brand ambassadors
Once you convert a potential client into a client, your business doesn’t stop there. We know how important word of mouth is when selling services. Be sure to provide high value-added information on the use of your services, such as best practices, tutorials, or case studies. Then your customers will be delighted with their experience with your company and will be your first brand ambassadors.
In addition, this will be an opportunity for you to increase your average basket and offer other services that you sell.
Thus, by following such a strategy, you will be able to position yourself as a true expert in your field of activity, reduce the average cost per potential client and benefit from a strategy with a long-term vision.
And you, how do you generate new leads online?
About the author
Jonathan Roth: Founder of UpNet, a digital marketing agency specializing in inbound marketing