Inbound marketing has as many fans as sceptics. Traditionalists believe inbound marketing is more hype than substance while supporters feel its benefits far outweigh its disadvantages (if any).
Ideally, inbound marketing should be seen as another strategy that does deliver results, but only if you invest enough time and patience in it.
Age of the customer
This is the age where the customer rules. And customers have a wide variety of choices and every reason to be fickle. In such a scenario, engaging deeply with the customer and forging personal connections with them will go a long way in building a loyal base. And evidence abounds of businesses that are lost in the wilderness of the internet because they did not deliver a 360 degree experience to the customer.
This is where inbound marketing comes in. It has been an effective customer strategy since years, but it is only now that it is getting traction. With the right kind of inbound marketing, businesses can attract more visitors, improve their conversion rates, gain customers’ trust and eventually rake up profits.
Moreover, the recognition and credibility brands can gain through inbound marketing is enormous. Here are some ways to ensure better customer engagement with inbound marketing.
Social media outreach: Mere presence on all social media is not enough. Social media should be used as a tool through which you can hear what the customer has to say; it is the platform for customers to provide feedback about your brand or product and express their likes and dislikes. Social media can also be employed to understand your customer's needs better, and thus, tweak your focus to improve buyer-seller relationships.
Email marketing with a heart: An email campaign does not mean robotic everyday communication. A successful campaign will be responsive to customer queries and actions. Small gestures like thanking a customer after he places an order, sending a follow-up feedback page and giving incentives will keep the customer happy and engaged.
Be active and nurture your reputation: Conversions and sales nowadays do not happen overnight. Like an expert says, sales are more marathon than sprint. Which means, it is vital to set a path and gently lead the customer along this path. How do you do this? By providing them relevant information (through blogs, whitepapers etc.), keeping in active touch with them, and adding value to their lives, so that eventually when they make the purchase, they know that the road they took is worth taking again.
Every customer is an individual: We are all unique and our preferences and opinions differ vastly. The same is true for customers as well and it is important for businesses to treat each customer as an individual in this age of personalisation. When you have a large-enough customer base, you will probably notice patterns and groups. It is time then to examine which trends work, what certain groups prefer most and which problems matter to whom. This way, you can understand your customers better and thus have more success in selling them what they might need.
Welcoming landing page: A customer-friendly landing page that can be easily navigated is a crucial prerequisite of successful inbound marketing. There may be many good things on your website but if you dump them all on the landing page or bombard users with information, offers and popups, all your efforts will go down the drain. The landing page should not be convoluted and cumbersome; the focus should be to keep it as simple, clean and well-designed as possible.
These are just some of the many strategies that can be employed as part of a larger inbound marketing plan. With these in place, it is possible to engage with the customer more meaningfully and thus improve growth.