Inbound Marketing is no doubt a growing practice for businesses across all sectors and they are starting to see its great value and implementing it to be the core of their marketing strategy. Here are some stats from HubSpot that convinced them to do so:
We hope that after going through the Introduction to Inbound Marketing, you will have a better understanding of Inbound Marketing and that we can help to provide you ideas on how to apply it for your business.
Inbound marketing is an effective, more efficient way to generate leads and acquire new customers. It is a process for sales and marketing that matches to how prospects buy today. It focuses on building trust through content that is found by your potential clients. They come to you (inbound) rather than you pushing ads to bring them in (outbound).
Inbound Marketing tells you how to orchestrate all your online marketing efforts (such as blogging, social media, video marketing, email marketing and SEO) to ensure that your business/firm GROWS.
Inbound Marketing follows the Inbound Marketing Methodology where there are 4 components; Attract, Convert, Close & Delight. You can view these 4 components as the different stages to your marketing activities.
Just as retail shops need shoppers in their stores, businesses need potential customers to visit their website. Moreover, you want to attract the right visitors that are most likely to buy in at least one of your investment solutions. This is mainly done through blogging and sharing those blog articles through social media.
As you start having visitors in your website, you do not want them to simply drop by and leave. You want to keep in touch with them so that you can nurture the relationships to build trust and demonstrate your expertise to help so that they see value in what you offer. You will need to create conversion opportunities by providing highly valuable content to your visitors in exchange for their contact information.
As you have leads coming in, you will need to nurture each one of them to become sales ready by providing relevant and helpful content in order for your sales staff to better close these leads to become paying customers. Nurturing requires you to continue sending valuable content to encourage them to see the need for your business.
It’s much easier to get more business through an existing customer. Up-sells, cross-sells and referrals will come naturally as you continue to nurture the relationships with your clients. This could be done through exclusive content and surveys.
Before we jump into the details of each component of the Inbound methodology, it’s important that you work on your Inbound Marketing strategy. Without building your strategy prior to planning and running inbound marketing activities, your efforts may very well be futile. Your strategy provides you the playing field to justify your actionnables.
All companies who implement Inbound Marketing have these 2 core elements thoroughly thought out in order to make their marketing activities as successful as possible. Without understanding first who you are targeting or how they will move forward in the sales process, it’s hard to figure out how to Attract, Convert, Close and Delight your customers.
A Buyer Persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. They are created based on market research as well as insights that you have gathered from existing customers.
Companies could have several Buyer Personas, but we always suggest that you start with one and be comfortable to run marketing activities for that one Buyer Persona before moving forward with a second Buyer Persona.
Here are some practical methods for gathering data to create your buyer persona:
To Illustrate how a buyer persona is built out, we'll walk you through an example of a CEO HNWI called Charlie.
Mr. CEO Charlie
Job? Career path? Family?
❚ CEO of large company
❚ Worked at the same company for 10 years; worked his way up from VP
❚ Married with 2 children (aged 12 and 14 years old)
Male or female? Age? Income? Location?
❚ Skews Male
❚ Age 50-65
❚ Single HH Income: $500,000
Demeanor? Communication preferences?
❚ Calm demeanor
❚ Probably has an assistant screening calls
❚ Asks to receive collateral mailed/printed
Primary goal? Secondary goal?
❚ Be a good father and husband by being the breadwinner
❚ Want to preserve his wealth for the future generations after him
Primary challenge? Secondary challenge?
❚ Too busy with work. Long hours and not much family time
❚ Uncertain how to best manage his assets for his family to fully benefit
WHAT CAN WE DO...
To help our persona achieve their goals? To help our persona overcome their challenges?
❚ Educate him on how other CEOs have built stronger family ties through wealth conversations
❚ Provide him with tools to make sound decisions for wealth preservation
About goals, challenges, etc.
❚ “How can I bond with my family with so little time? They feel that I am absent from their life”
❚ “I don’t take the time to think thoroughly about the future. But I do want to preserve my wealth properly”
❚ “I am bombarded by financial service solutions knocking at my door”
Why wouldn’t they buy your product/service?
❚ “It will take too much of my time, which I barely have”
❚ “Other financial service companies have better offerings”
How should you describe your solution to your persona?
❚ Integrated Investment Opportunities for current and future generations
Sell your persona on your solution!
❚ We provide a private client approach where we look at all aspects of your life to create tailored wealth management, planning and investment solutions.
After developing your Buyer Persona, the next step is to build out their Buyer’s Journey. As the power has shifted from seller to buyer due to the internet, it’s time for businesses to adapt to this change with the help of the Buyer’s Journey. It is important to develop the Buyer’s Journey so that business can help potential customers at every stage which includes prior to before they contact one of your sales staff.
It’s the process that buyers go through when they are shopping for a product or solution, taking into consideration the modernized buying behaviour and your Buyer Persona.
Your Buyer Persona becomes aware that they have a problem which needs to be solved but they have not clearly defined the problem just yet. They will do research online and stumble upon content that will help them clearly define the problem that they are facing.
Quote example from Mr. CEO Charlie:
“How can I make sure that my wealth is well preserved and growing passively for my family? I thought about purchasing real estate properties but it’s too much work.”
Once they have clearly defined their challenge or problem, they will seek out solutions to alleviate their pain points. From their research and going through more specific content about the different solutions, they will have a list of suppliers that can help.
Quote example from Mr. CEO Charlie:
“Alternative Real Estate investment for accredited investors sounds like a great concept. What are my options?”
As they explore each supplier carefully by communicating with sales reps and going through content that will validate their criteria, they will make a final decision on one supplier who will help them.
Quote example from Mr. CEO Charlie:
“There are 3 financial service companies that could help. I’ll review each one and decide the one that could help me best.”
Mapping out the Buyer’s Journey ensure that you will write the right content, to the right person at the right time. As the purpose of Inbound Marketing is to provide value to your potential customer, you need to write content for every stage of the Buyer’s Journey and encourage your Buyer Persona to move forward in the Buyer’s Journey so that they will make the decision to go forward with your investment firm.
❚ Comparison papers and articles
❚ Vendor and product comparisons
Now that we have a good understanding of the Inbound Marketing Strategy, we can move forward and discuss how to fulfill each component of the Inbound Methodology.
Here is an example of each component of the Inbound Marketing Methodology. By going through this example, you will have a better understanding as to how Inbound Marketing is applied. We will be using everything that has been presented so far to support the example.
In order to attract visitors to your website, you need to produce content for prospects
to find you. This is where blogging comes into play. According to HubSpot, companies that blog lead to 55% more website visitors, compared to companies that don’t. The reason being is because when you blog, your content could be found on search engines such as Google.
This relates back to providing the right content within the right context. If you worked on your strategy by creating your Buyer Persona & Buyer’s Journey while writing content for the Awareness Stage, it would be natural for a prospect to do their research online and possibly stumble upon one of your blog articles.
The tactic here is to write blog articles, publish them on your website to be found via search engines and share your blog articles on social media to reach your audience.
Going back to the example of Mr. CEO Charlie, knowing that in his Awareness Stage, he is seeking real estate investments but finds it too much work, he may search how to invest in real estate passively. If you write a blog article about how alternative real estate investments for accredited investors requires the least amount of time investment, there is an opportunity for the article to be found when he does his research online.
Traffic is great but without any opportunities to turn traffic to any revenue, there is no point of spending resources to attract prospects in the first place. You want to convert those Inbound visitors into leads.
The tactic here is to create conversion opportunities for every blog article that you publish. You will need to add a Call-to-Action (CTA) at the bottom of every blog article. It should be strategically placed where it will be natural for your visitor to take the the next step to learn more extensively as to what the blog is about. In order to access the content, they will need to provide their contact information in exchange.
Following the example of the blog article about alternative real estate investments written for Mr. CEO Charlie, a possible CTA could be a step by step guide to alternative real estate investments. This CTA will allow your visitors to move forward in their Buyer’s Journey and become a lead when they fill out a form to download it.
Here is an example below:
Many businesses have long sales cycles. Your solutions may not be commodities like cereal and milk at the grocery store. Your leads are looking to invest a chunk of their hard earned liquid assets so they want to make sure that they are entrusting their money with the right salesperson who works with the right company to help them.
With a long sales cycle, you may not be in touch with your leads on a weekly or even monthly basis. However, it is important that you continue to nurture the relationships that have been built so far in order to continue building trust, momentum, and authority in the industry.
As mentioned at the beginning, nurtured leads make purchases 47% more often than their non-nurtured counterparts. Therefore, it is not enough to simply do a sales presentation and send follow-up emails on a regular basis asking if they are ready to move forward. Nurturing is more than that. It’s to continue the conversation in being helpful by providing relevant educational content to help them see the value of what you offer.
Typically after a demo/presentation, leads may take their time before deciding to commit further. There are 3 reasons as to why they do so:
1. They are still shopping around.
2. They are not fully convinced that it’s the right time.
3. They are not fully convinced that it’s the right product for them.
Whichever the reason may be, lead nurturing will help break down those barriers and help your leads to move forward in the sales process.
As mentioned earlier, many sales people do not follow-up on a regular basis by asking them if they are looking to move forward with the investment.
Here is an example of a typical follow-up email:
Hi Mr. CEO,
I hope you are doing well.
It's been a month since we last discussed about alternative real estate investments for accredited investors as a solid opportunity for you. Is this something that you still want to pursue?
Here is what a lead nurturing email could look like:
Hi Mr. CEO,
I hope you are doing well.
During my presentation last month, I remember you mentioned that you were still looking to invest in buying real estate properties prior to investing in alternative solutions.
I wrote a blog article called "5 Reasons why Investing in Alternative Real Estate helps you prepare to buy real estate properties as investments".
I hope that this article will help you understand the value of starting with alternative.
A well thought out lead nurturing process will help you close more deals. This is why nurtured leads make purchases 47% more often than their non- nurtured counterparts.
When a transactions are done, it’s important that you continue to nurture the relationships with paid customers in order to cross-sell, upsell and obtain referrals.
By delighting your customers, you hope that they will become Evangelists of your business. It is no secret that referrals are the best leads due to a higher closing rate.
To delight your customers, it’s important to continue sending educational content and encouraging them to share them to Share them with their network.
The most important element of delighting your customers is to let them know how valuable they are to your business. In return, they will be more than happy to help you grow your business.
Let's chat about your inbound marketing activities. In the meeting, we will provide you insights on how to improve your current efforts and what more you can do to empower your sales team with more leads and the tools to close better and faster.