There is a tried and tested method for success in both brick and mortar and online businesses. You must get customers interested in what you are selling, then convince them to buy, and finally work into making them return customers. These are the basic steps even where tactics in each step differ. The method is true for both b2c and b2b marketing. Today’s customer differs greatly from the customer 20 years ago. Back then customer engagement was one way, mainly through banner and TV ads.
Today’s customer is more engaged and curious. What is the value of your product? How does it compare to the competition? Is your brand trustworthy? The customer needs to feel like a valuable partner. Inbound marketing is a powerful tool in all three steps. Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing creates engagement so that the customer can find value in the business transaction. A proficient b2b marketing agency should help your business take you through the three steps with the right tools for the job.
Attracting the Customer
The biggest goal of inbound marketing is creating opportunities for engagement with the customer. The first task, therefore, is to define your target audience. Who would want your product or service? Once you have a defined target audience, you can then plan your messaging to catch their attention. This plan should include content creation to establish your credibility, which will make your audience more receptive to further messaging.
At this stage, the top priority is creating valuable content. Your audience will probably be already swamped by competing messaging. Your content must stand out and feel valuable to your audience like it is helping solve their need or want. The content should highlight pain points and how they will be met.
SEO plays a big role in this stage. Your customers will most likely start with a search engine to find out how to solve their problem, need or want. Targeting them with the keywords and phrases they are likely to use in relevant content creates your credibility. Your content should be in a format that suits your audience and the platforms where they are found. Engaging a b2b marketing agency in content creation is very helpful in coming up with something that resonates with your audience.
A sound social media strategy is also useful at this stage. You will create content suitable for different platforms. Videos for Tiktok will differ from those you share on Facebook. It will help you refine your target audience and content depending on the feedback.
Nurture and Convert Your Leads
How do you get the people who are interested in your content to become active buying customers? You get them to commit in a way they feel comfortable. This is what lead generation is about. You will refine your audience to people who are more receptive to your sales message. By submitting their email address or phone number, they make a step that qualifies them as receptive.
Have a Call to Action in the content you create. The CTA makes a direct prompt to the audience. You can invite them to submit their email address at the bottom of a blog post. You can have a landing page for people who view your social media posts to add their emails or phone numbers. Have an attractive incentive like access to downloadable content or hidden content.
Lead nurturing involves feeding your leads with content that pushes them towards a purchasing decision. You will inform, educate, compare and contrast to make the lead feel that they are empowered enough to make a good buying decision.
Audiences who engage with your content become qualified leads. In lead nurturing, your biggest goal is to build a relationship with the potential customer. You want them to view you as a trustworthy partner rather than a salesman with a profit motive. Content that works well at this stage includes newsletters, customer testimonials, product demonstrations, and case studies.
When the audience is comfortable, you can push the sale message. You stand higher chances of making a successful sale at this stage. When the lead becomes a buying customer, you can consider it a successful conversion.
Retain the Customer
In this stage, your goal is to keep the buying customer so that they can choose you again when they want to make another purchase. You can also use happy customers as your brand ambassadors. On top of top-notch after-sale service, continue nurturing the relationship.
An after-sales interview is crucial to gaining feedback on your product or service. You could add them to an exclusive club of customers, or groups on social networks. You can invite them to webinars or physical events where possible.
Mastering the steps of attracting, converting, and retaining a customer is the key to long-term business success. Your success is better assured when you engage a professional like a b2b marketing agency to do the heavy lifting. These three basic steps will remain key to your success even as you refine the tactics.