A lot has changed for sales professionals in recent years. Our buyers are no longer dependent on marketing and sales for information, instead they educate themselves on solutions by turning to countless sources for information—trusted media outlets, their peers via professional networks, and subject matter experts via search.
What hasn’t changed however is what sales professionals need to accomplish on a daily basis—fill the sales funnel with high-quality leads. That is the one true constant for sales and marketing professionals.
With today’s buyers having complete control over what content they consume it’s no wonder that traditional ‘interruptive” outbound marketing tactics have become less effective and more expensive.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Any marketing tactic that relies on earning people’s interest instead of buying it.
It’s the ultimate differentiator. Master inbound marketing and you’ll be able to influence the new buyer’s journey and reap the benefits of higher quality leads. Offering your content to your audience using the different tactics outlined below will give you the edge over your competitors who are stuck using one or two old school tactics. Be different.
Here are three practical actions you can take:
1. Create a Personal Blogging strategy – your Blog can be a consistent source of inbound leads, but achieving that takes a formal strategy. Here are three tips:
- Be interesting – entertaining, informative or educational. Write what your customer prospects are interested in reading. This may mean addressing the pain points of your audience and writing to solve their problems.
- Encourage comments. Welcome the good, bad and the ugly. Spark the conversations and build community,
- Use calls-to-actions. When someone’s done reading your blog post, what do you want him or her to do next? Use CTA’s at the bottom of your posts, or add a graphic that encourages them to do a no charge consultation or demonstration of your product or service.
2. Make social media a day-to-day priority – social media gets your message out there, attracts new visitors and strengthens your personal brand. Just make sure you have a strategy that makes sense for what you are attempting to achieve.
3. Start using video. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo have removed all the excuses from those of you who believed creating videos and putting them on the Internet would be difficult. According to a recent Content Marketing Institute survey, about 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. Here are three tips:
- Use video to give value by educating, informing and/or entertaining your audience about your product, service, company, and staff.
- Build a video series or host an online show that builds interest and an audience over time.
- Social video doesn’t always mean professional. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be interesting.