Why Inbound Marketing Experts Have Hung Up On the Cold Call
In today’s digital age, cold calls are no longer the hot ticket to sales. More and more marketers are integrating inbound marketing methods into their sales with great success. In fact, a HubSpot study showed that 54% more leads are created through inbound marketing versus outbound methods for a cost of 62% less per lead. This demonstrated that brands could generate better returns with less effort and expense by using inbound marketing. Still, many companies still rely on sales teams who are naturally more outbound-oriented. While outbound marketing has its benefits, perhaps its greatest value today is as a complement to inbound marketing to help it achieve its fullest potential. Yet with the modern consumer’s digital focus, most digital marketers believe that investing in inbound marketing results in more qualified leads and a more sustainable sales funnel than cold calling ever could. To help digital marketers make the most of their marketing efforts, Entrepreneur.com offered these insights on inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing Nurtures Buyers
Cold calls are designed to pitch, promote, and push people through the sales funnel. Salespeople are skilled at overcoming objections and obstacles in order to close the sale. This tactic worked well for a while, but today’s consumers are more cautious than ever and typically need more time, information, and insight before making a purchase. Rather than having a salesperson try to talk them into buying, consumers want to feel that they have come to their own decisions. And most people turn to the Web to find the research and reassurance they need to arrive at their own decisions
This is where inbound marketing makes the difference by providing consumers with the information they’re seeking before buying, and letting them find it themselves. Research shows that 61% of consumers feel more comfortable and more inclined to buy from a company that gives them customized content.
Creating Content That Leads Prospects to Purchase
It’s important to realize that there’s more to inbound marketing than website content. The explosion of social media has led to the need for social media content and a solid social strategy. After all, an effective social media strategy can provide countless leads, while strengthening current customer relationships and building brand awareness. And that strategy must focus on creating content that’s targeted to different consumers at each stage of the purchase process. These are the stages and their suggested content:
- Awareness: Since the consumer is at the top of the sales funnel, you want to provide content that builds brand recognition and makes the consumer aware that your brand has the solutions they need. The ultimate goal is to get consumers’ contact information so they can be nurtured into leads.
- Education: At this stage, the customer wants to learn more about possible solutions and starts seeking information. Now is the time to provide educational information, such as buyer guides, e-books, and other fact-based content. The goal is to get lead information through opt-ins placed in the content.
- Validation: At this point, consumers know about their options and want more information on purchasing. This is the time to provide content that supplies specific information about the brand’s offerings. The consumer has already expressed an interest and become a lead, so a brand should nurture that lead by providing customized information.
- Purchase: Now, the lead is looking for purchasing specifics, such as recommendations, testimonials, and case studies. Content must be highly customized to their particular needs in order to convert them into customers.
Distinguishing and Building the Brand
Since many brands offer similar products and services, one of the few ways to stand out from competitors is by differentiating the brand. Inbound marketing is ideal for this purpose because it allows a company to create a unique brand identity that expresses the brand’s values, and then express them on digital channels. So when consumers turn to the Web to seek out information on their path to purchase, they can use this brand identity to better understand the brand.
As you can see, inbound marketing is a method made for today’s consumer who wants to arrive at their own decisions via various digital means.
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