Why Inbound Marketing Should Not Take a Back Seat to Current Customers

Inbound Marketing is a valuable strategy businesses can use to obtain new customers. Inbound Marketing is defined as Marketing based on getting found by customers. It’s customer-centric. With Inbound Marketing, businesses create customer-centric content based on customers needs. Content could take the form of blogs, videos & SEO.

In a prior article, I outline the 4 Steps which are Attract, Concert, Close and Delight. 

image via hubspot.com/inbound-marketing

Why Inbound Marketing should not take a back seat to Current Customers

Recently, I read an article that advocated that Inbound Marketing should take a backseat to your current customers. While it is less expensive to keep, nurture and up-sell/cross-sell current customers, businesses need to always be on the hunt for new customers. Despite the fact that it costs 5 times the amount to acquire a new customer verses keeping an existing one, it is an expense that businesses need to take on.

This is because businesses will always lose a portion of their customer base for a variety of reasons as seen in this graph.

image via http://www.superoffice.de/blog-de/kundenpflege/

According to Marketing at Work, the average business loses about 10 to 25 percent of its customer base every year. 

What happens if businesses start Ignoring customer acquisition?

  •  If a business loses 25 percent of its customer base it will have no customers after 4 years
  • At a 10 percent loss rate it will have no customers after 10 years

Through great service, word of mouth, & customer referrals; businesses may be able to extend their life. This then becomes an issue of how fast they can replace the lost customers. Relying on these methods alone puts undo pressure on customers and they may get turned off by being constantly asked to refer people. This may result in more customer turnover.

The Solution

As we have seen, focusing only on customer acquisition and customer retention is a losing game.

Done right, Inbound Marketing should be combined with Content Marketing because current customers still need to be nurtured after the sale. Businesses can only expect referrals and repeat business if customers:

  • Feel valued & receive great service

Businesses can apply the principles of Inbound Marketing for customer retention in the following ways:

1. Create Blog content Specifically for customers

  • Supply customers with exclusive access to blog content with useful tips and tricks for customers to get the most out their purchase.
  • Offer customers discounts
  •  Make reordering easy
  • Make customers feel like insiders.

2. Get customers to opt into user specific content via email

  • Ask customers for this commitment right when they sign up and commit
  • Make sure to create valuable content as customer attention is a gift
  • Remember that the customer defines value

3. Create Communities such as exclusive user groups 

  • Groups can be created on Social Networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and specialized forums on a company site.
  • Use these groups to share content and invitations to customer only events.

4. Create free industry trends sites that don’t sell anything

  • This is a great way businesses can position themselves as a resource
  • These sites can be shared with both current customers and prospects.
  • Adobe does a great job with their CMO.com site which provides content and insights to CMO’s and marketing professions.

How have you used Inbound Marketing for customer retention? Share and comment.

Related articles

Inbound 101

Customer Marketing: What We Can Learn from Actors

Ways to Create & Execute an Organic Digital Marketing Strategy for Lead Gen

How to Integrate a Blog into an Inbound Marketing Strategy

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the  company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publish a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

 

 

Customer Marketing: What We Can Learn from Actors

What Actors Can Teach us About Customer Marketing

Image via Garrison Everest

When Actors land a role to play, they need to memorize their lines but for their delivery to be believable, they need to become the character. Actors become the character they play by doing research. This research is conducted by: reading books/watching videos about the life of the character, conducting interviews with the real life person if they are alive and/or meeting with people who knew them.

From this research, actors can identify the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and pain points in this persons life; all of which can help them successfully become this person.

How this Research is applied to Customer Marketing 

Successful Marketers have to conduct similar research to identify their target customer. For Marketing to be successful, businesses must understand their target market; analyzing their ideal customer similar to what Actor need to do.

To analyze this ideal customer, businesses need to do research to understand the life of their ideal customer. The result of this research is known as a Buyer Persona. According to research conducted by MarkteingSherpa: Marketers generated 171 % more revenue as result of using buyer personas.

According to research by the Buyer Persona Institute in 2016:

1.27% of businesses have no buyer persona

2. 44% of businesses have a buyer persona

3. interest in having buyer personas is growing as 29%  of businesses surveyed said will have them in the next year.

Creating a Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is a guide to understanding the needs, challenges and pain points of customers.

Questions to ask

What are these customer’s habits?

What concerns, needs and challenges do they have?

What actions are customers taking to address their needs and challenges?

Why do customers need to take these actions?

This question may be applied to multiple action steps described in Hooked by Nir Eyal as the 5 Whys.

What makes them want to buy?

Where do they look for information?

What type of content and medium do they use access the information?

What days and times are they most likely to look for information and consume content?

It is important to note that businesses with multiple products and more than one target market will need to create buyer personas for each ideal customer.

image via Content Marketing Institute /Bigstock

Where to obtain information on the Ideal Customer

1. Interview current customers and prospects.

2. Send out targeted surveys via email, direct mail and on Social Networks. Offer incentives such as gift cards and discounts to encourage people to provide the information needed.

3. Read biography and history books about your ideal customer.

4. Study the news.

5. Study existing research conducted by Market Research firms.

Building buyer personas will result in:

1. Creating and implementing  better and more targeted product messaging and communication

2. Getting the product in front of customers who truly will benefit from its use

This is how to create a Buyer Persona.

How are you using your buyer personas? Comment below.

Article sources & images

Garrison Everest

Content Marketing Institute 

MarketingSherpa.com/intecnic.com

Related article

Inbound 101

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. Hubspot Certified in Inbound Marketing, Dan has worked on various marketing assignments including a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Rep in NYC. In this role, he taught & trained Dentists on the company’s products & services using a consultative selling approach combined with direct marketing. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows.

He writes & publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today; which has grown to over 13,000 followers on LinkedIn & over 8,000 on WordPress.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in Direct, Inbound, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

 

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WordPress & Tumblr 101: Writing & Publishing an Engaging Blog Article

WordPress & Tumblr are great publishing platforms where users can create customized & branded content which includes domain names. For tips on setting up a blog click here.

Today I am going to focus on how to write & publish a killer blog article on these platforms.

image via singlehop.com

When writing a blog article, your goals are to:

1. Educate & inform readers about your products & expertise

2. Engage your readers & build an audience

Let’s examine the features of a WordPress & Tumblr blog.

The Structure of the Blog Article 

 Title

The platform provides a place for a title.

Tool Bar

Underneath the title, there is a tool bar similar to one you would see in Microsoft word that allows writers to use headings, Bold, Italics, underline, center, bullet pints and numerical lists. Users can also use the tool bar to insert links, images, and videos. (tumblr users need to click the button on the side of the blog platform for the tool bar to appear.)

Body

Next, is the body of the platform where users can write the body of their content and lastly there is the SEO tags.

Pictures/Images

Users can also upload an image at through out their article, Bloggers should  credit their image source whenever possible.

Writing on WordPress & tumblr

Now that we have described the inner workings of the the WordPress & tumblr blog, let’s describe how to write compelling posts.

Now you might be asking what topics should write about?

Popular topics are as follows:

1. Your insights on trends in your industry.

2. Case Studies

3. Topics in the News

4. How to articles that teach readers how to do something.

5. How you learned from failures and adversities.

6. Questions & Answers

The Body of your Post

Once you have chosen your topic you are ready to start writing. You must create a thesis which is the claims that you are making. This should be followed up with three to four paragraphs that prove your thesis, claim and assertion. Paragraphs should be 4 to 6 sentences when possible.

Within these paragraphs, you should use headings and  sub headings along with bullet points so your text is easy to read. The text should be visually appealing  to the reader.

In terms, of how long your post should be it is up to you. There is no set length, rather your post should be long enough to prove out your thesis, assertion and claim.

Title

Your title should reflect what the topic that you are writing about while being engaging to readers. Most people just skim the headlines as they are bombarded with content, in other words you have just seconds to catch their attention.

Popular titles include:

1. How to’s,

2. lists ex 7 ways to _______

3 A question.

4. Why ________

SEO tags Keywords

Make sure to pick keywords that reflect your topic and match the title and content

Images

Make sure when you upload images that reflect what your post is about.

Video’s/embeds

To enhance your text, you can embed videos and presentations from Slideshare & YouTube. This can be a strategy to re-purpose existing content.

Calls to action

Make sure that your posts have a call to action at the end. In other words, what action do you want your reader to take as a result of reading your post.

Sharing

You can share your post in the following ways:

1. On LinkedIn through a status update, your LinkedIn groups & messages.

2. Through the Social Sharing buttons that include LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ & Twitter.

3. Through links

4. Ask questions of the reader that encourage them to comment and start a discussion.

This is how to write a blog post on WordPress & tumblr that engages readers & builds an audience.

What strategies do you use to write a blog post?

About the Author

Dan is passionate about using Marketing to help businesses drive sales. He has worked on various marketing assignments that include a Start Up, Political Campaign & a Digital Marketing Conference.

Prior to Teaching, Dan served customers as an Outside Sales & Marketing Representative in the Dental industry. In this role, he taught and trained Dentists on the company’s products and services using a consultative selling approach. He also supported the company’s marketing efforts at industry trade shows & in the field through lead generation of Digital Technology along with large Dental Equipment.

He writes and publishes a business blog on the topics of Sales, Marketing & Social Media entitled Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today.

Dan is seeking a full time marketing role in New York City. He is interested in roles in Direct, Digital, Content & Social Media Marketing. If your company is hiring for roles in these areas, contact him directly via a free LinkedIn Message or email him at Dan@DanGalante.com to set up interviews.

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