Small businesses and rookie marketers have years of media history to draw on when it comes to buying TV and radio ads, but inbound marketing (using interesting content to attract consumer attention) is another matter. Laura Fitton brought her experience on the subject to Grow Talks Toronto to lay out a step-by-step guide for the city’s entrepreneurs and startups.
Fitton was one of the first consultants to help companies use Twitter as a marketing tool. A co-author of Twitter for Dummies, she sold her company – a social business management platform called OneForty – to Hubspot in 2011, where she now works as an inbound marketing “evangelist.”
On Feb. 21, Fitton shared some of the tactics Hubspot uses with its own inbound marketing programs with the Grow Talk’s audience. While much of Fitton’s advice is well-known to seasoned marketers, the seven steps she outlined for setting up an inbound marketing program provides a simple, efficient approach to the practice.
Start with an offer
Enticing consumers with a piece of content, like the e-books published by Hubspot and many ad agencies, helps create an audience you can contact later about your product/service.
Build a landing page
Setting up a landing page for the offer helps you collect data about your customers, giving you a better idea of who they are and how to sell to them. Be careful, though, asking for too much data will irritate consumers and they’ll be less likely to accept the offer.
Create a lead-nurturing campaign
After a consumer accepts an offer, follow-up with another useful piece of content related to the offer they accepted. Fitton used the example of a company selling commercial stoves sending blog posts answering frequently asked questions about stoves to people who downloaded a buyer’s guide.
Build a targeted list to send the offer to
Follow-up emails should relate to the offer – if a customers showed interest in a stove, don’t send them an e-mail about a dish washer. If emails are tailored to the recipient, they feel less like spam.
Write blog posts
Content that your specific customer base finds useful or entertaining will help drive interest in your product/service. By tagging posts with keywords associated with your brand, companies can can also improve SEO without paying for Ad Words.
Utilize social media and email lists to advertise the offer – but try to be as targeted as possible. Again, the more targeted your promotion is, the less it will feel like spam.
Document the path to purchase and try to identify patterns that led to conversions. By seeing what works, you can optimize your next campaign to play to your strengths.