Classic advertising usually falls on deaf ears. Create content that actually interests your potential customers and creates added value. We show you how to create trust and acquire customers in the long term.
Classic advertising is losing its impact
Classic marketing and the measures associated with it aim to build a strong presence, increase awareness, promote one's own products and boost sales.
However, many people, including your B2B customers, are exposed to a variety of advertising messages every day.
The content of advertisements often has little to no relevance to the viewer.
As a result, it can be observed that people increasingly develop a kind of advertising blindness, where they completely block out advertising messages, regardless of the content. Advertising is bad - that is the opinion of a large number of people. Thus, classical advertising loses its influence and also misses its effect.
Differentiation through trust
So, there needs to be a way to be able to reach the target audience with interesting and relevant content without falling into the dead advertising angle. To accomplish this, it's important to know the two types of online marketing: Push & Pull.
In push marketing, content (usually advertising messages) is actively pushed out by the company and brought to the customer. This way, the company tries to draw attention to itself. All measures that belong to this type run the risk of becoming victims of advertising blindness.
The second type is called pull marketing or inbound marketing.
The idea behind it is to pick up the needs of the target group with relevant content, provide help and thus create added value.
The content is free of promotional messages and should help build a relationship of trust with the user.
We will show you how you can acquire valuable customers with the right inbound marketing strategy and accompany them successfully throughout the customer journey. The goal is to support and assist the customer in his current context instead of disturbing or even confusing him.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that starts much earlier in the customer journey than at the point of purchase, as is the case with classic performance marketing. The potential customer should already be accompanied and optimally advised during the information gathering process.
At the heart of the inbound marketing strategy is a sophisticated content strategy. Only with the right or relevant content, you support the user in reaching his goal.
Successful content marketing thus creates a topic world around the needs of customers and positions the company as a trustworthy topic leader.
Let us review which measures help acquire customers sustainably during which phase of the customer journey.
Inbound Marketing in the Attract Phase: Providing Relevant Content
Compared to traditional advertising, with inbound marketing you want to be found by your future customers instead of aggressively soliciting for customers. For this, you need one thing above all: content.
By creating content that your target audience is actually interested in, you create the foundation for inbound marketing to work. To ensure that your website is always up to date, it needs new content on a regular basis. A corporate blog or a similar format is particularly well suited for this practice.
Source: ELPRO Company Blog
To ensure you cover adequate topics, an SEO check should be performed to determine the current state of your content. Moreover, the keyword research should be done to expand the topics. Within in a short time period you will be able to see which topics attract your target group and how you are currently positioned.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Furthermore, your content must of course be created in way it can be found. The content must meet the standards of the common search engines and have the goal of achieving a good ranking and a good click rate in the search results. For this purpose, your website must clearly be understandable and sorted by individual topics.
Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
Search Ads can also help place content prominently. This form of advertising is not to be confused with banners or other push advertising. Search Ads are only displayed to the user when he searches for certain keywords (search terms). Thus, they do not push themselves on the customer, but are there when he needs help.
Inbound Marketing in the Engage Phase: Building Relationships
The next step is to make initial contacts and build a relationship with your customers. To do this, use the channels that your target group also uses. It is worth testing different channels to check where your customers are and what they use which channels for.
A classic instrument of inbound marketing is email marketing. A customer must sign up in advance for a newsletter list and thus signals that he is interested in further content.
It is important that the user knows in advance what added value he will receive by subscribing to the newsletter.
A regular update about the company or the products is not really relevant for the customer, but a step by step guide to solve his problem is.
Source: Personalized Newsletter from Pedalix Software
Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms offer a lot of opportunities to connect with your target audience. Share interesting content to signal to users that you can help them.
Again, it's important to keep the basic principle of inbound marketing strategy in mind: Supportive content instead of advertising slogans.
Furthermore, social media channels are very well suited for direct interactions, but require active community maintenance.
Comments & Messaging
Give your users the opportunity to comment on the content on your blog and collect valuable feedback. Instant messaging apps, chatbots or online surveys can also be used to collect direct feedback and concrete needs.
Inbound Marketing in the Convert Phase: Trusted Partner
After you've established a relationship with your users and proven your expertise, your products and services come into play. Show the potential customer how your offering will help them solve their problem efficiently.
Since you've already had multiple touchpoints with the user, your offer will be perceived very differently than a contextually detached ad.
Every customer has different preferences. Therefore, give your users the opportunity to reach you the way that suits them best. A phone number, an email address, a contact form or a digital order form - make it easy for the potential customer to reach you.
Inbound Marketing in the Delight Phase: Solve the Problem
After the sale is before your offer goes live. Here you have the opportunity to anticipate any questions and concerns and provide the customer with further content so that they can continue to act as independently as possible.
The conclusion of a contract is by no means the end of your work. The customer must be accompanied after the purchase and continuously provided with relevant information. Therefore, proactively creating content on the use of your products or other content that anticipates possible ambiguities is a central repetative task.
A satisfied customer who feels well looked after and is happy with the product and the associated service will tell others about it.
Such referrals are extremely valuable and should be supported wherever possible.
Again, focus on content that can be easily shared by your loyal customers and adds value.
Better analyses thanks to inbound marketing
To know how far along your users are in the buying decision process, you need reliable data. This way, you can anticipate which user will contact you next and already know what they are interested in.
Source: Customer Journey Reporting from Pedalix Software
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A CRM helps you store your customers' contact data in a structured way and maintain an overview. Whether a CRM system is worthwhile for your company depends on your business. Especially in the B2B environment with a tendency to have few potential customers, such a system can be very valuable.
Customer Data Platform (CDP)
A Customer Data Platform independently collects usage data and compiles it into meaningful customer profiles. This way, the demographic information of your (potential) customers is supplemented with valuable behavioral data and results in a 360° customer profile.
Inbound marketing puts your focus on content that your potential customers are actually interested in. The goal is to create relevant content that users will find on their own and supports them in their endeavors.
This way, sustainable relationships can be built and users won't be bothered with unnecessary advertising messages.