As an early-stage startup, you’ve got a great product or service that’s ready for a larger customer base. How do you capture that market quickly while increasing brand awareness? The answer rests in the minds of what those potential customers want; and we know that they want to find answers on their own.
In the old days, marketers had the upper hand, but that all changed at the dawn of the Internet age. Now, consumers have practically limitless access to information. In addition, customers can find the info they need at their convenience. When you take this into account, it’s easy to see why outbound methods can come across as invasive. Just ask the 200 million Americans that are registered on FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
Inbound Marketing shifts the focus from pushing a sale to educating customers. With helpful content (blog articles, eBooks, etc.) customers receive valuable solutions and form a positive brand association. This the fast track to landing highly-qualified leads!
Going from intrusive to informative does involve a change in philosophy. But, if you’re willing to put people first, you’ll have no trouble making the switch.
Here are 3 ways to unlock the power of Inbound Marketing to grow your startup fast:
1. Synchronize Sales and Marketing for increased efficiency
All aboard! Your marketing team will have to board the customer-thought train in order to make the right connections. Sales may be the fuel that keeps your business running, but effective marketing is required to keep a strong enterprise on track. Combine the two and you’ll have a customer-centric engine that can’t be stopped.
Clichés aside, sales professionals are often the ambassadors of an organization, so they tend to have the most direct interaction with customers. Marketing teams may struggle to truly empathize with and understand customer pains and needs – but when teamed with an insightful salesforce, skills are blended to craft detailed Buyer Personas and Buyer Journeys that resonate with customers at every stage.
Joining Sales and Marketing forces will always form a more cohesive customer-facing unit, making your campaigns more targeted and efficient.
2. Create content prospects can find when they do research
Maybe it was ok to saunter into senior year of high school without having studied or done your homework, but after many years in the professional working world, you can bet that those habits have subsided as the need for researching and doing “homework” about potential investments becomes crucial to survival.
B2B buyers are as savvy as your old free-wheeling classmates. According to a statistic by CEB, the majority of B2B buyers complete 57%-70% of their research before contacting a vendor. Key takeaway: Initiate contact with prospects during the research stage.
The best defense against the know-it-all consumer is to learn where they gather their data, and to become a go-to content producer who addresses these points from a trustworthy and informed angle. The last thing anyone wants is to be caught with their proverbial pants down when a potential customer blindsides you with hard-hitting objections.
By becoming an expert on consumer data, questions and concerns, you replace other information sources as a trusted pro. Even better, you get to be there in the beginning of the Buyer’s Journey when potential customers are still wide-eyed and bushy-tailed about their new findings. We all know what happens when information overload dulls those once-bright eyes, so it’s best to catch potential customers early in the game.
3. Nurture prospects into educated and interested leads
Inbound marketing is about getting quality results in the short-term,but it’s also about being in it for the long haul. While a boost in web traffic is nice, it is much more important to nurture a lasting relationship with quality customers. Once you’ve done the hard work that brings strong leads to your site, it’s important to keep interest growing by pointing interested visitors to relevant articles and resources.
Premium Content, such as eBooks and whitepapers, will quickly become your bread and butter. By asking interested parties for their email addresses in order to receive these materials, you can send personalized messages and begin to develop a strong foundation for a trusting and symbiotic relationship.
The Bottom Line
Blog Inbound Marketing is a fast, highly effective, and non-intrusive method for attracting visitors and converting them into educated customers to increase sales and grow your startup! More than ever, people rely on content to do much of their research, and why wouldn’t they? It allows them to find the answers they need at their leisure.
The days of the hard sell are fading quickly. Marketers have to adapt and take a more consultative approach in order to delight their customers. Content can be a powerful tool, but marketers need a thoughtful strategy to yield the best results.
If you want to learn more about how to leverage the best marketing strategies for your startup, feel free to grab our complimentary eBook: The Ultimate Startup Marketing QuickStart Guide for Startups with Series A or B Funding.
If you have any questions about how to get started with an Inbound Strategy to grow your startup, don’t be shy, reserve a time to speak with us here. We’re here to help.