As I was drafting my monthly newsletter this morning, my girlfriend called to debrief me on her latest online dating debacle. Along with my 15 plus years of marketing and communications experience, I also spent a solid 18 months dipping my toes in the online dating pool. I’ve become a sort of go-to for online dating newbies within my circle of divorced and single friends. I don’t want to brag, but I do consider myself to be somewhat of a romantic literary archetype having given up and rejected established norms and conventions in favor of (insert dramatic music here)…cyber dating!
I first approached it with vigor, vitality and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, as I typically approach most things in my life. This was soon replaced with bouts of crying and evenings spent curled up in the fetal position, while my mother softly stroked my hair.
Where was I going wrong? Was there something wrong with my sales funnel? Could it be that my sales funnel was giving too much and getting too little? Never one to let things happen organically, I set forth to use inbound marketing techniques to attract warm bodies… leads.
I began by looking at how to build an effective strategy that would pull people into a ‘relationship’ with me and my ‘brand’ rather than pushing my message onto them. I had work to do!
As with traditional marketing, there are many inbound marketing channels to select from. Part of creating an effective inbound strategy is identifying the channels that will make your content discoverable and desirable. Hello #E-Harmony!
And so began my inbound marketing campaign to get ‘interested’ prospects reaching out to me!
Phase 1 – Identify Your Target Client.
Trying to be all things to all people is rarely effective. The same applies in the world of marketing. I would suggest you break your customers into different groups and market to the ones you determine to be most profitable in the long run. You can easily adapt your offering and solutions to meet their particular needs. This might mean modifying your offering, changing your pricing structure or adapting your marketing message. But the first step is identifying your target client.
I broke all potential clients into 3 categories:
- Hunter: Someone who is just testing the water and is really not sure what they need or want and so they seek basic information from you and 20 other just like you.
- Gatherer: Someone who asks good questions and collects as much info as possible about pricing information, services available, return policies and guarantees.
- Executioner: Someone who appears eager, maybe too eager, and is ready to make a decision NOW. They want to know when, where and how the product or service will be delivered.
Phase 2 – Nurture ongoing interest and attraction.
A successful inbound marketing initiative requires providing customers with just the right amount of valuable information that will help move them towards a purchase. Make sure to leverage your online presence. When someone enters your name in the ‘Google Machine’ ensure that what pops up is current and relevant. Update Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with your elevator pitch and make sure you link all your channels back to your website. These days over 60% of consumers say they feel more comfortable and are more likely to buy if they have a positive experience online and were educated, inspired and perhaps even entertained! Use all the tools in your online toolbox. Spark interesting dialogue and discussion via your online channels and maybe, just maybe, the payoff will be some well-deserved attention.
Phase 3 – Master the Call to Action
Typical consumers like to feel that they arrived at a decision on their own, through unaltered methods. So, make it easy for them to say YES! Empower them to subscribe, register, sign in and BUY! Chances are you have optimized your site for search, but have you optimized your brand for action? Make sure that when someone finds you online that they know what to do next and more importantly what you want them to do next. Pull them into a friendly relationship that is founded on you having something they want and more importantly need. Don’t push the Call to Action. Simply be upfront and make the next steps clear in the buying process.
Interested in knowing how my inbound campaign fared??? Sign up for my newsletter to receive Part #2 – Data Driven Dating!
For more tips on successful inbound marketing campaigns or to find out more about Briand Marketing, please visit my website. www.briandmarketing.com