In 2006, HubSpot coined the term “inbound marketing.” Since then, the concept of inbound marketing has become extremely popular among B2B and B2C companies in many different industries. Why? Aside from the fact that inbound leads cost (on average) 60% less than outbound ones, studies have also shown that 80% of web users ignore the paid ads sponsored by Google and other search engines. Today, we will delve into the specifics of how you can build an inbound marketing strategy that is geared to generate leads while simultaneously building customer trust.
Inbound Marketing to Build Customer Trust
Research has shown that to earn customer trust, exemplary customer service is essential. For businesses who are building an inbound marketing strategy, seeking ways to build a web presence that isn’t only visible, but also credible is often the differentiating factor between revenue growth and inactivity. But how can you develop a trusting relationship with your customers, when your primary point of contact is a website? Take a look at these four versatile inbound market strategies designed to build customer trust from a digital platform.
- Publish Useful Content: According to the Content Marketing Institute, 90% of customers prefer reading content that is customized to their interests and needs. That means publishing relevant and useful content has never been more important. When building your content strategy, use mediums best suited to your target audience. For example, B2B marketers are more effective when marketing with webinars, case studies, white papers, and videos; B2C marketers are generally more effective when providing e-newsletters, social media content, and infographics to their target audience.
- Interact with your Clients: Social media, blogs, and online consumer reviews have given shoppers the ability to comment on the quality of the goods and services they’ve received. For businesses, these platforms also offer the opportunity to interact with their target audience and existing customers. Not only does responding to customer comments show your company cares about their clients and online presence, it also gives them the chance to engage with users they would have otherwise overlooked.
- Offer Customer Service: Exemplary inbound customer service is a sure way to retain existing clients, and assist potential customers in their decision making process. Consider offering a “live chat” feature on your site’s home page near your service team’s contact information to make it easy for interested shoppers and existing clients to reach you with their questions.
- Publish Regularly: Whether your marketing model is B2B or B2C, publishing content on a scheduled basis is essential for building trust in your industry. Regularly published content informs Google and other search engines that your site is active, but it also builds trust with your target audience by providing a sense of consistency.
Fundamentally, generating leads with inbound marketing is much different than doing so with outbound marketing. Outbound marketing requires businesses to qualify leads themselves before reaching out to them via cold calls, e-mail blasts, and other outbound tactics, which is often costly. Inbound marketing, however, removes sales pressure from customers, allowing them to approach a business after interacting with their digital content and customer reviews. Essentially, inbound marketing enables businesses to develop genuine relationships with clients because the customer was honestly interested in the company and their services. Keep in mind, however, that an inbound strategy is most successful when a company’s digital presence is able to support lead generation. So, what inbound tactics can your company implement to generate more leads? Let’s take a look:
- On and Off Page SEO: SEO is considered the driving force of a site’s organic traffic. Make the effort to optimize on and off page SEO elements such as alt image tags, meta tags, URL’s, and backlinks to build your site’s credibility in the eyes of the search engines.
- An Effective Call to Action: Without an effective call to action, no marketing campaign is complete. Incorporate clickable “buttons” into the high traffic areas of your site, and be sure to optimize the button with powerful phrases such as “learn more,” “read more,” and “try it now.”
- Capture Visitor Information: Make the most of the traffic already siphoning into your site by capturing your visitor’s information, such as names and e-mail addresses. In doing so, you’ll be able to reach out to these visitors by means of e-mail marketing at a later date. To start collecting information, consider collecting basic contact information with an e-mail opt-in box on your site, or collect the information each time a customer makes a purchase.
- Develop Written and Visual Content: In the same way quality content is essential for building customer trust, it is a critical building block of online lead generation. For the best results, use a mixture of written and visual content to grab your target audience’s interest.
- Local Listings and Business Reviews: Traditionally, word-of-mouth marketing is the most influential advertising medium. Word of mouth marketing is still alive today, however it has developed a digital presence in the form of online company reviews. Websites such as Yelp and Google Places have allowed shoppers to turn to local listings and online reviews to help them make a purchasing decision. Listing a business on sites like these and maintaining a positive online reputation is an economical yet effective to promote lead generation; in fact, 63% of shoppers are more likely to select a company with positive customer reviews.
Inbound marketing is an effective way for businesses to generate leads and develop lasting relationships with customers. Keep in mind, however, that inbound marketing is a continuous process, and your digital presence will have to be optimized to encourage interaction and engagement with your target audience and site visitors. Companies that are new to inbound marketing and SEO will inevitably struggle against a learning curve. To ease the transition, start by documenting an inbound marketing strategy by considering how your target demographic behaves, and begin optimizing your website to accommodate their behaviors. If you find yourselves unsure of your strategy, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team for guidance.