HOW WE WORK
It’s never been our intention to be the long term marketing partner of any small business.
Our mission is to bring Inbound Marketing to your attention, explain why it’s better than traditional marketing and how it could work for you.
We then see it as our job to help you build an Inbound ‘infrastructure’, run a few campaigns, then when you decide you can do it yourself, we bow out gracefully but are always available if you need our help in the future.
What is Inbound Marketing?
If you want to ensure that your sales people have enough leads to build the pipeline and ultimately to grow your business, then you’re going to need a new method. Cold-calling, telemarketing and all the old methods don’t work. Customers are in charge and continue to change their buying practices, which means you need to change as well.
B2B customers don’t want pushy sales people or to be constantly assailed by ‘in your face’ sales and marketing techniques. Nor do they want to hear about your latest product or service, hire or sales success. These things are the meat and drink of marketing but they don’t work. There has to be a new approach and luckily there is – it’s called Inbound Marketing and it’s the only sensible response to the way customers want to buy products.
Here at Reservoir Digital we have been working with businesses to embed Inbound techniques and processes into their everyday marketing. We call this the Inbound Methodology.
The Inbound Marketing Methodology
“Inbound Marketing is the process of driving visitors, leads and conversions to your website using exceptional content, targeted at your potential customers, that ties in to their needs at the appropriate stage of their buying cycle.”
How it works
You need first of all to change your mindset. As we’ve said customers are different and access information now in different ways. They also have high expectations. On the other side, suppliers all look and talk the same. How can you differentiate yourself?
We now have evidence based on years of experience that the the Inbound methodology works. It works better than outbound and it’s miles cheaper. It beats ‘Hope’ as a strategy.
Over the years we’ve found that there are different ways to approach Inbound. The following is a short description of a programme we have put in place to ensure Inbound works.
Click on any of the menu items below to go to that section:
Putting the basics in place – The Buyer Persona
The first step to building an Inbound Strategy is to understand your customers. We call these ‘Buyer Personas’ and they form the very basic level of the Inbound Strategy. Here’s an example of the first page of a buyer persona for a CEO.
The Buyer Journey
You will almost intuitively understand the buyer journey but let’s keep it simple – here’s a 3 step buyer journey, with the questions the buyer is trying to answer at each step:
At each step the customer is asking different questions about themselves, their problems, the possible solutions and who can help them. It follows then that if you want to engage with customers at every step, then your content has to reflect their concerns at that time.
If you have the Buyer Persona and you know the Buyer Journey, then it’s useful to know what content is best at each stage in the buying cycle. Here’s an example of the type of content that works at the different stages in the buyer journey. Remember that video is one of the most effective way to engage with prospective clients. One of the most important things to think about is ‘Premium Content’.
This is content that you put behind a gate so that customers have to give you their email address to download or read. It therefore has to be eye-catching, important and offers insight or new ways to do things. We talk about how you produce Premium Content later, suffice it to say that once you have an email address you now have the ability to nurture a potential customer all the way through their buying process.
Developing content, especially ‘Premium Content’ is one of the most difficult things for a small business. There are two things that stop companies from creating ‘Premium Content’. The first is that they think they have nothing to say. The second thing is that they think customers aren’t interested and the third thing is that they think therefore that Premium Content is a waste of time.
Nothing could be more wrong. If there were a million things to be wrong about then this would be the wrongest!
Customers love content that helps them with their business problem, or maybe helps them to do their job better.
I would freely admit that this is the hardest part of Inbound, but it’s also the most important.
A content calendar is the culmination of all these elements into a cohesive set of campaigns to move people from being strangers, who know little or nothing about you, to customers, and delighted customers at that.
Here’s an example of a content calendar:
Building campaigns,running them and reviewing them for effectiveness is vital. You can do all this yourself with minimal staff, as long as you have the right tools.
One key to effectiveness is to set smart goals. here’s an example: