Sanoma is going to delete 32 of the 48 titles. The call-me-not register has more than 8 million telephone numbers. And recently, the online TV and video service Netflix has been launched in the Netherlands with great expectation. What is going on in the media country? Very simple: as consumers, we no longer want to be bothered by companies. We want to determine for ourselves which messages we are presented with. And that is all because of the internet.
Internet changes the role of your company
Any company that does not add value to the chain will disappear. The internet connects everyone: consumers buy directly from the producer. Distribution is therefore no longer distinctive. As a consumer, you google for solutions to your problems, and choose your supplier. You want to be helped by an expert and not a salesperson. The old model of sending via mass media no longer works.
That's bad news if you don't know how to add value. Videoland, the Block and the Freerecordsshop are just a few names of big players who have been overtaken by time. But it is good news for companies that know how to respond to the new market. According to Hubspot research in 2012 inbound marketing costs no less than 61% less than outbound marketing.
How does the new market work?
Internet has changed the world and your market is also moving. 82% of consumers first visit Google and only then a company. So make sure you are found earlier. And you do that with content: useful tips, solutions, explanations and product reviews. By shifting your attention from advertising to content, you will help and not be bothered anymore. You become the expert. Therefore, create content that benefits people. What they are looking for.
People do not look for products but for solutions. They google and see which solution suits them best. A website that offers valuable tips and helps directly has a big advantage. As a company you are sympathetic, helpful, you address the customer about his problem and you offer immediate value. It is just like successful networking.
It is important to realize that consumers also have reach in this new world. If you do not like your company or your product, the consumer can do this via social media, (Google) assessments and complaint forums to the world known. But that also works the other way around. And not only your potential customers love good content, but also Google, other websites and social media.
Coolblue is a successful e-commerce formula with Pdashop.nl, among others. With professional product reviews they immediately show you all the ins and outs, in this case the LG Optimus G.
Metal wholesale MCB has completely stopped outbound marketing: advertisements and direct mail have been replaced by social media, customized news and apps. Their target group is mainly active on Linkedin, so also MCB.
Karwei offers everything to do a job: manual, drawings, list, and of course the materials themselves. Search for "create letterbox", then Google returns this page as the first result.
10 practical tips to get started with Inbound Marketing
As an entrepreneur, something like that all sounds nice of course, but how do you approach Inbound Marketing in a practical way?
- Look at the customer process: how does the customer become aware of his needs? What information does he need? Does the customer come to you with a very specific product question? For example a square coffee table 80 cm high? Or does the contact start earlier, during the orientation phase?
- Look at the needs of your customers: what information does a customer need before looking for a supplier? What problem is he trying to solve and what information is helping him on his way? Your sellers know the answers. That is, if they have learned to listen to the customer. What do your customers call about? What is the standard story you tell in the first contact? As a self-employed person, it is important not to focus on the entire world, but especially on your own customers.
- See how you do that valuable information for your customers, can offer digitally, in word and image. Examples: PDF with tips for new parents, advice and drawings about placing light in the house, a list of critical questions for a mortgage provider, a blog about furniture, news about the new health insurance policy ... Choose the form in which you give the best answers to common questions that live with your customers. Feel free to discuss this with your customers: would this help them on their way?
- Write those answers loud and clear for your customers, so that they quickly see that this is valuable information and not an advertising brochure. By offering this information digitally, you get more traffic on your site and you shorten your own sales process. You can also consider a blog. Read the article When is blogging interesting for your company?
- Write those answers too friendly to Google. You get more traffic on your site by optimizing the content for Google: search engine optimization or: SEO. That means that the keywords that your customers use will come back a lot in your content. Because you place content on your site that customers are really looking for, you will get links from other sites sooner. And that helps with your SEO.
- Make sure that that content is easy to share on social media.
- Bring your sales process in map: how many visitors does your website receive? How many of these contact us or place an order? That is your conversion rate. A good tool to gain more insight into your website is Google Analytics.
- Promote your content. Use all your communication channels for this: Twitter, Facebook, the homepage of your site, newsletter, but also your store, your brochures and advertisements. Use every channel with which you have customer contact.
- Holds the Results of your efforts, again with Google Analytics. Look through which channels you get more visitors, and through which channel you get visitors who convert better. Also see if visitors return more often, which may indicate more connection with your site. As with all marketing: adjust where necessary.
- When you see that your turnover increases through the use of inbound marketing, you can also consider it extra traffic to purchase, for example through the use of Google Ads or affiliate marketing. Read the article for that 'Online Marketing: the Marketing Tap‘.
Interruption marketing is no longer of this time. Irritation is not a good basis for a long-term relationship. Stop bothering your customers. Look at what your customers want and start making it available through your own online channels such as your website, social media and your newsletter. Start with Inbound Marketing: create relevant content for your intended target group and ensure that this content is found properly.
Marketing today is interactive and focused on added value. Your role changes from seller to adviser. You no longer focus on the customer's money, but on his problem. And by offering your customers relevant solutions, you are valuable to them. They will look for you, because you are worth their money.