There are thousands of brands every day trying to establish their company in a particular field or industry. Building your online brand to become recognizable, respectable, and well-trusted takes time and effort–but if you do it right (by following these few simple steps), you’re on your way to creating more customers, better customers, and growth for your brand in the digital space.
Building your company is about creating awareness about who you are and what you do; it’s also about becoming a trusted expert in your industry–a brand that people can trust to provide them with a solution to their problem without feeling like they are trying to be sold. Because let’s face it: no one wants to be sold. HubSpot’s inbound methodology is spearheading the latest movement in digital marketing as brands transition from company-centered messaging to a more customer-focused approach. Here’s how you can kick start your brand strategy online and start developing more qualified leads.
1. Define your customers or personas
Knowing who your customers are is the first step. Talk to your sales team and use forms, testing, Google Analytics, and surveys to capture data. This will allow you to see who is coming to your site and what they are doing online. Understanding who your customers really are – without assuming or guessing – will give you insight into their problem at hand, and how you can provide a solution.
2. Speak your customer’s language
Use terms that your customers will understand – refrain from industry jargon and terms that are difficult to digest – and speak to their pain points. Once you define who your customers are, you’ll know how to talk to them.
3. Understand what a qualified lead is and when to contact them
A customer, also called a lead, is sometimes chased by the sales team without a proven indicator of whether this person is actually ready to purchase–or getting close to it. Did they go to a pricing page? Did they download a floor plan or travel brochure? Did they sign up for a free trial of your software? Have your sales and marketing team get together to decide what type of online behaviour makes a qualified lead worth contacting.
4. Nurture your leads to move them from cold to hot
We have all been customers at some point. But what makes us a returning customer is when we feel content with our experience. Most people refrain from purchasing from companies that push their product to try and make a sale. Instead, try nurturing, or pleasing, your customers by giving them something useful to them like a free webinar on How To Take Perfect Instagram Photos or an Ebook on job hunting. Delighting your customers with tools can help move them from a cold to hot lead.
5. Pay attention to qualified leads
Speaking of leads, remember that it’s better to have 3 hot leads, than 20 warm leads. Quality over quantity is always more valuable. If you’ve captured data for people visiting your site, take a look at their pathways online. Use Google Analytics to assign goals and once a goal is completed, use reverse pathways to see how these goals were achieved. Understand the journey your customers took to “say yes” and use this intel to recreate the same route that you know is working.
6. Provide content offers based on a buyer’s journey
A buyer’s journey starts with awareness, where a customer has identified a problem (bookings are down this quarter). In the consideration stage, a customer is considering their options (purchase a new CRM software or hire a marketing agency). In the final stage of decision, you’ve decided on a solution type (hire a marketing agency) and are in the brand researching stage.
What is your customer’s problem? Where are they in the journey? Be sure to offer different types of content depending on what phase your customer is in. For example, a customer in the awareness stage would benefit from a blog article, while an Ebook is best offered in the consideration stage. If a customer is in the consideration stage, offer something that closes the deal like a pricing plan or free demo of your product.
6. Write a blog!
Blogging is key to establishing your online brand as a trusted expert in the industry. By providing solutions to your customer’s problems, you’re establishing trust. Remember to keep topics within your realm of expertise and to produce blogs consistently (once a week is ideal).
The takeaway: it’s not about us; it’s about the customer. Nurture a customer with delightful content and tools they can use along their buyer’s journey. That way, when they’re ready to make a decision, your product or organization will be top of mind.
Want to start generating more leads? Interested in how Inbound Marketing can change your online presence? We are a group of digitally minded creators and marketers who love solving problems. Get in touch today!