Inbound Marketing: Attract Stage
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Attract, or awareness, is the first stage of a customer-based Inbound Marketing funnel.
The first key objective is to make prospects aware of your business and the products and services that it offers and attract them towards you.
The most important prerequisite to driving quality traffic towards your business is being clear about who your target audience is and what interests them in order to attract them.
Additionally, your business must assess the problems and the needs of potential customers and the dilemma that they face. At this stage of the process, customers are within the searching and learning process of their journey, which will ultimately lead them to make a purchasing decision.
From an Inbound Marketing perspective, your business needs to know who are the right ones to attract. Your business’ ideal customer should be based on data and some educated speculation about demographics, behavioral patterns, and goals. All in all, Inbound Marketing methodology focuses on targeted groups of prospects. The key to success is to identify and target people who are more likely to be interested in your product, and leave out those who aren’t. Hence the creation of buyer personas which allow you to attract the right audience.
It is also imperative that your business creates content. After all, the mantra of Inbound Marketing is “Content is King”. Granted, business owners and entrepreneurs have a lot on their plate as it is. Devoting time and resources to content creation may seem like an overcomplication in daily business operations, but that is not the case. Content creation is one of the most effective and practical marketing strategies that your brand can use to attract and reach prospects, especially video content.
All these factors put together will enable you to develop an Inbound Marketing strategy that resonates with inbound leads. This is how your business can attract visitors by sharing information that speaks to your ideal customer.
In the era of digital marketing, it is extremely important to first establish an online presence across multiple platforms and implement a digital marketing strategy.
Some of the most common ways to attract visitors to your business online are the following:
Social Media Content
Connecting with your target audience across social media platforms is an efficient and cost-effective strategy. Social media is less expensive than some traditional forms of marketing. Furthermore, the two-way nature of social media allows your business to provide superior customer service by responding to complaints in real-time. Some of the most commonly used networks for digital marketing are: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Social media will definitely help create awareness on your brand and create a community around it as well. However, being active on every other platform means additional effort required to create content tailored for each platform. From an Inbound Marketing standpoint, monitoring your social media’s performance is vital to learn about engagement with your audience, to see which channels are performing well for your business and which ones are not, and implement part of your marketing strategy accordingly.
Blogging is one of the most important components of Inbound Marketing and one of the best ways to attract prospects to your content, generate inbound leads. Any blog you create will position your business as the authority in the market segment it operates in. Furthermore, blogging is an excellent medium in terms of receiving immediate feedback from potential customers. Having an outside perspective is critical for every business in order to address the needs of potential customers. A blog should also include a clear path to purchase, using images and links linked to product pages.
Short for Search Engine Optimization. Inbound Marketing involves the increase both the quantity and quality of traffic to your online brand and expanding your company’s visibility through organic search engine results is extremely important. There are several SEO tactics that your business can use to bolster online presence.
For instance, one of the tactics that can help your rankings is extensive competitor research and analysis. Identify your key competitors, either by industry, geography, keywords, or other relevant factors. A thorough analysis will help you discover segments where your competition is succeeding and possibly identify weaknesses that your business can benefit from.
Another SEO tactic consists in writing a series of in-depth and valuable content regarding your products, services, your market segment’s trends, search engines will take notice.
Another adequate approach consists in adding ratings and reviews on your business’ website. The ability to rate and review products directly will not only improve SEO rankings, but will also go a long way in gaining visitors’ trust as well.
Online advertising is not free, not even for Inbound Marketing. Allocating a part of your marketing budget can also generate awareness without disrupting the visitors’ activities. For instance, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), a promotion form which will increase the visibility in search engine results pages. Another form of paid online advertising is display advertising. It is essentially a designed image or a photo representing your brand, that is displayed on another website. There is also Social Media advertising. For example, Facebook includes a Boost post feature which allows businesses to reach their target audiences and boost their online presence. It is a cost-effective measure and your business has full control over how much budget it wants to allocate for the feature.
In conclusion, during the Attract Stage, customers have questions, your business should have the answers. As far as Inbound Marketing is concerned, one of the most valuable commodities around is information, and brand awareness cannot be generated without it.