Inbound content marketing is a strategy of using really useful or engaging content to draw customers in organically, by providing value to them initially (e.g. instruction on how to do something) so as to develop a relationship and build trust, leading to conversion later.
HubSpot, offers a great deal of information on inbound marketing and has research to show that companies with blogs ( a collection of inbound content ) produce 67% more leads per month than those without.
You look for information: ‘What kind of service or product will solve my problem?’
You don’t want to be sold at this stage - you want unbiased information. You might look at reviews if choosing a restaurant on Tripadvisor, for example. You might look for potential problems with what you are considering. You might want to see comparisons of different products.
Gaining your prospect’s TRUST at this stage is incredibly powerful.
Creating content may be something that you can simply add to the daily tasks in your business - effectively making it free. Unlike other forms of advertising, you own the website that it lives on so nobody sends you an invoice.
Marcus Sheridan was the owner of a struggling swimming pool company when he wrote a blog for his company website. Nobody else in the industry was writing honest, useful content. Nobody was telling the truth upfront - they were hoping to persuade people to spend $50k on a pool with a persuasive sales call. It didn’t work.
Marcus wrote an article titled: ‘ How much does a swimming pool cost?’ and filled it with information to help people understand all the factors that would determine the cost of their pool.
That article started to produce huge volumes of buyers within a few months and because he has tracking set up using Hubspot on his site, he can see that it has formed the sales journey for over $9 million of swimming pools.
Create a learning centre or similar
Write 3 helpful articles a week
Use the BIG FIVE
Follow the golden rule
Create a Learning Centre
You must have a place on your website where people know the content is not about selling. This is vital. Your content must not mention your sales offer, not mention you at all. There’s plenty of space for that elsewhere!
We use the term ‘blog’ to describe a group of articles of any length that sit together and can be tagged or categorised to help the reader.
We didn’t make up the magic number 3. It is the simple product of watching companies that do it and those that don’t. Google’s algorithm update in November 2021 seems to be putting even more focus on regular content updates.
Simply answer questions you know people have about your service area or product type. Your sales team will know what questions or concerns people have when they are selling the product and make a great place to start. It may feel strange but you should teach people how to do what you do.
An Example: You are selling bathroom equipment via a website - sinks , toilets etc.
You could write a series of articles telling people how to create their perfect bathroom with lots of hints and tips that your experience provides. Equally you could produce comparisons of the pros and cons of various types of sink. You’d have to be very honest though - EVERYTHING has cons - even your wonderful products.
The ‘Big 5’ categories were coined by Marcus Sheridan in his book ‘ They Ask, You Answer’
How much does a product or service cost and if you cannot give the specific price then what factors influence the cost.
What are the most common problems in the area. What issues will people hear about if they research yoru service or product. Get them out now. Your offer is not for everyone and by sharing this truth you will win huge trust among those who you are right for.
In the example above the bathroom supplies company wrote an article comparing different types of sink. You can do this for almost anything from legal services to restaurants to coach companies!
Everyone loves reviews so make sure your happy clients leave reviews - use Google, Trustpilot or simply your own website to garner this important information.
Compare products or services in your area - never include yourself. An honest survey of five competitors can be incredibly powerful. People will find them anyway and the fact that you shared their details adds immeasurably to your credibility.
Remember to always be honest, always tell the whole truth and never ever sell in your content pieces.
Here at the Ambitions Agency we are the UK’s only Certified Coach for ‘They Ask, You Answer’, the powerful process mentioned above. Find out more here