Monday-Friday 9:00am – 17:00pm
t: +44 (0)20 7459 4230
t: +44 (0)1752 830 000
Inbound marketing in the early days of the internet was all about creating landing pages packed with offers and hoping people would be dazzled into an instant conversion. Astonishingly, some still think this is the way to go today.
They could not be more wrong.
Before you read on, ask yourself one question: How many pages of content on average would your potential customer be prepared to read on your website?
Before we get into our amazing story, let’s just pause and consider that your typical web page would probably take them 5 minutes to read. So is doing business with you or buying your product worth 5 minutes or maybe 10… or more?
Of course you are worth more than 10 minutes! For a significant purchase or business arrangement it could and will be much, much longer.
If you don’t think you are worth that much time then I assure you that you are!
This story relates to the purchase of a swimming pool and is recounted in Marcus Sheridan’s story of how he saved his swimming pool company using inbound marketing content.
Using Hubspot Marcus was able to see exactly which pages every prospect had read on his website. One night he was astonished to see that a ‘Mr G’ who had filled in a form requesting a meeting had read a total of 374 pages.
Marcus immediately thought that he must either be a competitor or some kind of bot on the internet.
Marcus’ astonishment only grew when he noticed another lead from ‘Mrs G’ and she had read 140 pages of the same website – a total of 500 pages.
Marcus with his book, ‘They Ask You Answer’ which contains the radical idea that answering questions honestly will revolutionise your sales.
The next day Marcus called the man who seemed ‘to have known him for years’ and arranged to meet up to go over the details of a swimming pool that would cost over $30,000.
How do you think that visit went?
I’ll let Marcus tell the story:
‘I walked into his house and Mr G was standing in his living room with a spreadsheet in his hands. On one side of the sheet was a model of the swimming pool he was planning to buy and on the other side of the sheet he had listed every option and accessory he was buying to go with a pool.
Of course all you needed from me was one little thing: the price.
I walked out of that appointment 45 minutes later with a $5,000 deposit and a signed contract in my hands and as I drove away from the home I started to laugh as I thought occurred to me: “How much selling have I actually done that day?”
Answer: none! the G’s weren’t just 70% decided when I got there they were in the range of 99.9 percent decided they were going to use our company.
If someone has read 30 pages of your website and watched 10 videos that you have created, how do you think they feel about your company?
Is this a more positive feeling than if they had just seen one ad and landed on a landing page?
It really really is.
Inbound marketing done well provides a solid bedrock for your business. Long-term spending on PPC will dwindle to nothing as hundreds of your articles rank on Google. People will come to know and trust your business before you even become aware of them. Your online sales or enquiries will flow without end.
Marcus Sheridan speaks around the world on Inbound Marketing and how to use it to be build trust and authority.
Marcus made a second important discovery when he looked at his lead flow: He realised that when people had read more than 30 pages of content they were very likely to buy a swimming pool. Those that had read less were very unlikely to buy and thus were a waste of time for the sales team.
He came up with a very simple solution: if someone had not read 30 pages of content you would ask them to do so before they met. This turned into a methodology called Assignment Selling whereby people are very politely asked to digest a number of articles or videos before the swimming pool company agreed to a meeting.
People love to do homework because they understand that it gives them more knowledge and power.
To find success with inbound marketing you must be prepared to answer all the questions that people have in an honest, open and transparent way.
This is where most companies fail and this is where you have a chance to stand out.
Many companies especially in B2B avoid the subject of cost on their website. This is a mistake. You may not be able to give everyone a specific price but you can certainly indicates that kind of factors that influence how much they are likely to spend with you. Doing so will garner enormous trust.
Equally many companies don’t like to talk about competitors or problems with their product or service. I assure you it will take people just a few mouse clicks to find out all these things but if you share them on your website you will win their hearts and mind and with your open and honest approach.
I love to talk about inbound marketing and so if you are struggling to implement it or understand how it might work for your company, then please feel free to get in touch with me today. I am a certified coach for They Ask You Answer, the leading inbound content methodology and more importantly, I just love to talk about it!