By Nelson Tan on Dec 3, 2015 10:19:00 AM
The adoption of Inbound Marketing* in Singapore and generally across Asia is not as fast as we had wished. Based on feedback, the biggest challenge business owners face is how putting more emphasis on digital marketing can affect their operations, prospecting effectiveness, sales leads quality and ultimately sales conversion. They do worry about the hard numbers, and we respect that.
On the other hand, old habits die hard too. When once-reliable marketing methods gradually become outmoded and enter a sunset phase, marketing professionals are slow to adapt to changes, and instead of committing to training, decide to "move on in life", thus resulting in employment turnovers.
Nevertheless, businesses are dictated by an ever-changing marketplace, which consists of highly educated and well-informed consumers who are less likely to give in to emotional purchases, and take more time to deliberate buy-in decisions. Going Inbound is the best way to reach out to these consumers, inform them with your business knowledge and nurture their confidence in your business entity.
Transitioning from traditional marketing to Inbound need not be a sudden process. If your company already has a website, I can safely presume someone in your company is administrating it. This particular administrator will be much needed for his/her skills to continually publish digital content assets to augment online business presence.
Here are 7 steps to take note when preparing to go Inbound:
1) Have a mindset and culture for online expression and sharing: Content is the essential ingredient and driver of Inbound Marketing. Do create content in popular forms like blog posts, articles, ebooks, whitepapers or social media posts so that people who are already interested in your products and services can easily search for you.
2) Transform all your existing offline marketing materials into digital assets and vice versa: Coming up with digital content is as easy as taking what you already have as flyers, pamphlets, handbooks, brochures, direct mail etc. and repackage them into product pages, social media images, infographics, email messages and the types of content mentioned in point 1.
Conversely, when you have original online content, think how you can share it in the real world, such as printing it as a guide to give away at events, repurposing it as a PowerPoint presentation, include it as a link in print, promote it as a print ad etc.
3) Upgrade your existing website structure a) to integrate content publishing platform and b) with clear conversion points: For point A, I'm referring primarily to having a blog. Setting up a blog these days is very easy with the famous 5-minute WordPress installation, or you can create a blogger.com account and link your new blog to your website.
For point B, having succinct conversion points designed into your website means you will know where and when your leads will be elevated in their salescycle stages as determined by their actions, whether it is a simple action of downloading an ebook, using the "Contact Us" form to submit an enquiry, or liking a Facebook post etc.
4) Design an Inbound marketing plan: Digital marketing campaigns require sustained effort and can go on for months. For results to take significant effect, a routine of digital marketing work needs to be carried out daily. If you are not sure where to start, you can search for digital marketing agencies like iSmart Communications to ask for help. Give us a call or e-mail us with your enquiry and we will get the ball rolling as we guide you along.
5) Design a more consultative prospecting call script: Unlike the typical cold sales leads, the leads you accumulate online has known, to an extent, a little more information about your business, who you are, what's your expertise and how you can help them solve their challenges. They are just beginning to search for solutions. Therefore taking a consultative approach to speaking to them enables you to understand where their starting point is in their buyer's journey so you can bring them to a close with much less resistance.
6) Set aside budget for Inbound marketing: As soon as you begin to sense a good momentum picking up in your Inbound efforts, it's time to consider how much budget you can afford to ramp up the work. You may even consider scaling down your traditional marketing activities and transfer the budget from there to Inbound.
7) Invest in a marketing automation software like HubSpot Singapore: Automation enables Inbound marketers to disseminate their content on schedule, so that every sales lead that requests for a particular information will have the same lead nurturing experience no matter which day or date they opt in. Leveraging on automation can free up the marketers' time so they can spend it on other matters.
These 7 steps are by no means simple. They just provide a broad overview on what it takes to direct more efforts into Inbound marketing. Certainly the devil is in the details, but it is not expensive nor risky to start small. Start by publishing and sharing content online, and take note where your new audience is coming from and how it grows. Talk to them, address their problems and soon you will be nurturing a critical mass of fans and followers. In effect, you are establishing your online business presence and authority the Inbound way.
* Inbound marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, social media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.