Welcome to our ongoing series covering the different aspects of Inbound Marketing. This series will cover the four stages of the Inbound Marketing Methodology, which are:
Attract is the first stage of the Inbound Methodology and it’s important to get off on the right foot. The Inbound Methodology is all about providing the right content to the right person at the right time. In order to accomplish this, it is crucial that you understand each stage of the buyer's journey and what type of content would be relevant during each stage. Also keep in mind your buyer personas.
So, what is it?
During the attract stage, potential buyers may not even be aware that they even have a problem that you could solve. Your content should cover high level topics and be focused solely on education. When done right, your content will help potential buyers realize that your product or service may be a good fit to solve a problem or need that they have.
It is important to note, this is not the time to try to sell your product or service. Trying to do so this early in the buyer's journey is an ineffective strategy. We will discuss when the right time to sell is later in this series.
You will want to make sure that you focus your content around specific topics, so you have a better chance of ranking high in search engine results. We use the topic cluster model when creating content for our clients. Put simply, we research topics that receive search volume and are easy to rank for. We then create content related to these high-level topics, diving deeper into more niche topics.
Again. this initial stage in the Inbound Methodology should add value and start to “pull” them in. Now let’s discuss some of the tools and best practices you can use during the attract stage.
When forming your content strategy, it’s important to have some central goals. You want your content to be contextually relevant, helpful, and anticipatory. Think of potential questions a prospect will have and keep in mind what stage of the buyer journey they are in. Try to create content that will answer frequent questions and concerns.
Providing an opportunity to learn is also important. If your content is educational and helpful, prospective buyers will feel like they are gaining much needed insight. This is part of adding value. Your specific expertise and insight will help to establish your company as a thought leader and build trust. This trust will help you in the remaining steps of the Inbound Methodology.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- 89% of online consumers use search engines when making a purchase decision. If you are near the top of results, this makes you easier to find.
- Your blogs establish brand authority within a given industry. They should include keywords for SEO and work towards establishing your unique expertise.
- Eight in 10 Americans are now shopping online, according to a new study from Pew Research. That's 79 percent of U.S. consumers who shop on the web or their phones. Your website and online presence matter. Be sure to optimize your site for mobile users as well.
- Your social media presence helps with visibility of content. This is especially true if your target audience uses social media frequently.
- Smart placement helps to provide the right content to the right person at the right time. Use retargeting to re-engage your website visitors and provide more contextual content.
While it may seem like a marketing job, the attract stage applies to everyone in the company. When everyone at the company adopts the Inbound Methodology, team operations become more cohesive. Make sure that you include all departments in your strategy meetings. Sales for example may have insight into the type of content that is important during each stage to ensure leads are ready to buy when they speak with them.
At the end of the day, the attract stage of the Inbound Marketing Methodology is all about being found. Through blogging, social media, advertising and more, you can start to attract potential buyers and begin to educate them about your industry as a whole. As we continue to explore the remaining stages of the Inbound Methodology, it will become more apparent why crafting content for each stage is so important.
Keep an eye out for the remaining three parts of this ongoing series!