Think attraction versus bombardment. This is the essential difference between inbound marketing and traditional outbound marketing strategies. Previously, resellers spent resources advertising the benefits of their brands hoping they connected with potential customers.
Now, with inbound marketing, the dynamic has flipped. Instead of trying to grab a customer’s attention with interruption-based outbound marketing, the goal is attracting prospects actively searching for a solution with valuable and useful content on the internet, in emails or on social media. Let them come to you.
As a technology reseller, here are seven ways you can leverage inbound marketing to get what you ultimate need: quality leads.
There is a correlation between quality content and quality leads. Think of quality content as information that is relevant and useful to your audience. It answers questions and educates about industry trends, news in their specific vertical, and your product.
Pick your sales team’s brain for ideas. Likely, they can identify recurring customer pain points or frequently asked questions you can use as the basis of your quality content.
Yes, email marketing is still relevant – if you do it right. See strategy number one for what to put in your emails. As for social media, you may dismiss Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networks for younger audiences, but that would be a mistake. Your customers are on these platforms because their customers are there too.
Furthermore, organic search engine results are now tied to social media activity. Social media also has another big thing going for it: It’s free. Use a tool like Hootsuite to help you manage social marketing, schedule posts and monitor engagement.
Make sure your website has plenty of calls to action (CTAs) that will appeal to prospects at all levels of the sales funnel. Offer educational content such as e-books, case studies, product catalogs, videos, and infographics for website visitors in the information-gathering stage. Ask your website visitors to click on a link and fill out a form to download a marketing piece or get more information. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
It takes a little forethought in regard to the placement of your CTAs. You might even have to do some testing to find the best spot for them on your site, in your email template, or on a blog page. The most important thing is to always remember to include one. If you don’t give a potential lead a next step, you risk losing them.
Resellers often make the mistake of overlooking the design of forms on their website. The trick is to get all of the information you need, but not to ask for so much that prospects decide not to bother. Forms should include:
You can also add two or three qualifying questions for CTAs directed at prospects closer to the bottom of the sales funnel, such as “How many systems are you planning to purchase, “ or “What is your timeframe for this project?” On “request a quote” forms you can also add a freeform box that enables a prospect to tell you more about their project.
It’s vital to respond quickly, if not immediately, to web form submissions so have a strategy in place, whether an auto response or a procedure of notifying your sales team that a website visitor has made an inquiry.
Another way to attract leads with inbound marketing is to position yourself or your company as an industry thought leader. You are an expert in your industry and you’re an expert on your technology solution, so who better to school the masses on best practices or give away trade secrets?
Write guest columns or opinion pieces for third-party sites to gain additional exposure – and be sure to include backlinks to your site to direct web traffic there as well as for SEO value.
Good Inbound Marketing = Good Leads for Resellers
By implementing these strategies, a resellers’ business will benefit with a continuous flow of prospects into their sales funnel. Based on the inbound marketing model, they have essentially self-selected themselves as qualified by showing an interest in your solution by downloading a CTA or filling out a form. Strategic inbound marketing leveraging your website, third-party sites, social media and email marketing will provides your sales team with a quality pool of prospects and your business with the potential to grow.