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How to Explain Inbound Marketing to a 5 Year Old

January 23, 2014

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How to Explain Inbound Marketing to a 5 Year Old

If you are an up-coming marketer, the endless choices of marketing avenues paired with the colorful array of marketing jargon might just make you feel like a five-year-old trying to make a decision at the ice cream truck. We all remember those days: you get hooked by the beautiful melody of the truck's sirens and, in seconds, you’re booking it down the sidewalk in your bare feet to grab a snow cone… or maybe a rainbow pop… or possibly those ugly ice cream bars shaped like Mickey Mouse, with rock hard gum balls for eyes. Hubspot has a sick article, complete with infographics, for those of us who prefer illustrations to chapter books; we, however, are going to water it down even further. Grab your Legos, Crayons and Hot Wheels and find a friendly crawl space to play in, because here’s How to Explain Inbound Marketing to a 5 Year Old.

Color + Sugar = Awesome.

Inbound marketing is all about attracting customers to YOU. Children love sugar, and they love color -- and so do potential customers, metaphorically. Present your customers with an array of colorful, sweet options, and you’ve got a lucrative business, reaching your specific buyer persona. Know your audience, and structure your digital content accordingly. If you want to sell ice cream, you need a truck. With wheels. And pictures. And music. In the same way, if you want to utilize inbound marketing effectively, you need to share valuable, pertinent information across multiple marketing platforms:

  • Write: If you don’t have a blog, get to it. Whether you are an individual or a corporation, it is crucial to your inbound marketing efforts. There are plenty of useful, free, easy-to-follow hosts with templates available -- like Wordpress! If you want to drive inbound marketing, you start with creative, relevant, unique, educational content. Get it out there.
  • Target: Since content marketing plays a huge role with inbound marketing, you need to make sure your content targets the right primary audience. Use keywords and optimization to target your specific buyer personas. Make sure you know what they like, what they don’t like (you ain’t sellin’ tofu rice dream to a 5 year old), their hobbies, their passions, their quirks, their daily routines, etc. You need to know your target customer, and create your marketing content around their needs and desires. Think about it; how pissed were you when the ice cream truck didn't have the Sponge Bob popsicle?! Give your PTA what they want!
  • Relate: Social Marketing is another essential tool for reaching and connecting with your customer. No matter your specific buyer persona, they’re somewhere on social media platforms, and they’re waiting for you to relate with them. Interact and provide equally relevant information via social networks to further boost your inbound marketing.

Sticky is Good

Ice cream is good, but so much better if it is all over your face and hands. So, now you have created content and driven massive traffic to your site; what do you do with it? All of that lovely traffic means jack sh*t (ear muffs, we are speaking to a 5 year old here,) on a conversion scale if you can’t hook them. They need to pick their flavor and 'get all up in it.' You have their attention, now get their information if you want to turn traffic into MQLs and SQLs, to get any sort of ROI on your inbound marketing. Here’s how to make sure your visitors have every opportunity to get sticky with it (a.k.a convert into leads):

  • CTA's: Call to action buttons, links, and infographics (within your content marketing efforts,) among other rich media, essentially get your visitors off of their butts and have them reaching for an ice cream sandwich. Provide every opportunity for them to do so with bold, clear, visual calls to action.
  • Website: Once your visitors click a CTA, they need somewhere to go, beautiful. Make sure you hand them what they are reaching for by directing them to a specific landing page that provides them with simply and relevant information. (Quick tip: add more fields in your forms. Yes, having your traffic simply put an email gets them on a list quick, but how qualified is that lead? If you want to improve quality conversions and sales, add a few more fields to the form; ask them about their company, years of experience, number of employees, what they struggle with in marketing, etc. You are then positioning them to take time and effort to thing about what they are filling out; unqualified leads will tend to fall off because of this and the great ones will come straight to you! Win, win, win!)
  • Sales Funnel: Now that you have them, find a way to keep all of their information central and organized, and use that information to your advantage via segmentation. If all of your leads are going to the same list, then you are wasting a lot of time and effort. Rather, segment them by the information they filled out, marketing content they have downloaded, or sources where they have derived from. This allows your email marketing to pull a lot of weight in following through with your inbound marketing leads.

Quick Case Study: One very relevant example comes from an entrepreneurial client we picked up from NY. We evaluated his inbound marketing strategies in addition to his email marketing sales funnel. We then proceeded to optimize these efforts to increase conversions. We have been with this client for 3.5 months now, and in the last 6-8 weeks alone, we've generated more than $15k in sales for him. Furthermore, we also setup and split-tested more than 30 auto-responder followups for his email marketing sales funnel in correlation with designing landing pages and many sales pages with a lead generating funnel in place. C'mon people, inbound marketing works!!!

Lick Your Fingers

They’re all sticky, and it’s time close in. Want them coming back for more? Make sure they get every last bit. Accomplish this by strategically closing in a timely manner. We just talked a little bit about email marketing, which is one of the most effective ways to get them past the taste test stage and really immerse them in the buyer process. Essentially, inbound marketing provides your ideal customer with relevant information and quality content, which in turn generates traffic, converts leads, etc. But then what!? Do you just let the leads go cold? In a recent article on sales, Derek Palizay talks about the need for the sales and marketing departments teaming up at this stage in the process (and preferably earlier in the process.)

Be There Tomorrow

Now you know what they like and where they’re going to be. So be there tomorrow. Can you imagine if the ice cream truck only came through your neighborhood once a summer? What if you missed it the first time? What if mommy couldn't get her change purse fast enough? What if you did buy the first time but wanted more? There are two ways you can look at this concept:

  1. Be there for them by consistency in content - Not all of your leads are going to convert on the first round. It isn't that they aren't interested, but maybe the timing just was not right. Consistently publish content, landing pages, new CTA's etc., and eventually you will convert a higher and higher percentage of your generated traffic.
  2. Be there for them by nurturing after they are customers - For the leads that do convert, nuture them. The client nuturing process is one of the most lucrative aspects of every business model. Current clients are worth 9x more than new ones.

Build a relationship if you want customer tenure. Inbound marketing requires an eye for providing relevant, pertinent information to a specific, targeted audience. But let’s face it, a five year old wouldn’t last longer than 20 seconds through this talk. So if you got nothing else from this, learn this:

  1. Generate Leads
  2. Convert Customers
  3. Nurture Relationships

  25 Traffic Methods

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Josh Coffy

Josh is an entrepreneur at heart, dropping out of college to pursue his dream of owning his own business. Fast-forward five years later, and Josh’s unique ability to marry technology with creative marketing strategies has led to Flight Media’s steady and swift growth. Now one of the leading Inbound Marketing companies in Ohio, the U.S. and abroad, clients trust Flight Media’s expertise, agile approach, and transparency. You can find Josh at CrossFit, backpacking the West coast with his wife, Kelsey, or reading a personal development book from his ever-growing library.