See the recipe for building a customer acquisition machine in your company
A good job in marketing has always been one of the keys to making your service reach the customer, right? Now imagine that the arrow’s direction can be reversed. That’s right. Imagine that communication makes the customer reach you. In practice, this can be achieved with Inbound Marketing, a Digital Marketing methodology that progressively considers the relationship with the potential customer.
In contrast to Outbound Marketing, which “pushes” a product or service to the consumer, Inbound Marketing aims to create value and make the customer come after the service.
We can say that with the growth of internet search tools, blogs and social media, there is a lot of information and exchange of experiences about any product or company on the network. This makes people tend to do a lot of research before buying something and decide the best time for them to make their decision.
Therefore, one of the great secrets of this way of doing Marketing is generating interest through quality content, with connected actions and focus on results.
Based on the experience of Resulted Digitalis with more than 1,700 partner agencies, we see that this is a natural path after starting with the first client: creating your own client acquisition machine. Here are some advantages of doing this:
- Position yourself as a reference in your area of expertise
- Attract potential customers and increase the chances of closing
- Decrease costs and gain customers who understand the proposal of your services and see value in it ( more chances of retention )
Let’s see in practice how to put Inbound Marketing actions into practice within your agency?
1. Definition of the audience
We already know that Inbound Marketing techniques are used to capture the public’s attention and educate them so that they find the solution for their needs in your agency. But who is your audience? It is important that you analyze who your potential customers are and seek to answer that question.
Know that the possibility of working with a specific niche – segments such as education, technology, health – can bring a great competitive advantage to the agency. With experience, you can become an expert in the challenges of the segment, speak the “customer’s language”, gain credibility in the sector and receive referrals.
If you choose to serve companies from different niches, it is important that you map sectors that may be interesting for your business. Defining whether you will serve small, medium or large companies will also help you to plan the next steps more confidently.
2. Creation of personas
After analyzing the audience that the agency serves, it is important to know who the contents will talk to, the type of audience you want to attract for a successful Digital Marketing strategy. Do you want to reach marketing directors and coordinators? Professionals from large companies? Self-employed or niche professionals?
The persona, as its name suggests, is a character or representation of your ideal client that will guide all content production and the customization of your strategies.
In order to create your ideal persona, it is important that an analysis is done so that you can identify common characteristics among potential buyers. If your agency already has a client base, you can begin interviews by selecting a few people from that group to interview.
The questions should seek inputs for you to be able to identify the profile, pains and possible solutions to the problems raised. Once the interviews are done, it is time for you to map the answers and look for common characteristics so that you can identify and build the persona(s) of your business.
To help you document this information, Digital Results and Rock Content have built a tool called the Personas Generator. With it, you will be able to create a document (PDF) with the persona(s) of the agency in a practical and free way to share with your team.
3. Shopping journey
The contracting process for services provided by your agency can take a long time. This is because, most of the time, the person does not arrive knowing the full potential of the offer for the reality of his company, nor is he sure that he really needs to hire the service. That’s why Inbound Marketing supports all your actions in the purchase journey of the potential customer.
To summarize how the shopping journey works, let’s think of a board game with a few participants. Each one must follow a “path” until reaching the treasure, but for him to be prepared to advance in the game, it must be nourished with educational content: posts, eBooks, webinars, info graphics, and videos.
The challenge is to make the player receive the content with the relevant depth for each stage in which he is in the game. This way the game (conversation) is much better, since it has the tips to find the treasure at the right time.
Step 1 – Learning and Discovery
Here, the persona still doesn’t quite know if they have a problem or a business opportunity. The goal is to attract more visitors, arouse interest in your agency’s core and make them learn more.
Content: broader materials to draw attention
Examples of guidelines: “Why your company should have a website”, “3 reasons for your company to position itself well on social networks”, “Step by step to have a successful blog”
Step 2 – Problem Recognition
Here the persona identifies that they have a problem or business opportunity, starts to research more about that problem and for possible solutions.
Content: eBooks, infographics and webinars with a more problem-focused approach
Examples of guidelines: “5 excuses for your company not having a good communication plan”, “10 common mistakes in posts on social networks”.
Step 3 – Solution Consideration
Here the persona has already identified some possible solutions to solve that problem and starts to evaluate alternatives to solve it. At this stage it is important to be able to create a great sense of urgency. Otherwise, the buyer will identify that they have a solution to their problem, but will not go to great lengths to solve the problem.
Contents: specific materials on existing solutions, eBooks of successful cases, suggestions for tools, software, methodology.
Examples of guidelines: “eBook of cases: 5 success stories in Digital Marketing actions”, “7 tools for your website to take off”.
Step 4 – Purchase Decision
Here, persona is already comparing agencies in the market and evaluating which one offers the best service for your context. It is important to highlight the competitive differentials of each of the solutions.
Contents: rich materials that help decision making, space for clearing up doubts.
Examples of agenda: “Digital Marketing Assessment: opportunity to position your brand”.
4. Sales Funnel
Defined target audience? Drawn personas and shopping journey? Your agency already has a good base to start building your Inbound Marketing on top of the Sales Funnel (or Marketing Funnel), i
As shown in the figure, we hope that by doing Inbound Marketing for you, your agency can attract visitors to your communication channels like capital smart city lahore
To access some special content (eBooks, videos), the visitor must fill out a conversion form, leaving some data (such as email, company name, segment) and becoming a Lead.
Then your agency should maintain a relationship and nurture the Lead with other content suitable for your stage in the buying journey.
As this Lead becomes more mature, content begins to appear that will help you find solutions to the identified problems and help you in decision making. This is the moment when the sales opportunity can appear.
When this process is completed, it is very important to carry out an analysis with the objective of seeking constant improvement in practices, followed by a good strategic retention plan so that customers become loyal to your service.
Let’s break this process down so you can see the step-by-step way to apply Inbound Marketing to your agency.
Actions and attraction channels
We know that the beginning of many research and purchase processes starts with a simple internet search. People enter some keywords and hope the results can answer their questions. Therefore, the first step that a company needs to start working with Digital Marketing is to create a digital presence.
The website, for example, can act as a first contact channel between your business and your audience, and can be responsible for the first impression. Thus, when someone searches for “Inbound Marketing services in Curitiba”, or “digital agency in BH”, a website of its own becomes more authoritative for search robots, as well as transmitting a much more professional image to the user.
While there are a number of free address (URL) options that are easy to set up and get started with, these options damage your site’s credibility.
Platforms such as UOL, WordPress.com and Blogger do not allow you to have your own domain and, therefore, make future integrations that you may need to create personalized emails, for example, difficult. Therefore, it is important that you pay to have your own domain and choose a reliable hosting system, even to get greater advantages in SEO.
Having a blog on your website is essential for your actions in Digital Marketing. That’s because you can focus relevant content on your domain, building the digital authority needed to attract visitors and grow the agency. The blog works much more than a static site, as regular and well-crafted content contributes to SEO ranking and helps to make the target audience more loyal.
Finally, we bring social networks as potential attraction channels. It is important that your team assess the potential of social networks not only to be found on search engines and share relevant content, but also to become a reference in the use of these channels. After all, it doesn’t make any sense to have a digital agency that doesn’t even have a Facebook page or doesn’t manage its publications well, right?
Conversion actions and channels
When we think about the concept of Inbound Marketing, we have to evaluate when in the process we will get some visitor data (name, email, company they work for) so that we can maintain a relationship with them, until they can become an opportunity of business.
Filling in this data is done on conversion pages, also known as Landing Pages.
There are two types of possible conversions:
- Direct: when the visitor responds to a product offer and takes concrete action in relation to the purchase. Examples: request for a commercial contact for the agency or a free consultancy.
- Indirect: when the visitor provides some personal information in exchange for an offer of rich content – such as eBook, webinar, info graphic – that is not directly related to the sale, but which fulfills its role of advancing the Lead in the Shopping Journey.
Several factors can interfere for you to create a successful Landing Page* such as the text, the design, the format in which the content is presented and the way in which the material was disseminated. Furthermore, we can say that the theme and the quality of the content interfere enough for the “bait” to be bitten. It is necessary to make relevant offers.
Actions and relationship channels
From the moment your visitor becomes a Lead, it is important that your agency maintains a relationship with him so that he is not forgotten. Not every Lead is currently advanced on the Buy Journey, so the relationship helps the person advance on the board.
In the relationship stage, the form fields filled in on Landing Pages will be very important, as they help you understand your audience profile and guide content and actions.
Assess: Is this content suitable for a marketing director or analyst? Remember that the way to treat each one is different and the contents that interest them are also different. In addition, it is important to assess the fit (profile) of the potential customer to hire your service, prioritizing the person who makes the purchase decision.
There are some options for working the relationship with your base:
The Email Marketing is a great canal, as it enables a direct interaction with the person you want to talk. It is necessary to take care and ensure some good practices, as these emails should not be seen as “junk” in people’s inboxes, nor marked as spam.
To ensure that your campaigns are satisfactory, it’s important to try to establish a conversation with the person on the other side, bring interesting content, use buttons that highlight the offer, show that you care and ask for feedback. By observing the feedback from people and analyzing the Marketing Emails that have already been sent, you will be able to assess which models are working best for your agency’s reality.
See more in the eBook The Email Marketing Guide – Everything you need to know to strengthen customer relationships and drive business results.
One of the most interesting characteristics of media like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is the fact that they are two- way streets, in which the visitor not only consumes the content, but can also interact, share experiences, make comments. It is important that you understand that each social network has its peculiarities, so your actions tend to have better results.
Social networks end up having a very relevant contribution as channels for the dissemination of blog posts from your agency, or even the most developed content (such as eBooks, webinars, infographics…).
In addition, through paid media such as Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads, with good targeting, it is possible to generate large traffic. For agencies that are starting their Inbound Marketing actions, making some investments in Ads can be motivating, as we know that sustainable and scalable results via organic media take time.
A great opportunity to engage with Leads in an intelligent and scalable way is through marketing automation. The proposal is that, when defining criteria (Lead contains a certain tag or converted to a certain Landing Page, for example), the next actions directed to this group of people can be defined: send a specific email flow, forward it to the sales team, and add to Twitter, among other actions.
It is noteworthy that different personas must be taken by different paths, therefore, before preparing your actions, you should assess which stage of the purchase funnel the Leads are at and prepare your actions accordingly.
The RD Station is an example of integration and tool of marketing automation that enables, for example, you create emails flows and program content which your Lead should receive in a given period of time. With this, you and your team will certainly become more productive, as you will be able to automate actions in an intelligent and scalable way that, until then, were done manually.
Actions and sales channels
It’s no use for the agency to generate Leads for you and not be prepared to approach them and close the deal. That’s why we bring a special topic about Inbound Sales, the sales process that happens to Leads generated, qualified and prepared to buy by Inbound Marketing.
By being well nourished with appropriate content, the Lead will come to the conclusion that the service provided by your agency will be very important to them. One of the ways to realize this is with the “raises of the hand” that can be observed when he answers an email asking to know the agency / clearing any doubts or converts it into a Landing Page geared to your service.
In other cases, it’s up to you to assess which are the right people who are prepared to receive your commercial approach. If in other sales models you throw the net into the sea and catch small fish, big fish or even garbage, in Inbound Sales you will be able to catch the right fish.
From a Leads qualification process, you will be able to prioritize Leads and identify those that are more ready to purchase. Two factors are decisive for this:
- Profile: Lead characteristics are evaluated, such as position, age and sector in which he works (this information will vary from agency to agency, according to the desired audience). It is understood that the CEO of a company has more potential to hire their service than an intern, for example.
- Interest: contemplates the sum of interactions that the Lead has with you. It is worth evaluating which emails the Lead opened and clicked, which automation flows it participated in, what content it downloaded,
- We draw a diagonal line in our Cartesian plan where, the higher the lead’s profile, the less interest we require to consider it a business opportunity. From the moment the Lead has been identified as an opportunity, it must go through a sales process.
- One possibility to make the qualification of Leads easier, smarter and more automated is through Lead Scoring, a technique that can be deepened in this post.
- After defining the Leads passed on to the agency’s commercial team (or the person responsible for this role), it is necessary to structure the process to approach and close deals with prospects. Although your service team may be key at this point, we advise you to structure a team dedicated to the sales process. This way it is possible to achieve more results and the rest of the employees will not be overloaded with extra tasks.
- At Digital Results, for example, we work the sales process in 6 steps:
- Research – we investigate the profile and analyze the latest content accessed by the Lead, so that we are better prepared in the first contact with the potential client.
- Prospecting – when we try to make the first contact, either by email or phone.
- Connection – when we can actually talk to the person. The purpose of this interaction is to establish contact and offer some valuable information, but without going into detail or extending the conversation too much.
- Evaluation – Here we establish a longer conversation and seek information such as: business objectives, target audience, attraction and sales process. Thus, we can do a briefing to identify opportunities for the potential client.
- Solution – After collecting the necessary information to understand the context of the potential client, it is time to present a personalized proposal that suits your needs.
- Closing – At the end, the negotiation is expected to close and the contract to be signed.
- For the machine to continue running well, it is necessary to invest in what works and adjust as necessary. The monitoring reports help us to identify problems and opportunities
- The analysis of the funnel metrics is the most important, as it quickly shows how much the investment in Digital Marketing is providing in return for the business. It is therefore worth analyzing the number of visitors, leads and customers, as well as evaluating the traffic sources they are coming from (such as organic traffic or paid media).
- You can analyze this data in a more visual way through the Marketing Funnel tool, which will allow you to create a projection of results for your agency or make a diagnosis of the current situation.
- As we said at the beginning of this eBook, one of your agency’s challenges today is to “conquer your clients every day as if you were the first”. That’s why retention actions are so important and can be decisive for long-term contracts.
- One of the main strategies to retain customers is through content production, educating and always being close to them to solve their doubts. A good retention process can bring good upgrades (increase the service package with the agency) or even promote new sales, coming from referrals from satisfied customers.
- In short:
- ATTRACT: seek qualified visitors (possible customers).
- CONVERTER: turning a visitor into a Lead (by filling out a form that offers an eBook or other material of interest in exchange).
- RELATE: dialogue and expose opportunities.
- SELLING: closing new deals.
- ANALYZE: seek optimization and improvement of actions in the process.
- RETAIN: hold the customer and encourage new purchases.
- So, let’s put all this into practice and build a client acquisition machine for your agency?