From the introduction to this month’s blog, you may recall that inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing in that you earn the following of your customer rather than purchasing it. Additionally, rather than simply implementing strategies, the marketer is implementing a change in approach. Inbound marketing is a way to draw customers to your products and services via content marketing, social media, videos, search engine optimization (SEO), and branding.
IMPLEMENTATION OF AN INBOUND MARKETING APPROACH
There is not one platform or vehicle used to achieve inbound marketing, rather it is an interplay between many vehicles, most of which are digital. Let’s take a look at the digital tips….
- Offer a free guide to people who are searching online.
- Find a topic that qualified consumers might research or find relevant to their lives. You might offer it free and capture their email addresses through one of the many email identification software programs. Or you can request their email so that the guide or ebook can be emailed to them. A pop-up, opt-in form may be effective. After securing their email, you have the option to conduct a drip campaign to this new prospect. Topics of interest for older adults include:a guideline for downsizing; a spreadsheet for comparing different senior living options with sections for not only costs but services, etc.; an explanation of types of agreements available among CCRC’s or Life Plan Communities; a cost comparison form to compare home cost versus community cost of $0 demonstrating what your community provides as part of their service package.
- Strengthen your SEO
- Identify keywords that you think consumers will use when searching for answers to their desires or concerns. Be sure these words and their variants are included within your content. Consider using long tails with less searched terminology that is still relative to your product.
- Build your personal brand
- Your brand should be everywhere and be consistent. A premier branding campaign should be easily recognizable and identified with your product. At its best, it will create a consistent “feel” from the consumer. Your brand should be repeated and reinforced in all your inbound marketing.
- Utilize marketing automation
- Once a consumer has become engaged, do not let them fade into oblivion. Continue the relationship, even if it is just a digital relationship. The use of metrics and automated CRM programs allow you to continue a relationship automatically without much personal time commitment. The continued contact will reap a generous reward.
COMPLEMENTARY DIGITAL PLATFORMS
A presence on social media can complement your inbound marketing. Even though few buying decisions are made through social media, it does create a presence and platform to solidify your brand and encourage customer recognition and loyalty. Be creative and BE SOCIAL. It is called social media for a reason so be sure to be interactive with your audience. When people post comments, be sure to respond. Engage them in questions and answers and surveys, then provide the results. With an interest-grabbing social media, customers may be attracted to your website and seek more information.
Next week we will explore why a marketer should and must utilize inbound marketing.
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About the Author
Patty Scotten is a consultant with Retirement DYNAMICS® and serves as their marketing manager. Patty has over twenty five years’ experience in the senior living industry and has led several communities in preselling expansions or increasing occupancy levels. She graduated from Elon University and holds a Masters Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Patty is licensed as both an assisted living and nursing home administrator.