1. INTRODUCING INBOUND
About a month ago, the Strands Marketing Dreamteam took a field trip to Madrid to attend the 4th edition of Inbound Marketing Made In (#IMMI16), jointly organized by ICEMD, SeedRocket and InboundCycle.
A lot of our learnings are readily applicable to the Strands world of financial services and e-commerce, so we thought we'd share the best knowledge nuggets with you, dear readers!
INBOUND FOR E-TAILERS
Let's start with the question our e-commerce expert was asking: How can retailers leverage inbound marketing to engage with customers?
Inbound marketing is an effective way to attract potential shoppers to your online store and engage with them while browsing. In fact, 60% of digital buyers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. There are few different pathways to e-commerce inbound marketing success:
Create a shopping experience online: Retail content should serve not only to educate and focus on the buyer´s pain points or funnel stage, but also feed their emotional need to shop (ever heard of retail therapy?).
When creating content, don't just focus on the conversation and purchase, but have an ideal buyer in mind: for example, women like to browse, search and compare more than men. Provide your target persona with an experience and content that resonates with them. More than ever, consumer-generated content is becoming a powerful tool for brands looking to engage and convert their top customer segments.
Use data to create your content strategy: You can get to know you shoppers through data, social listening and analysis of real conversations online. Smart data collection is key. Use personalization and segmentation to serve people content based on their behaviour online. This is how you win them back.
As Pau Valdes, the CEO of InboundCycle said during #IMMI16: "The e-commerce sales process is drastically changing and the main focus for retailers now is attracting users online, capturing their data and then finding multiple ways to lead them to conversion."
Use video as a go-to content asset: Almost 69% of online content will be video by 2017. E-commerce is uniquely positioned to leverage video content. By showing what people are buying, adding a how-to video or tutorial you can engage with your digital buyers online.
INBOUND FOR BANKS
Think inbound is only for e-commerce? Think again! Banks can definitely benefit from inbound marketing magic too.
A winning case study comes from one of our first clients and one of the most innovative banks in the world, BBVA. We came away from the talk by Head of Communications Marcos Marrodan thinking, "Wow, BBVA really gets it!"
BBVA's inbound marketing message is simple enough to break down into 3 steps:
- Understand what your audience is interested in
- Generate content that responds to those interests
- Position that content where your users live online
Let's take an example. If you are a bank, here is what your press releases probably look like:
Pretty boring, right? Not something particularly engaging or interesting for your audience, and it probably lives in a single, lonely page buried somewhere in your website...
Now, have a look at the same press release, following the 1-2-3 inbound formula:
The above example shows BBVA responding to a segmented audience with content that not only resonates with their interests, but comes in 3 more user-friendly, shareable formats:
- an infographic that is super easy to tweet or share as an image
- a journalistic style long-form that reads more like a magazine article or think piece (perfect as a blog post) and
- a good old press release BUT with amped-up aesthetic appeal: visuals, icons and a quote to serve as a tweetable soundbite.
Try it with your next press release and watch your social proof grow! If you need more inspiration, check out BBVA's communications site - very cool.
2. CONTENT: HOW TO MAKE IT VIRAL?
- It’s a cause we believe in
- It’s thought-provoking
- It’s funny
This may sound obvious, but the reality is that we brands, whether in banking or e-commerce, tend to be pretty selfish when it comes to content creation. But if we can learn how to empower our customers and provide them with delightfully helpful content, word-of-mouth will do the rest.
3. WOO, LEAD CAPTURED! ...NOW WHAT?
3. Q. What is the most important aspect of lead nurturing?
A. The bottom line of lead nurturing: personalization. Automated workflows and e-mail campaigns can work to some extend but we, marketeers, have to be careful. Make sure your content doesn’t sound like its coming from a robot, don’t be annoying with the frequency of your e-mails, and when you follow up with leads make sure you can offer them some valuable content and have a clear call to action. Yes, it is hard to find that “golden middle”: so the only way to do it right is to try, iterate and continuously tweak.