5 inbound marketing steps that create a serious relationship—as told in a GIFfy

When Harry Met Sally

I saw a great quote by David Beebe recently. He said, “Content marketing is like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” It got me to thinking how true that is with both content marketing and inbound marketing [there is a difference], especially when it comes to companies in the printing technology space. That’s because we’re so excited to tell everyone about our new products and their awesome speeds and feeds, that we forget customers don’t always want to be sold. It gets exhausting. What they really want is useful information, and most all, an honest marriage with a company they trust.

Let’s break it down in a GIFfy— by taking a look at the 5 inbound marketing steps your printing, imaging, product identification, converting, or substrate technology company can take to guarantee a serious relationship.

David Beebe Quote
Source: Slideshare

SOME IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP ETIQUETTE.

I’m sure you know a colleague, family member, or friend who does nothing but talk about themselves. You sit there with your eyes glazed over while they blah, blah, blah. All the while, you’re thinking, “You haven’t asked a thing about me,” as you wonder how to quietly disappear.

Chandler Bing
Source: Laughing GIF

Don’t be that person! Don’t be that company! We all know that marketing your organization can be difficult and that the competition is fierce. So, when you get a chance to talk about your illustrious new product, make sure you’re offering incredibly useful information, too [more about that later], and talking to your prospect, not at them!

STEP 1. THE FIRST DATE.

It's lonely out there
Source: Giphy

So, you’ve got this dynamite product or service that people will love if they only know about it. You sit there lonely, wishing someone would find you. So, you’re tasked with trying to figure out how to find a date. Do you wait for someone to come along? Or do you search endlessly through dating websites and take your chances? [You know we’re talking about prospects and different lead generation tools, right?] Truth is, you’re probably not going to have much luck.

How much better would it be if your soul mate found you? It would sure make love a lot easier, huh?

When it comes to inbound marketing, the best way for your leads to find you is to provide them with the incredibly useful content they’re searching for. Think about the 10 questions you know you’ll get asked about the new product. That would make a great blog or ebook. Consider creating an infographic that shows why your technology is superior. Or put together eguides that explain how to increase capabilities and profitability with the new technology. Shoot a how-to video that reveals cool tips and techniques. Now you’re actually becoming date bait!

STEP 2. THE SECOND DATE.

Smug Shack
Source: Giphy

Whoa, look at you! You breezed through the first date and got a peck on the cheek. Now it’s time to see if this love’s for real! In the digital marketing world, that means your prospect likes your content and is coming back for more. This usually occurs when the prospect is in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, meaning they realize they have a Shaq-sized need and think dating you a second time may get their heart all a-flutter. Now your content becomes more important than ever because you need to make sure you’re saying all the right things.

STEP 3. MEETING THE PARENTS.

Meet the Parents
Source: MakeAGif.com

Okay, things are getting serious, so it’s critical to make a good impression on everyone who counts. Here’s where it becomes very important to NOT go on and on about yourself. Think about where your date is on their buyer’s journey. They’re still playing the field, gathering information, seeing what you’re really like, and looking for approval from others that count. Now’s the time to shine—with the right content that takes you from going steady to getting engaged.

4. MAKING A COMMITMENT.

Seinfeld Schmoopie
Source: Tenor

Woot! Love is in the air! Because your strong content led to a firm commitment. Think about it, if at any point up till now, your prospect felt you were insincere and only wanted to make a sale, you would have been a schmuck. But because you were really trying to learn about them and help identify their problems, you’ve become a schmoopie. They just went way down the buyer’s journey road with you.

STEP 5. GETTING MARRIED. AND LIVING HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Jim and Pam get married
Source: Fandom

Congrats! You did it. You hooked up. You tied the knot. You turned a prospect into a customer! But just because the chase is over doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Like in a real marriage, you have to be ever vigilant and attentive. Working on the marriage every day means constantly bringing great ideas to the relationship—in the form of touch-base emails, e-newsletters, blogs, industry updates, how-to guides and thought leadership pieces. After all, you want to make sure your love is always happy and singing your praises.

If you’re looking for a serious relationship, you need the inbound marketing tools and techniques that attract the right prospects. That includes an inbound friendly website, a great CRM [we love HubSpot and SharpSpring] and tons of relevant content that match every phase of the buyer’s journey.

Want more information? Download our free Inbound Marketing Primer ebook and find your true love in a GIFfy.

Inbound Marketing Primer

Inbound Marketing Primer

Want to get a clear understanding of inbound marketing principles, how they work, and why they get measurable results for the printing industry? Then you’ll love our 75-page ebook.

Michael Friend

Author Michael Friend

Michael is the founder and Chief Branding Officer of Experra Branding Group, LLC, a brand consultancy that works exclusively with printing, imaging, product identification, converting and substrate technology companies to deliver short-term results and long-term value. He’s a brand strategist, business consultant and creative director with a passion for helping his global enterprise clients leverage the power of branding to crystallize corporate positioning, launch differentiated products, improve business processes and increase sales.

More posts by Michael Friend