Welcome to Part 2 of our series: Inbound Marketing for Consumer Brands! Here's where you can get caught up on Part 1.
As consumer goods marketing continues to become more online focused, with even brick and mortar locations maintaining a strong online presence, retailers have to combat the following challenges:
- Losing market share to start-ups and direct-to-consumer brands
- Struggling to get their product in front of a new generation of consumers
- Changes in Google’s algorithm making it harder to rank
- Growth of word-of-mouth marketing
- Consumers becoming less brand loyal and shopping around
Inbound marketing can lower your cost per customer, and resolve many of these issues by changing your approach and providing consumers with reasons to seek you out, instead of expending time and budget on seeking for them.
Consumer Brands Successfully Doing Inbound Marketing
Artist and photographer Mandy Mohler concentrates on “adventure art”. She leveraged a variety of platforms to storify her experiences, gaining the attention of Sunset Magazine. The resulting feature article caught the eye of Potter Barn, which now sells her work. Today, Mandy’s blog, Facebook, and Instagram feeds continue to drive attention to her brand and her adventures.
This dog food brand developed a creative calculator to help individuals choose the dog breed that's best suited for them, while subtly hinting at the right type of food, too!
SCHEELS was a modest hardware store founded in Sabin, Minnesota in 1902. A century and change later, it is a thriving sporting goods chain headquartered in Fargo, ND, with 6,000 employees. SCHEELS subsequently launched their “experience” website with the goal of creating a high level blog experience for any type of outdoors enthusiast. The company posts regular content created by experts in defined verticals to inform and educate their consumer base. Their online efforts are integrated into localized community events for maximum impact.
Castworks is a manufacturer high-end designer freestanding wood fireplaces. They provide additional value to homeowners and architects by making their Fireplace Trends Lookbook available for download on their website for consumers who opt in to their email list, providing them with an easy in with consumers who may not be ready to buy now, but are solid leads for their product.
4 Inbound Strategies for Rapid Brand Growth
Your inbound marketing strategies should be geared towards information distribution and problem-solving, and powered by a clear picture of your ideal customer.
Develop Brand Personas
Create a profile of your ideal customer, and use that profile to create brand personas. This persona can be used to guide your inbound marketing efforts, from ad targeting to content creation to omni-channel outreach.
Provide Help, not Hype
Your content offers should always be helpful, not promotional. Each piece of content should focus on educating your target audience, providing information on the pain point they are experiencing, and guiding them gently towards potential avenues of resolution. Concentrate on building trust in the information you provide before plugging your products. Shifting to a hard sales pitch too early is the fastest way to destroy trust and lose the sales opportunity. Fostering customer trust that leads to long term relationships and a higher CLV.
Where are Your Customers Hanging Out Online?
Showing up where your target customers are already spending time is much easier than drawing them away to another destination. Remember that buyers overwhelmingly do their own research now, both via search engines and on social media, and leverage those tendencies by providing content that is easy to find and easy to consume. Video demonstrations and reviews can help you fully engage with both current and potential customers on social media, and blogging can drive in traffic from both social media and by ranking in search, increasing brand awareness and positioning your company as an authority in the consumer goods space.
When you provide incredible customer service online (both pre- and post-sale) you build your customers into evangelists for your brand. While micro-influencers can be partnered with to sponsor your products, a true evangelist is passionate about your brand because of the customer experience (CX) you provided by informing and educating them then providing them with answers and solutions.
Done correctly, inbound marketing can cut customer acquisition costs, increase customer retention, and lead to increased revenues via up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. To learn more about inbound marketing or to kick-start your inbound strategy, contact Horseshoe + Co today.