Today's customers are different. In earlier eras, marketing was a one-way conversation. Businesses would advertise or reach out via methods like cold calling or direct mail. Customers would respond, gather information from the business and make a decision. But now, a customer can do nearly all of their purchasing research passively without making direct contact with a business. According to The Guardian, a customer will engage with an average of 18 pieces of content before finally reaching a purchasing decision. By the time you hear directly from a potential buyer, almost all of their buying decision has been made. To ensure that your company is the one that they buy from, attract them to your site so your content is with them throughout their buyer's journey.
Creating the Content That Prospects Want
Your site needs content. But, not just any content will do. The content on your site needs to be of use to people who may be interested in buying your product or service. To create something useful, put yourself in the position of the buyer. What would you want to read if you were just starting your research on construction products? Start by answering those basic questions.
Then, think about the information that would help you narrow down your decision. This can include product comparisons, checklists and other content. Content can even be linked together in a series to lead a surfer from one article to another once they have arrived at your site.
Getting Seen on Search Engines
Once your content exists, you need to create ways to bring surfers to it. Some basic search engine optimization can help ensure that your content shows up high on the search engine results page (SERP) and that it is enticing to potential customers.
Be sure to create blog and page titles that entice people to click. "Common construction issues" is pretty general and may or may not pique curiosity. "Avoiding common construction headaches," on the other hand, can attract the attention of a tentative consumer.
It's also important to create an enticing meta description. The contents of this meta tag are typically used by search engines for the short description of your page. Ideally, this tag should be 160 characters in length or less so that you can avoid having it truncated by the search engine. Use different description tags for every page on your site and every blog entry.
Attracting Through Social Channels
While search engines remain important, they are not the only way to attract surfers to your site. You should cultivate a vibrant social presence, as well. You don't need to be on every platform; just the ones that are most relevant to your audience. If you do a lot of residential construction and remodeling, for instance, you may find a presence on Pinterest valuable. YouTube may be a good pick for a construction supplier who works with a lot of DIYers.
Your social channels can be used to point to your content. Include a short teaser to attract people to read the entire piece. On a site like Facebook, this can include a short intro and perhaps a line or two of the actual piece. On YouTube, a short video can end with an invitation to see further content on your website.
And, don't forget to include social sharing buttons. These allow happy readers to share your stuff easily with their friends and colleagues. This provides you with access to a whole new audience to attract, with the bonus of social proof by being recommended by their friends.
Attracting customers through inbound is not an instant fix or a short game. It can take time to build trust and nurture a lead to a sale. But, the relationships that are formed through this sort of promotion involve strong customer loyalty. The customers you earn through inbound may take time, but the payoff throughout the life of the client makes this form of marketing worthwhile.