We’re starting the next installment in our series on the different stages of inbound marketing. Sometimes we all need a return to the basics, and this is especially true for marketers. Between all the different technologies and advancements available today and the busyness of the holiday season, it can be easy to lose sight of the things that are most important at each stage of digital marketing.
If you haven’t read our first post in this series where we cover the attract stage, make sure you check out this blog post. Up next, we have the engage stage of inbound marketing. At this stage, you want to focus on making it easy to build a relationship with your customers, and you want to focus on solutions, not sales.
What is the Engage Stage?
The nice thing about these stages of marketing is that they can be pretty self-explanatory. The attract stage is where you attract visitors to your website and earn their interest in your business. The engage stage is also very easy to understand: it’s the stage where you begin to engage your visitors in a deeper relationship.
The majority of visitors who come to your website are not quite ready to make a decision about your business yet. Instead, they need to engage with your brand and learn a little about who you are and what you do before they decide whether or not you deserve their trust (and their money). Think about the first good friend you made in college: after your initial meeting, it took a little bit of time before you were willing to trust that person and open up with him or her. The same is true for visitors to your website. It takes a little bit of time for your business to earn their trust.
What Should You Focus on During the Engage Stage?
Now that we know what the engage stage is, we need to determine what we should focus on to be effective in that stage of inbound marketing.
Focus on Building Relationships
The key to any strong relationship is communication. It’s essential that you know exactly how your ideal customer would prefer to communicate with your business. Maybe this person would do best with a live chatbot on your site, or maybe they prefer live videos or communication on social media. Your prospect might operate best with communication through email, or maybe they go “old school” and prefer a phone call. Regardless of their preference, make it incredibly easy for prospects to reach out to and hear back from your company.
It’s important to remember that communication is a back and forth process. Your prospects ask you a question and expect a timely response. And potential customers shouldn’t be the only ones asking questions: are you asking your prospects the right questions to make sure this partnership is good for both of you?
Focus on Creating Solutions
When engaging with your prospects, it’s necessary to keep in mind why they are coming to your business in the first place, and that’s because they have a problem. So many businesses try to immediately enter into a sales mentality with their prospects. But if you focus more on your product or service than you do on the solution you can offer, you’ll lose your prospects more quickly than you can say “flywheel.”
Being solution-driven (versus sales-driven) means you have to intimately know your prospects and understand their needs and problems. Are you creating content that addresses the most common questions and problems your prospects have? Does this content help them make a decision about your business? To see more of what we’re talking about, check out this blog post.
If you focus on the solution you offer rather than on selling your product or service, you might just find that prospects are more likely to give you their business.
Focus on Earning Your Prospects’ Trust
In many ways, you can sum up the entire focus of the engage stage by stressing the importance of earning the trust of your prospects. Without this trust, you will never have a chance to build a partnership that helps achieve your customers’ success and grow your business.
Want to learn more about the attract and engage stages, as well as inbound marketing in general? Check out our completely free resource all about this methodology.