This week we're continuing our inbound marketing discussions by talking about the Attract stage of the inbound methodology, and more specifically, the best types of content you can use at this stage. We'll talk about the inbound methodology and what its purpose is, the Attract stage and why it's important, the various types of content you can use during this stage and then we'll finish with a discussion on what you consider the optimum content format for attracting new inbound leads.
Let's begin with a basic refresher in the inbound methodology...
The Inbound Methodology
Inbound marketing is made up of four main stages:
Each of these stages is designed to move a lead along your sales funnel and turn a stranger into an eventual promoter. And the way it does this is by understanding your buyer personas and creating remarkable content that appeals to those buyer personas.
While traditional marketing tactics involve finding leads using interruptive methods, inbound marketing is about being found by your ideal customer's thanks to the useful and problem-solving content you produce. This 'problem-solving' content is especially useful in the Attract stage as this is how your best leads will find you, not from being called out of the blue but from Googling a problem and finding your content as an informative resolution to it.
Why The Attract Stage Is So Important
Producing useful content, that helps your potential leads solve their problems, is at the heart of the Attract stage. As the internet grew and peoples understanding of it expanded, the smartest marketing professionals noticed a shift in the way people resolve their issues.
While before people would search for a professional that could help them, now they research how the issue is resolved. For example, if someone was to spill a glass of red wine on their carpet they would have previously searched for a local carpet cleaner, however, now people search 'How do I get red wine out of my carpet?' and so the research culture has begun.
Basically, the attract stage is where people find you and how they go from being strangers to leads. They Google their issue, find your helpful content, acknowledge its usefulness and see you as an expert in the industry. Now they're a lead that you can move to the convert stage.
Let's take a look at some of the best content formats to use during the Attract stage.
The Different Types Of Attract Stage Content
Attract stage content is all about helping your potential leads solve their problems. You want to avoid mentioning your business at this point so stay away from emails, calls or anything else that interrupts their day. They're looking for an answer to their problem, give them that answer. Blog posts, videos, podcast, social posts and infographics are all great ways to provide useful, relevant information that will show that you are truly experts and someone that should be remembered.
A blog is a brilliant way of producing a database of reliable and relevant content that will not only answer the questions of your buyer personas but also increase the organic traffic to your website. By implementing effective SEO to your posts, your blog articles can appear as top results for long-tail keywords and search terms, meaning that when a stranger Googles their issue, your informative content is the result they want to click on.
Widely considered the content form with the highest engagement and ROI, videos are excellent ways to spread your expertise. They can be uploaded to practically every platform (Website, Social Media, Google Local result) and fit nicely into the growing trend of wanting quick answers. A topic that may take 10 minutes to read in article form could be portrayed in only 2 minutes in video format. Thanks to the addition of tagging you can still implement SEO on your video, though it may be less effective and won't appear on the Google first page unless the user is specifically looking for video results.
People are always busy and always trying to do as much as they can in as little time as possible. Many people don't have time to sit down to read an article or watch a video. That's where podcasts come in. They are a growing content form that allows people to work while they listen. The platforms that you can publish your podcasts on are still few compared to other content formats but you shouldn't dismiss their usefulness. You can listen to the JDR podcasts here - The ‘Digital Prosperity Podcast’.
There are over 2 billion social media users so when you're looking for where to find your buyer personas you can be sure to find them on at least one of these platforms. Social media allows you to share your content, give tips and tricks to your followers and have a real discussion with people.
Infographics are a fun and engaging way to provide useful, light information. Posting them on social media platforms will help you distribute the content and encourage new leads that might not be serious about finding a solution yet.
There are five great types of content you can consider using to find new leads in the Attract stage. All have their benefits and can help you portray an appearance of expertise but which is best?
Discussion – Which Is Best?
Now that we've looked into what the Attract stage of the inbound methodology is all about, and looked through some of the more popular options, let's discuss which is the most effective?
With the benefit of allowing for great SEO, blog articles are a strong competitor for the top spot. The titles make it clear what the topic is and they can rank highly on Google. Would you consider blog articles to be your number one Attract stage content?
What about video? They are more engaging and easy to consume but they take much longer and many more resources to produce. Do you think they're worth the extra effort for that extra engagement?
If neither of those content forms is your preferred content format then which is? Do you have a love for using social media to attract new leads or is there something else? Discuss in the comments below which you use and why. Let me know if you agree with the points I've made or if you feel there's a better way that inbound marketing can be used during the attract stage.
Here at JDR we see the benefits of all content formats and can guide you in producing the perfect content plan for your business. Not only for the Attract stage but every stage of your marketing and sales journeys. If you would like to look at the possibilities that can be found in inbound marketing, contact the JDR Group today.