The 5 Ps of Creating An Inbound Marketing Strategy: learn how to create content that positions your brand as an expert authority in your market.
One of the toughest things for businesses to do is to decide how and where to spend their marketing dollars because today there are more choices than ever. That causes brands to be fearful that if they make the wrong choice, they’ll be flushing money down the toilet.
In fact, finding the right advertising platform is a lot like going to the toilet paper aisle in a grocery store. With so many choices, and all claiming to be the best solution to get the job done, who can decide?
Yes, it’s a tough call you’ve got to make in the shopping aisle and an even tougher decision in the boardroom when it comes time to choose between TV ads, print, radio, the Internet, or ads via YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more.
But there’s an even more important marketing solution that starts within your business.
If you haven’t allocated marketing dollars to inbound marketing and brand journalism content creation then you’ve been making the wrong choice.
How can I say this without knowing your business and with certainty? Because the world has changed. The way you shop has changed and the way your consumers shop has changed.
A few decades ago, most large companies would buy media flights on TV. A thirty-second spot would air over a period of weeks or months and the quick ad coupled with repetitiveness would hopefully not only build brand awareness but also make sales.
Guess what? TV audiences are shrinking. On-demand programming is increasing and TV ads are not the giant they once were.
What’s growing is the need for education-based marketing. Not short touting-type ads that really have little to offer the consumer.
Consumers want to learn about products and services and let their fingers do the research.
They go to Google and type in a question…if it’s in your industry, you likely know the answer to it.
But where brands fail is they’re not answering those questions that consumers want online.
Instead, they’re waiting to talk to those consumers who actually pick up the phone and ask. That used to be the preferred method.
But it isn’t any longer.
Today, consumers click, Tweet, and visit brand Websites for answers to their problems.
If you have the solution, you owe it to consumers to give them the answer and make it accessible online because chances are they’re searching long after business hours.
The businesses that address consumer concerns with inbound marketing find their connections to consumers grow… and it can happen quickly.
That is if you employ a journalistic method of inbound marketing. Using this strategy, content is created in a brand journalism style which simply means it’s good, solid storytelling aimed at helping and keeping the attention of the end-user. It’s not marketing alone. And it’s not content that’s simply aimed at telling the reader or viewer about the product or service.
Instead, It’s like reading a newspaper or magazine or watching a news program with interesting, informative, and entertaining content told from a journalistic perspective.
Here are a few examples
Blue Matter: Coldwell Banker
Coldwell Banker gets it right on several levels. They’re turning out interesting content that isn’t trying to sell in every post. Instead, they’re talking about things related to the home and, of course, they’re a large real estate company that has keeping people interested in the housing industry at the forefront of their goals.
They’re also employing several members of their team to assist with their inbound marketing strategy. Each team member has a page with their personal blog posts listed and they contribute new content to the overall blog publication regularly.
The company also does a great job of tying its product (homes) into videos without making viewers feel like they’re being sold to during the video. The videos tug on heartstrings by using ideas and concepts that go perfectly with their product such as dogs waiting for their owners to come home.
WineCooler Direct is doing inbound marketing right by using videos to attract clients. They’ve created numerous professional videos to help viewers choose the right wine cooler. You might not even know that buying a wine cooler could raise so many questions. But by the time you’ve watched the company’s short videos and tutorials, you’ll definitely be more prepared to make an educated choice and one that may even spare your home from damage. For instance, by learning how much space you need surrounding an under-counter wine cooler, you can be sure to buy the right size so that your kitchen cabinets don’t deteriorate from the heat of the wine cooler.
They’ve also set up an educational video library which I think is a fantastic way to keep consumers on your Website and lead them down the path to purchase. Click here.
Ready to start your inbound marketing strategy?
The 5 Ps of Creating An Inbound Marketing Strategy to help your successful launch into the world of brand journalism
The 5Ps take you through the process of targeting your consumer, creating content with a purpose, planning your editorial content, releasing that content regularly, and adapting and perfecting it. The bonus P is perhaps one of the most important tenets to remember: patience–it takes time to create content and build a high-quality online publication. However, the end result is a powerful, educational library that is a reference tool for consumers as well as for your sales team. It also generates organic SEO, helps to create valuable link-back opportunities, and brand awareness via traditional media and public relations which can result in warm leads that easily convert because they’ve already been educated about your product or service.
Persona: Identify who you’re talking to. What information do they want and need to make a decision to buy? Who are they influenced by? Where do they hang out online? For instance, Houzz, Pinterest, Facebook.
Purpose: Is what should drive your online and offline presence. This is the heart and soul of your brand journalism and inbound marketing strategy. Every piece of content created and/or shared should have a purpose. The purpose of each piece of your content should be to fit into one of the following categories listed below. I use the acronym IDEA as a reminder.
IDEA: Inform/Warn, Decide, Educate, Amuse.
Plan: Develop a brand journalism strategy that is tied to your business metrics. Every business wants the phone to ring and more business to come in…but measuring the ROI of inbound marketing is about building relationships. Sit down with your team and agency and create a goal. For instance, it might be to grow your email list, to better develop your blog to gain more traffic to your Website, or to become more engaged with your core and potential audience.
Publish: For every brand to be its own media company, you have to Think Like A Journalist This is what gives your brand a Competitive Advantage. Journalists are trained storytellers. They look for the stories that appeal to audiences. They share both sides of the story and they tell their stories succinctly. Brand Journalism is sharing all sides of the story. Marketing is sharing only the positive stuff. True storytelling is what interests consumers.
If you’d like to learn more tune into my podcast, The Brand Journalism Advantage. I host the podcast and release three episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We talk about marketing, branding, journalism, social media, and public relations. Faithfully, producing and publishing this content earned me recognition in the industry: I was named a Top 50 Podcaster to follow by Cision for social media, public relations, and marketing.
Perfect: Don’t try to move too many needles too fast, Ryan Bonnici from Hubspot. Set reasonable expectations….your goal is to nurture and grow relationships. You have to think of this like dating: you don’t go from a coffee date to marriage and kids overnight!
Patience: Keep your cool; it takes time to build quality content and grow an audience. Don’t give up!
Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist who loves to tell stories, craft brand strategies, and help brands gain exposure. She’s a Top 50 Podcaster to Follow. On her Internet radio show, The Brand Journalism Advantage podcast, she shares how to gain a Competitive Advantage. Give it a listen, you’re sure to take away some great branding tips.