You can have the coolest Web site, the biggest e-mail blasts, the sexiest billboards and the most expensive TV ads in history, but if you don't offer people something of value, your marketing campaign is doomed from the git-go. This may seem painfully obvious to most of us consumers, but many marketers forget this fundamental truth.
The most basic concept taught in Sales 101 is WIIFM, or "Whats In It For Me?". If you want to be successful in sales and marketing you have to put yourself in your customer's shoes and find out what he/she wants. Everything you do from that point forward should be designed to deliver the goods, the value that your customer wants. This is true in Internet Marketing and even more so in Inbound Marketing, because there is so much information, so many irresistible offers bombarding us every day, all day. Here are some things to think about when you consider the "WIIFM" of Inbound Marketing:
- Plan a strategy. What are you trying to sell and to whom? Where does your target market "hang out". Are they online, offline, Facebooking, Twittering, etc.? What have your competitors already done and how successful have they been? Come up with a coherent game plan and stick with it until your campaign is complete.
- Sell Yourself First. This is crucial in inbound marketing. You do that by adding value. You put on your white hat every day and go out there into social media space and contribute early and often. You add value by contributing your ideas, your experiences, your links to great blogs and other resources and your network of like-minded people.
- Offer Something Valuable. After a while you know how your network thinks, what they are interested in, and what's missing that they will surely want. That's what you offer them. You offer them something truly valuable, like a free how-to download or a deep discount on products and services. Maybe you offer the first 100 signers-up a freebie on something. It's the oldest trick in the book, but it still works.
- You never leave the neighborhood. Your network will quickly figure out that you are there for marketing purposes only unless you tread lightly on the marketing and heavily on the contributing. Don't drop off the radar as soon as your promotion is finished. Be a regular community person, a trusted resource, and you will reap the benefits over and over again.