When you think of the term “marketing,” pictures of ads, commercials, and flyers may come to mind. But, did you know there are two kinds of marketing? The first kind is outbound marketing. This means that marketers go out into the world looking and fighting for customers (for example, giving out free items/coupons from your brand at a local sporting event). The second kind is inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a strategy that earns your customer’s attention and business. For example, if your sports club has a blog that addresses the new, confusing game regulations, then you are using inbound marketing to draw relevant customers to you.
Now, you may be wondering, “What in the world does this have to do with the world of sports?” Good question! To answer that, let’s take a look at the phases of inbound marketing and their tools that you can use to promote your sports club or brand…
The “attract” phase is when you will attempt to attract the people who will hopefully become happy customers based on their interests. For instance, if you own a sports club and want to attract sports fans to your app, you will need to cater to their commonalities with you and your club. So, how do we make sure we are attracting relevant (interested) customers? There are a few tools we can use:
Blogging – This tool gives you the freedom to attract relevant prospects to your app or website by providing information about your sports team or brand (or sports in general!).
Content Strategy – Tag your online content with keywords that will bring the most relevant customers to you (i.e. football, teams, sports club, fans club, etc.).
Social Media – Go ahead and posts pictures, information, products, etc. on your sports club/brand’s social media page! Interact with the world and start building relationships with prospective customers. (Some companies are also utilizing SMS Marketing to engage prospective customers and to keep existing informed about the latest offers, discounts and company updates) Do you think SMS Marketing is still relevant?
The “convert” phase is when you convert any website visitors into solid leads. You do this by opening up a conversation with the visitor. These tools can help you in this phase of inbound marketing:
Forms – Give visitors the option of completing an easy, quick form that will keep them informed on your sports club, brand, events, etc.
Meetings – To secure new deals, meet with your prospective clients over the phone, in person, or in a virtual meeting.
Messages – Send and reply to messages while the visitor is on your site/app with live chat. This shows the visitor that you care about them and want them to know you are here to help!
*Side Note: Keep track of your leads in a centralized contact database!
The “close” phase is when you transform those leads into customers. This can be done by using any of the following tools:
Pipeline Management – Do some analyzing of your sales and marketing teams’ results. Find out what is working and what isn’t (then make improvements as needed).
Lead Nurturing – Finding out a lead’s interests and lifestyle will help you cater to your messages, phone calls, etc. to their preferences. This will keep you and your club/brand relevant in their eyes.
Email – Having a lead that stalls on becoming a customer can be frustrating. One way to confront this problem is by sending emails of information about your club/brand that are relevant and interesting to that particular lead.
Predictive Lead Scoring – When procuring leads, there will be some that “stick out” more as probable customers. Using lead scoring, you can prioritize your leads and see which ones your sales team should be contacting more often in order to secure those new customers.
The “delight” phase is the final phase of inbound marketing. This is when your customers receive an incredible experience as you delightfully interact with them. Success in this phase can be measured by the number of customers that become promoters for your club/brand simply because they love you! So, here are the “delight” tools you can use to achieve success:
Customer Service – Providing outstanding customer service will make or break any business. You want your customers to be more than satisfied whether they are dealing with a simple or complex issue.
Smart Content – If you have already secured a client, why send them the sales pitch you give to a visitor? Make sure your content stays relevant to your client and communicate with them based on their classification with your club/brand.
Conversations – Participate in conversations with customers through phone calls, emails, virtual meetings, and so on. Make sure they know you are still there and you still want them to be your “biggest fans!”
Bottom line: Inbound marketing is a wildly popular strategy used by businesses of all sizes and types. Are you busy cold calling? it’s time to put that phone down and turn your website into a lead magnet.