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Written by Kimberlie Williams
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Inbound marketing is widely used for its ability to connect businesses worldwide to the customers who are best suited for their offerings. It contrasts the traditional approach of outbound marketing, which often uses commercials, print ads, and radio ads to blast out information to anyone and everyone. Inbound is a much more tailored approach. Inbound helps connect your company with the customers specifically seeking your software’s capabilities and your company’s strengths, making them much better fit for your company and more likely to stay as long-term customer. 

Set Goals

Goals help you company know whether it is on track to cover costs, make a profit, and facilitate growth. Your sales and marketing team need to work together to develop these goals because this will allow your marketing team to target and nurture people into being qualified for your software as well as informed and comfortable with making their purchase. 

These goals should align with the SMART methodology as well. They should be as specific with numbers and not vague words like ‘higher sales’, measurable so that these goals can be checked and analyzed for completion, attainable within your business model, realistic of what your business is capable of, and timely in that it has a specific due date or time frame to be completed.  

Use Buyer Personas to Segment Your Customers

Now that you have goals in mind, most of them would probably benefit from improving your customer retention. For example, one of your goals should probably deal with covering the cost of acquiring your customers. To do this, you need a less costly approach to finding customers, while raising your ability to connect with the right customers who will be more loyal to your business. This is where buyer personas come in.

Buyer personas are basically a model representation of your ideal customer gathered through research, interviews, CRM software and surveys. Buyer personas provide you valuable information about your customers: their personality type, their interest in your software, their goals and challenges in using your software as well as in their industry, and their personal aspirations. This kind of knowledge will help your team with developing its marketing approach, improving customer service and experiences, and also provide your team with ideas for future software development.

One business can have one or more buyer personas. You can use these different buyer personas to create distinct groupings of your customer base. These segments will allow your marketing team engage in more personalized campaigns geared towards each persona that will resonate more deeply with their specific needs.

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Create Content Geared Towards Your Buyer Personas

Now that you know more about your buyer personas, it’s time to use the information you’ve gathered about them to create content to attract them. Your marketing team needs to put yourselves in their shoes and think about the path that would lead them to your software.

Let’s look at an example of a B2B buyer persona. A B2B buyer persona would most likely be someone in management, and in this example, they're searching for software that allows them to improve their collaboration across many different locations as well as minimizes any risks associated with that.

Your objective would be to essentially create blogs, articles, and social media posts that prove you have a deep understanding of team collaboration, and the challenges companies face in achieving it, like data protection and security.  You should also give tips on how to improve their collaboration through technology as well as teamwork in general. This will build trust in your company as a knowledgeable authority and will make them trust the ability of your software even more.

In order to not come off as sales-y, make sure that most of you content does not mention you product or software specifically, but comes across as purely helpful. Instead, in your blog posts, link to an offer, like a freemium trial of your collaboration software and ask for customer details like their name, email, and company in return. The information your customer provides in exchange for the trial will allow you marketing team to continue to nurture their interest though email marketing or learn more about what kinds of people your software attracts. 

Promote Your Content

Make sure that your customers can find the content you’ve created for them. Search engine optimize your website. For your blogs and articles and videos, use keywords that come from the phrases customers enter into search engines to find similar content in your industry. Web analytics software can pick this up for you. If you're a newer company shorter, broad topic keywords like "teamwork" will keep your work buried. Instead use long-tail keywords like "teamwork collaboration software" to be more precise. Your page title should also be under 60 characters long for search engines. Also try including your content on directories and promoting your content to popular tech websites, this will also do well to improve your authority in your customers' eyes as well as raise your rankings in search engines.

 Also promote your content on the social media outlets your customers use. Facebook and Twitter are usually a safe bet, but of course, for B2B customers LinkedIn is essential. Try to go beyond sharing your content on social media. Research your customers’ industry and figure out what forums or groups your customers join and promote your work there. Though some groups do not allow promotion, presenting your content as helpful information will make a difference. This should ultimately be your goal in general. If you stay loyal to that, you will find that customers naturally come to try your software offerings and become customers.