As a Value-Added Reseller, your goal is to drive business value through point-of-sale products. Communicating those values is crucial for any successful VAR, especially when it comes to capturing leads and increasing sales. Inbound marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on attracting customers through relevant and useful content and adding value to every single stage of the customer buying journey. Resellers can utilize inbound marketing to create a strong buying journey for potential customers.
If you want to increase sales and successfully communicate the value of the products you are offering, it is time to ramp up your marketing and sales strategy with these five inbound best practices:
1. Clearly Identify Your Target Audience
The most important place to start is creating an inbound strategy is identifying who your target audience is. Focusing on “restaurant” and “retail” as targets are too broad. Instead, it is important to take the time to research and understand the various merchant niches out there. Beyond understanding a merchant’s pain points, it is important to find out how each and every one of your products addresses the customer experience, payment processing, inventory management, mobility, and so on. That way, your marketing is tailored to best address those particular pain points and the benefits that each product can offer to remedy those.
A good place to start in looking at past sales to highlight the key attributes of your best sales leads. Identify their budget, their business-size, specific industry, end-user issues, existing networks, and goals. This information can be used for content creation, vetting, lead scoring, and also forming questions to ask future prospects.
2. Leverage Content Marketing
Chances are, you are probably working with a payment processor and chances are, that payment processor has a marketing department that has produced a variety of content. It is wise to reach out to the marketing department and ask what content has already been produced such as – case studies, white papers, eBooks, surveys, and even videos. All of these pieces of content will help position you as a subject matter expert or thought leader.
If you want to go the route of creating content for your own blog or website, fresh content can help with search engine optimization (SEO) and can drive more traffic to your website or blog. From there, leads can be generated through calls to action within the content. Although, the most budget-friendly and easy approach to this strategy is through finding ways to repurpose existing content as opposed to investing time and energy into a high volume of new and original content. If you have already written a blog, information for a landing page, a social media post, or an email, some of that content can be repurposed into a new blog or post. Beyond the content itself, it is important to promote what you do have, even if it is not a lot. Tell your current clients about your blog or site or social media page and be sure to repost your content frequently.
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3. Analyze Data to Drive Marketing Actions
Automation tools for marketing make it increasingly easy to track new prospects as they are being converted (or not) into a customer. With consistent analysis of website data and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data about various campaigns and sales, you can determine what is working and what is not.
Key metrics to define and track:
- Number of leads per month
- Number of sales leads per month
- Dollar value of sales opportunities and closing value, including close rate
- Conversion rate (from prospect to lead)
- Conversion of cold leads to MQLs or SQLs
4. Embrace Social Media
LinkedIn seems to be the social media channel of choice for most resellers but the best social media approach is one that considers having a strong and effective presence in more than one avenue. Twitter and Facebook are both great ways to cross-link your content by sharing across multiple channels. Social media can be embraced both organically and through paid efforts.
Social selling is another great practice to add to your inbound strategy. Join the conversation with other key players in target industries and engage a social media audience through sharing pertinent information. Respond quickly to questions and work to create a dialogue on your personal page and throughout your feed.
These four tips aim to improve your overall marketing approach, which in turn will create stronger leads and increase sales. Focusing on inbound marketing, as opposed to reactionary marketing methods, not only establishes you as a thought-leader and trusted partner, but it also increases your outreach and broadens your audience base.