February 13, 2015 | Amanda Martin

How Inbound Marketing Is Like Joining Match.com

How Inbound Marketing Is Like Dating

The excitement of finding a new love sends tingles down your spine, puts a little extra pep in your step, and makes you all doe-eyed.

I find new things that I love all the time. The new sandwich shop down the street holds my attention for a couple months, but then I’m off to find something new because it just hasn’t wowed me like it did that first time.

You can definitely love a sandwich shop, or a lip gloss, or a car, just as you can a person—in fact, falling in love with brands is just as difficult as finding Mr. Right. Once you find that potential special someone, it takes many dates and conversations to determine if you are a good fit.

The process of dating is exactly like inbound marketing.

Gather ‘round, and I shall tell you the story of nurturing your leads… I promise there’s a happy ending.

Your ideal buyer has decided that she is ready for something new, because what she has now isn’t working for her. She wants to find something to commit to, but she isn’t sure which solution will be right for her. She hops over to Google to begin her search for a mystery service to fall in love with.

Replace Google with Match.com and the product with a person, and BAM – you have the first step in online dating.

After a few searches, she stumbles on your site via a blog post written specifically about her pain points. After reading a few related blog posts on your website, your buyer subscribes to your blog so that she can learn more about your service before she buys, just to be sure she’s making the right decision.

This is the dating phase of inbound marketing, during which your prospects are still figuring out if it’s a good fit and weighing their options. By using blogs and other website content to wow potential customers, you’re basically planning a series of romantic dates that include all your beloved’s favorite things. You’re creating a strong connection with them.

They begin to trust your brand and—could it be—LOVE!?

Inbound marketing is about nurturing lasting relationships. When a blog subscriber sees a post he likes, he visits your site again to read it, and may visit other pages and posts along the way.

He notices you have a free offer, an ebook about how to implement the service he has been considering. He downloads it to see if there’s any information that will help him, and he loves it so much that he raves about it on social media. He even shares it with a couple of his friends so they can download the ebook as well.

Now, he’s much closer to making the decision to buy from you. Your knowledge on the subject seems to be the best he’s found, and he feels comfortable with your brand because you haven’t been too pushy in trying to make the sale. He’s teetering on the edge of purchase…

In this stage of the dating/inbound relationship, things have been going well and you’re getting more serious. You feel like you’ve found someone you could really commit to, and you’re excited to move forward with him or her.

Your buyer is right on the edge. What do you need to push her over the top? You develop a series of inboundy nurturing emails to be sent at different intervals to people who have visited your site multiple times. The final emails provide information that’s helpful to someone in the final stages of a purchase decision, designed to amp up the trust level and give them everything they need to say yes. (This is a HubSpot feature, so if you’re not using it you may have to find a workaround).

Surprise! You’re getting married, and you couldn’t be happier.

You have found the perfect mate, and you feel that he or she is the best fit for you out of all the fishes in all the seas.

Inbound marketing allows your ideal buyer to bond with your brand, to trust that you are the best (and helps you to demonstrate that's you'll be a great partner). Consider it the Fairy Godmother of Marketing—it takes your brand and, “bippity, boppity, boo,” makes it as appealing as possible to others. More importantly, it helps you find that special Prince or Princess Charming who will love you for who you are.

So, what does inbound marketing look like in practice?

Here's how a campaign works, from start to finish.

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Amanda Martin

Amanda Martin

Amanda is no longer with VIEO, but as an inbound marketing project manager she coordinated with VIEO’s design, content, and strategy teams to create compelling, effective inbound marketing campaigns.

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