What do people really mean when they talk about the marketing cycle? The main goal of most marketing efforts is to get more people through the funnel with the hope that they will ultimately make a purchase, but it’s important to remember that marketing also serves to amplify brand awareness and create an interactive experience so enjoyable that customers will actually become vocal advocates for your business.To accomplish this, it’s vital to truly understand the journey (or cycle) your prospective clients take and how you and your team can help encourage them to take the next step.

What is the Marketing Cycle?

When it comes down to it, the marketing cycle describes the entire process a lead goes through before making a purchase, from research to follow-through. With regard to content production, a marketing cycle must have effective tactics in place to nurture the lead from one stage to another.

So, what exactly makes up the marketing cycle, and what are the concepts that encourage a lead to make it from one stage to the next? Keep reading, because you’re about to find out!

Marketing Cycle Concepts

The marketing cycle is divided into three stages: attraction, nurturing and conversion (sometimes called evangelism).

1. Attraction

How can you help customers find you? How do you get the attention of potential leads without using disruptive outbound methods that might turn them off?

The answer is by attracting leads to your site and grabbing their attention effectively enough to pique their curiosity. To do this, we recommend the following:

Be Active On Your Blog
Companies that update their blog frequently report 55% more website visitors. The content in your blogs has an impact on whether or not the reader actually makes a purchase. According to BlogHer, 81% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.

A few pointers to keep in mind when creating content:

  • Always keep the persona of your lead in mind.
  • Think about what they would like to hear.
  • Consider the problems they need help with that you can potentially solve.

Try not to be overtly “salesy” in your content, especially during the initial attraction stage of your lead’s journey.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is key to helping your new inbound marketing leads. One of the first things people do when they have a question or problem is turn to their favorite search engine and type in their inquiry. If you utilize SEO properly, you’ll already know what they are searching for and you’ll have prepared content in answer to their long-tail keyword. If you’re doing SEO well, you will ultimately be on the first page when the results come up.

Ideally, you want to have the featured snipped.

SEO Featured Snippet2. Nurturing

Now that you have more leads on your website, nurture them to take the next step. This usually involves the use of gated content, which you exchange for the lead’s name and email. You’ve created brand awareness; now you actually need to start tracking specifics. Through gated offers, you have a contact registered and using services so you can start tracking their movements.

Take your content up a notch and make it enticing and valuable to visitors. Think infographics, white papers and interactive eBooks as a place to start.

Here are a few components to help you on your way:

Landing pages
A landing page is where your gated content lives. Wherever your lead came from in order to get to the landing page may not be enough; you have to keep enticing the individual to download the content.

Through your words, answer questions such as, “How will this content help you?” and “What makes this content worth the download?”

Beyond the content, have a sleek design, a clear call-to-action (CTA) and a form.

Forms
Forms are how you capture your lead’s information. Usually, the information includes their name, email and sometimes their phone number. Try not to ask too many questions, as that may scare your lead away. When your lead clicks that download button, it means they are ready for further conversations.

CTAs
CTAs (calls-to-action) help take your lead to the next stage in their journey – from the blog to the landing page, or from the landing page to the form.

Be clear and concise with what you want them to do and try to only have one CTA per page.

Dynamic content
Every lead is different, and making sure they receive personalized, engaging information is where dynamic content comes in.

With dynamic content, you can enable different copy, images and design to appear for different people.

Buyer personas
Buyer personas help ensure you have the right content at the right stage of the journey for the right lead. When creating personas, answer the following:

  • Name
  • Age
  • What they do for a living
  • Their schooling
  • What they care about
  • Where they get their information
  • Their challenges
  • How your business can help

Email drip campaigns
Once your lead puts their information in the form, they can (and should) be inserted into an email drip campaign. Use an automation platform to help streamline your communication.

3. Conversion and Evangelism

Your lead is ready to convert from prospect to customer. Make the conversion stage – and really every stage of the marketing cycle – as personal as possible, because personalization is what differentiates inbound marketing from outbound marketing.

Remember, the marketing cycle does not stop when your lead becomes a customer and makes a purchase. Stay in touch with your customers, keep learning about them and updating their information. We recommend using the following:

CRM
It’s crucial to keep visitor information private and secure. Using a marketing automation platform with a built-in CRM is sometimes the most effective as it keeps everything in one place.

Email newsletters
Keep your customers updated with what’s going on in your organization. Invite them to review products or participate in a user-generated content social media campaign.

Analytics
Look into the marketing cycle and decipher what worked and what didn’t. Use this information to better your next campaign.

Discover how you can improve your marketing cycle with marketing automation. Contact us or get a demo today.

AUTHOR
Kim Anchors