One of the most fundamental concepts of inbound marketing is value.
It's what customers ultimately represent to you, in the form of their lifetime profit for your business.
However, value is also something that you have to give away if you want to succeed - this may sound counterintuitive at first, but if you start thinking of it as an investment in your future, you'll find that providing things for free is what ultimately leads to success.
What does providing value do?
Offering value to visitors has many effects on your website. Here are the most important benefits:
1) Attracting website visitors
How long would you spend on a website that has nothing to offer you? No time at all?
Everyone who visits your website comes because they're expecting to get something. Now, as noted by some HubSpot research, a good service site will have as many as 30% of its visitors bounce right off the site instead of taking a look around.
The rest of them, though? They should be sticking around because you have something to offer them.
However, you're not going to have any visitors at all if you can't convince them that you have what they want. Offering some kind of genuine value to visitors is the only way of attracting their attention.
No value means no visitors. It really is that simple.
2) Keeping visitors interested in your professional services
Once you've gotten visitors to come to your site in the first place, continuing to offer them value helps stimulate their imagination and get them to imagine what you can do for them.
For most professional services, this takes the form of problem solving - they have a problem, and you can solve it for them.
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If you don't provide enough value to prospective clients, they're more likely to conclude that you can't actually help them, and they'll give their business to one of your competitors instead.
3) Building trust
People are naturally more inclined to trust people that offer them something of genuine value - and if you're selling professional services, this is important.
Remember, many of your customers face a lot of pressure in their jobs. They tend to value success, and they're not going to make an offer to anyone they don't trust to get the job done.
People looking for professional services tend to do a lot of research, and it's worth being the company that decides what they'll learn.
What does value look like?
Ultimately, value is anything that can help the reader in a meaningful way.
This can include detailing what you've learned in your career, tips the professionals know, business experiences, advice for achieving specific goals, or even How-To guides that can take them step-by-step through common, easy problems.
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The central point is that true value is focused on the customer. If it doesn't matter to them, it isn't really worth talking about.
The key thing to remember here is that the more you educate your customers, the more likely they are to decide you're worth listening to... and ultimately buying services from.
Making the most of your giveaways
When you offer value to visitors, you also have the chance to get something in return - their information.
The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to market to them, and the more willing they'll be to accept future contact from you.
For example, if they really enjoyed an article you wrote, they might be willing to sign up for your newsletter so they can continue to receive useful information.
Ultimately, all of this is about reciprocity, one of the key aspects of marketing psychology.
The idea is simple - when you do something for someone else, they're more likely to do something for you in return. The more you offer, the better they'll think of you and the more likely they'll be to buy your services.
Now, obviously, there are some limits on this - you have to draw the line somewhere, because you can't just work for free all the time.
A little help really can go a long way, though. For example, consider the way many lawyers now offer free consultations for their potential customers. With a brief look at a situation, they can tell potential clients whether or not their services would actually be useful, and that's often enough to get the customers to sign on.
Now, you don't need to offer that exact kind of service. However, whatever value you offer to visitors should be at least as clearly useful as what today's attorneys do.
This isn't something to hide - the sooner you offer value, and the more obviously valuable it is, the greater the return on your investment will be. In today's world, this is what works.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont Inbound Marketing company. We provide top-notch inbound marketing strategy as well as web design services, content marketing, and digital advertising. We serve customers throughout Vermont and the United States.