Every year we gather around the sacred dinner table to enjoy a hardy meal consisting of enough turkey, stuffing and other assortments to break our belts.
This is Thanksgiving, a tradition in remembrance of the celebration the Pilgrims engaged in after successfully setting up a colony in the New Land a year after arriving.
Much in the spirit of the season, there are a lot of themes that this holiday and inbound marketing have in common.
The Pilgrims Were Attracted to A Particular Destination for Specific Reasons
The Pilgrims left England in September of 1620 to set out to a new land. They wanted to do this for two primary reasons: to gain religious freedom from the Church of England and to take advantage of the potential prosperity of cultivating land. With these needs in mind, they were attracted to the New World, which to them was a destination that could fulfill their dreams.
Inbound marketing is much the same in the way that it works. First and foremost, inbound marketing seeks to understand your ideal customers. This includes discovering their needs, wants and reservations. For the Pilgrims, they needed religious freedom and potential to embrace their own pursuits. For your prospective customers, it’s more than likely neither of the two, but regardless, your prospective customers know they have a problem and so they seek solutions and New Worlds.
It is for this reason that inbound marketing establishes an attractive online destination that draws new customers. The online destination does this with digital content that catches the eye of any prospect seeking the solutions in search engines or on social media. Strategic and high-search-engine-ranking content—blog posts, content offers and etc.—are the initial ways that new customers find you on the internet.
The Pilgrims Didn’t Celebrate Right Away—They Needed to Learn and Build First
The pilgrims set off towards the attractive destination—the New World. When they arrived, however, there was a lot that needed completed. Firsly, they had to endure the harsh winter while still aboard the ship. Secondly, they had to build shelters and plant crops before they could even think about celebrating the now-famous practice of Thanksgiving.
Sometime after the winter and going ashore, the settlers were greeted by an Abenaki Indian. Several days later, he returned with another Native American named Squanto. Squanto was the godsend that taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn, extract sap from maple trees, fish and avoid the dangers of the land. He also connected them to the Wampanoag Indian tribe—an alliance that would last for 50 years.
When new customers reach your destination, they aren’t always ready to invest in the solutions—service- or product-based—the moment they metaphorically scream “land ho!” Sometimes they have to survive a harsh winter first, which could manifest in an organizational restructuring or rebranding. And even after those events, they may even need more knowledge before committing.
After attracting, the next role of inbound marketing is to play the role that Squanto played for the Pilgrims. You should have elements in place to teach these potential customers how to metaphorically grow corn, extract sap from maple trees, fish and avoid the dangers of the land. These are set up on your site and include deeper-level blog posts, work flows, lead-nurturing emails, next-step content offers and other resources that will educate them to make the best decision possible.
High-search-engine-ranking content is helpful to bring people to the destination, but if you don’t invest in building high-level education pieces you won’t be able to properly help your prospects along to a sales-ready state.
The Pilgrims Exchanged A Meal and Celebration with Their New Allies
After their first successful corn harvest in November 1621, the Pilgrim’s decided to give thanks and exchange a meal and celebration with their new allies. This included Squanto and the Wampanoag Indians.
The final step of inbound marketing is an exchange of capital for services or products. When your prospective customers have survived whatever harsh winters they had to face, learned the skills necessary and successfully made it to the other side, they will finally be ready to make the exchange. As you can see, however, the destination had to be attractive and continuing education was required before the exchange could even be fathomed.
Have you created an attractive destination that your new customers will give thanks for later?