Published under: The Americans, Content Creation, Conversion Marketing, Inbound, Inbound Marketing

the-americansFX can teach us a thing or two about conversion marketing. Yes, you read that sentence correctly.

The Americans is one of the most popular shows on FX right now, and I can understand why. It’s clever, edgy, and its central characters, husband and wife KGB spy duo, the Jennings, fervently demonstrate their loyalty to the “Motherland” and her cause. The show is a favorite of mine, and the more I watch; the more parallels I can draw between espionage and conversion marketing.

When you consider that the premise for both inbound marketing and the KGB are to convert select audiences into loyal followers, it’s not that much of a stretch.

5 Lessons from The Americans

The following post highlights why inbound marketing is the premier (pun intended) method of conversion marketing:

1) Creates And Establishes A Sense of Trust: On the show, KGB spies have infiltrated America, speak flawless English, and pretend to live the “American Dream” amid their unsuspecting neighbors. They educate themselves about their missions via KGB intelligence, and their ultimate loyalty is to Russia. Conversely, inbound marketing helps you “infiltrate" your brand into the minds of your target market by creating a conversion marketing campaign that creates brand awareness, educates, builds loyalty and trust. The goal is to nurture your leads and eventually turn them into prospects.

2) Engages Everyone—Everywhere: Inbound marketing allows you to give your audience the information they want in the form that they crave. The Jennings create effective personas and disguises to bait the unsuspecting parties. They know which personas will be the most convincing, in order to gain the maximum amount of information possible. Likewise, you should present your content cohesively across multiple mediums, such as blog posts, podcasts, video, slideshows, QR codes, webinars, social media, etc. Providing content in multiple forms increases the chances that people will be able to access your information in the form that they prefer and will share it often.

Tip: When you create opt-in pages, ASK your subscribers what form they’d like to receive their future content in and how often they’d like to receive it. Now you’ll be able to segment your list according to their exact needs, and keep MORE subscribers on your list!

3) Creates A Larger Framework By Leveraging Multiple Strategies: The husband and wife covert spies in the series don’t just team up to carry out their joint missions; they’re also simultaneously carrying out individual missions, all of these strategies are meant to work within the framework of the bigger mission—to take down the American government. Create different strategies within your conversion marketing, such as newsjacking, social media campaigns, video creation, etc to get people to opt-in. Then drop these leads into a well-built sales funnel on the back end to nurture and convert them into customers.

Tip: Test various conversion marketing strategies, using software, so you’ll know which are the most effective. Build on these strategies,if possible, for even better results. Rinse and repeat.

4) Connects With Emotions: The show centers around emotions within interpersonal relations. Viewers easily empathize and identify with these emotions, and connect with the show on a visceral level. Slate Magazine quotes the show’s executive producer, Joel Fields, as saying, “The Americans is at its core a marriage story. International relations is just an allegory for the human relations.” Inbound marketing allows marketers to connect with their customers on a deeply human level. You should infuse your content with a little personality. Show your audience there’s a person behind that newsletter or email. Implement a strong call to action to tie in emotion and compel people to act! Use powerful action verbs like discover, learn and uncover to entice people to take action—quickly (discover and learn about inbound marketing by uncovering a free guide here).

5) Converts satisfied customers into online brand advocates: On the show, the KGB agents primarily communicate with one another verbally, via the telephone, or they opt to meet with their fellow spies face-to-face. Inbound marketing allows you to create digital 'word of mouth' conversion marketing campaigns, launch contests, create sharable coupons, add retweet and other social media buttons to your videos and content, etc.

Let your happy customers help you spread the word about your brand!

This short guide highlights five reasons why inbound marketing is the most effective form of conversion marketing.

What’s your favorite inbound marketing strategy to use with your customers and why?