5 minute read
Create a Monster Inbound Marketing Strategy in 7 Easy Steps
Any marketer worth their salt knows you must have a powerful and highly effective inbound marketing strategy to be successful. In fact, as of the beginning of this year, 60% of businesses had adopted some type of inbound marketing as part of their overall strategy. Hubspot found that inbound marketing generates 54% more leads than traditional outbound efforts.
Of course, knowing the importance of inbound marketing and actually achieving a successful plan are two entirely different things. With so many areas to cover and so many different directions to approach from, developing and implementing such as strategy can seem downright overwhelming
What you need is a guideline – a set of steps that you can use as a foundation. That said, here are seven steps to lay the framework for a monster inbound marketing strategy.
Step 1 - Pinpoint your target audience.
To develop a highly effective inbound marketing strategy, you must pinpoint who your potential customers are. Once you have a clear customer profile, you can begin developing a plan that will, in fact, reach those prospects. Without this information, you will be wasting valuable time and resources with less than impressive results.
Step 2 – Develop measurable goals.
Napoleon Hill once said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline”. You can’t have an effective strategy in any area of your business without clearly defined and measurable goals. Determine exactly what you want to achieve and by when (i.e. 15% increase in click-throughs by end of 2nd quarter) so you’ll have something to track and measure as you move forward. Without these measurements, you will have a tougher time knowing what you’re doing right and what areas need to be tweaked.
Step 3 – Formulate a plan to nurture leads.
Getting people to click on your content is only half the battle. What you do with those leads next will determine whether they become a paying customer or simply move on to your competition. The best way to develop an effective lead nurturing strategy is to understand who your customers are and what their needs and wants are. Talk to your sales reps that are in the trenches day in and day out, and pick the brains of your existing customers. (This is another reason it’s great to have loyal brand ambassadors, because nobody knows your customers better than they know themselves!)
Step 4 – Produce content that will appeal to your audience.
Now that you know exactly who it is that you’re targeting (and have a picture of what they want and need), it’s time to get to work producing content that fulfills those needs and wants. Don’t get caught up in the myth that content only applies to blog posts. Be creative and diversify. For example, if your audience is primarily adult women, start pinning on Pinterest, where 80% of users are female. If your target is known to spend a great deal of time on Facebook, create infographics and entertaining memes that are more likely to be shared. Think outside the box but keep your eye on your target at all times to make sure you’re working toward your goals.
Step 5 – Strategically time your marketing approach.
Think for a moment about your own activity online. You probably get tons of email every day, most of which ends up in your trash folder – except those relevant messages. If you have time to go on social media, you can only do so at certain intervals and for short amounts of time. When you come across an interesting blog post, you scan it quickly to garner only the most important points. This information is valuable when developing and implementing your own marketing campaign. The content you produce should be interesting, valuable, to the point and distributed at an optimum time.
Step 6 – Enlist the help of your best customers.
When you’re developing your inbound marketing plan, don’t forget to reach out to your loyal customers and get them on board. By expanding your reach further to include the networks of your brand ambassadors, you’ll have access to that many more prospects without having to do any extra leg work. And the stats don’t lie. Nielsen’s latest Consumer Trust in Advertising report showed that 68% of people trust the opinions of others that they find online. So, gear up your loyal followers and send them out to spread the word.
Step 7 – Measure and tweak.
The final step, but perhaps the most important, is measuring the results of your strategy on a regular basis. Are you meeting the goals you defined in the first step? If not, what areas can you improve on to change that? What things are working that you can expand on for even more success? Make the necessary adjustments, and lather, rinse, repeat until you get it right.
Creating an inbound marketing strategy may seem like a daunting task, but when you break it down like this, it doesn’t have to be. The simple steps provided above should give you a solid foundation on which to build and nurture a highly successful marketing campaign that will attract the prospects you want and help you retain the customers that will help you continue to grow your business.