So, you’re excited about inbound. That’s great! But now it’s time to actually create your inbound marketing strategy and you’re not sure where to begin—you’re not alone. Before you get discouraged, here are seven steps to follow when executing your brand-new inbound plan.
1. Analyze Where You Stand
Before you get wrapped up in your new strategy, slow down and evaluate where you are right now. Complete a full audit of your marketing and sales content, branded collateral, personnel, and past marketing costs. This will give you an overview of where you stand, what assets you already have, and key areas of improvement.
Make some initial benchmarks like how much monthly traffic your site receives, how much traffic converts into leads and how many customers come from your current marketing efforts.
2. Spend Time on Buyer Persona Research
Any inbound marketing strategy begins with a deep dive into the target audience. Many marketing leaders tend to spend limited time on this step or don’t go deep enough to get enough useful information. Understanding your ideal customers and their needs sets up your inbound strategy from here on out. The more information you gather, the more relevant your content, the more targeted your promotion, and the more accurate your lead qualification.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- What is your buyer’s main pain point, desire, need, or want?
- Where do your customers get their information?
- What specific aspect of your product or service addresses your buyer’s needs?
- What are the first questions a prospect asks your sales reps?
3. Prepare Your Website for Conversion
Depending on the state of your current website, you may need only small tweaks or a full overhaul during this step. Your website needs to be optimized to attract and convert inbound leads. It needs to guide prospects to the content you’re promoting and entice them to give you their precious contact information.
Your site must have relevant calls-to-action (CTAs) leading traffic to landing pages where visitors “pay” with their contact details to read your fantastic content! Any site that doesn’t make it obvious what they want visitors to do will struggle to convert inbound traffic.
4. Brainstorm Your Offerings and KPIs
Now it’s time to decide what content you want to offer your visitors. You will be asking for names, email addresses, and other contact details in exchange, so make sure your offers are of equal or greater value. Start with your buyer persona research. What customer questions can you turn into blog posts? What knowledge is your target audience missing? Would your audience respond to videos or podcasts?
While you are coming up with your content strategy, decide how you want to measure the success of your campaigns. Are you looking to increase web traffic, expand brand awareness, or generate leads? Once this is decided, you can focus your content and promotion around these goals.
5. Create Content That Matters
Time to get writing! Content creation is a huge part of an inbound marketing strategy and it takes time, dedication, and consistency to be successful. It is important to publish content that is relevant to your audience, gives the reader knowledge they didn’t have before, and doesn’t promote your business directly. You aren’t trying to sell to your visitors; you want them to trust you as an expert.
6. Promote Your Content
Even the best content can’t be found in a vacuum. During your buyer persona research, you should have learned where your customers are active online. Use this information to blast your content on social media, share it on industry sites, add it to email subscription lists, and add it to your website.
Promoting your content consistently means you can get returns long after your content is first published.
7. Nurture New Leads
Your stunning website has driven visitors to your compelling content, and in return, they have gifted you their contact details. While some of these leads might be ready to go, some might need a little bit more time to shop around. In the meantime, nurture these leads with marketing emails offering other relevant content with CTAs to book a meeting or demo.
Once a lead is qualified, it’s time for the sales team to take over, but that doesn’t mean marketing’s job is over. Those customers don’t just disappear. Add them to email lists to receive company newsletters, product updates, or company news.
Lastly, always analyze your campaign results and monitor your promotion methods. Your inbound marketing strategy is not static and needs to evolve based on your results.