Inbound Marketing is one of the best ways to enjoy consistent growth and warmer leads for your business. Are you taking advantage of Inbound Marketing? If you’re just getting started, knowing the basics is the first step in a successful inbound marketing strategy.
Although inbound marketing campaigns can vary, the essentials of a great approach remain the same. Here are the must-have components of a solid and successful inbound marketing strategy.
1. Proper Planning
A successful inbound marketing strategy starts with proper planning. As with any marketing, you need to create an executable plan of attack, and your plan of attack needs to include some key pieces of information.
Before you begin executing your Inbound Marketing strategy, you need to know who you’re targeting, and you need to know a lot about them. What do they do for work? How old are they? What are their pain points? You need to know their demographics, needs, wants, struggles and more.
A defined persona helps you to understand what types of content your prospects will respond to the most and how to engage them. This is where it all starts. The work that you put into defining your buyer personas will influence the rest of your inbound marketing strategy.
Remember, segmenting your target audience is important, especially if you have multiple buyer personas. You’ll want to consider their similarities and differences. Segmenting your different buyer personas helps ensure you create relevant content for all of them.
Your Inbound Marketing strategies will revolve around offers. The offers you create for your inbound marketing strategy should appeal to your buyer persona. They need to rouse their interest.
Throughout the execution of your Inbound Marketing strategy, your content has to support and relate back to your offers. They are a big part of your Inbound Marketing strategy’s success, so start thinking about them early and often.
Goal setting is critical to the success of your inbound marketing strategy. Clearly identify what you want to achieve and include your expected results. By setting the campaign’s intent, you start with the end in mind.
Once you have done some solid planning, it’s time to head into creation.
2. Creating Content
Seeing your Inbound Marketing strategy come to life starts here. In this stage, you design and create the assets to get prospects into your sales funnel.
Though it isn’t the only component of a successful inbound marketing strategy, content is one of the most important aspects. You won’t be able to retain or convert your leads without fresh and relevant content. Your content needs to come in multiple forms, all aimed at helping your target audience.
Apart from being central to Inbound Marketing, blogging is among the most effective marketing tools. A quality blog helps to keep your target audience informed and proves you are a thought-leader in your industry. Blogs can account for as much as half of your website’s traffic.
When it comes to blogging, long-form blogs are typically the most effective. You’ll want to focus on creating blog posts that are about 1500 words. But your blog also needs to be valuable and worth your reader’s time, so make sure that every word serves a purpose.
When you’re brainstorming blog topics, refer to your buyer personas. Create blogs that will interest them and answer their questions. And remember to not be too overly promotional. Your blog isn’t about you — it’s about providing value to your readers.
In addition to blog posts, you can create other forms of content to delight your readers. For example, blog posts are great for storytelling, while infographics are excellent for visually communicating data points. Interactive quizzes, podcasts, webinars and videos are examples of other forms of content.
Content Upgrades and Offers
Your offers are how you’ll be generating leads. Content upgrades can take several different forms including demos, e-books, product guides, webinars, how-to videos and other downloadable content. Other offers you present to your audience could be consultations, one-on-one training, etc. The format your buyer persona engages with is the right one for you.
Premium offers usually fall into one of the following categories:
For those still doing their research and looking for general information. These people are probably uninterested in your sales messages.
For those comparing a list of potential solutions to their problems.
For those who’ve done their research and are ready to talk about sales.
You want to make your offers visible and accessible. They should relate to a challenge your potential customers are looking to solve, a recurring issue you can help with, a new and relevant development in your industry or something specific to your business. Make sure to brainstorm offers for each of your buyer personas.
3. Promoting Your Content
Creating remarkable content that stands out is just part of the equation. By itself, content creation is insufficient to ensure visibility and attract visitors. After you’ve spent time creating content, you have to share it with the world.
Content promotion requires the same amount of time, if not more, as content creation. Here are some tools and tactics you’ll need to promote your content.
Calls-to-action are how you get your website visitors to take a particular action. You should place your calls-to-action on prominent pages or wherever you’d like to capture leads.
When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they are directed to a landing page where they can sign up for your offer.
Create a unique landing page for each of your campaigns, so it’s relevant to the offer it’s promoting. For instance, if your visitor clicks a call-to-action for bikinis, don’t lead them to a landing page for swimming trunks.
You’ll need an effective form to learn more about your prospects and capture leads. While name and email address fields are the most valuable inclusions, you can always collect additional information. However, the more information the fields have, the less likely your leads are to take action.
To find the best balance, make sure you test different form lengths.
Almost everyone is on social media nowadays. Social media marketing helps drive traffic to your website and puts eyeballs on your content. Today, social media is one of the most effective content marketing tools.
To make the most of your time, you’ll want to do some research to find out what channels your buyer personas frequent. If they spend the most time on Twitter, that’s where you should spend the most time, too.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO involves optimizing the structure and content of your website for search engines. This helps ensure organic placement on search engine result pages (SERPS). Having a top-quality site and optimized content allows search engines to identify and index your website to have it appear to those who search at no cost.
You won’t get business if you can’t be found, which is why SEO is important to your Inbound Marketing strategy. Since search engine optimization tends to get complicated, you should identify and use the most relevant keywords to your leads first. Then you’ll want to be sure each keyword has a search volume and user intent that’s high enough to attract a relevant audience.
Incorporating paid advertising into your Inbound Marketing strategy is a great way to promote your content. Paid advertising allows you to drive targeted traffic to your website and into your funnel. There are many forms of online paid advertising. You can run paid search ads on search engines such as Google, display ads on relevant websites and ads within social media channels.
4. Nurturing Leads
Lead nurturing is an effective way of turning prospects into sales-ready customers. Not every lead captured from your forms will be ready to talk sales. Many are just seeking additional information, so hitting them with a sales message right out of the gate might be a turn off.
However, you can use lead nurturing to convert interested leads into sales-ready prospects. Usually, lead nurturing takes the form of a sequence of emails that answer frequently asked questions or provide additional information. Delivering the right content at the right time is the main idea here.
5. Measuring and Refining
Assessment is the final part of a solid inbound campaign strategy. You’ll want to measure your progress and implement improvements every step of the way. The goals you prepared at the very beginning will come back into play here. Analyzing your results allows you to determine the performance of your campaign and where you can improve. Identifying what is effective and what isn’t will come in handy as you perfect your Inbound Marketing strategy.
If you want to dive head first into Inbound Marketing, these 5 components will help with the beginnings of a winning strategy. But remember that this is only the beginning. Inbound Marketing is a marathon — not a sprint. Keep at it and continue improving ‚ and if you need help getting your Inbound Marketing strategy off the ground, get in touch with us today.