Inbound Marketing is being widely adopted across Startups, SMBs and Enterprises. In fact it's giving traditional Tele Calling and Inside Sales teams a run for their money.
If you are new to Inbound Marketing – Inbound Marketing is a modern way of promoting one’s business, product or service through digital channels. It’s a new approach which aims at attracting potential customers to your website, blog and social channels.
The idea is simple – generate high-quality educational content which will address your customer’s questions, concerns, and needs.
As opposed to outbound marketing or push marketing, Inbound Marketing pulls qualified prospects who need your product or service, resulting in higher conversion rate and shorter cycle time.
So how do you get started with Inbound Marketing?
It can be overwhelming at first with the amount of information which is available online.
Here is a simple checklist which will help you get started in your inbound marketing journey.
1. Research your Market and Define your Goals
Before you get started, you will need to do a thorough research about your buyers, competitors and the market environment you operate in.
Who is the potential buyer for your product or service? What are their biggest challenges and aspirations? How does your product or service help them achieve their goals?
These are some questions you need to ask yourself. You may not have all the answers off-hand. That's the reason you need to prepare a Buyer Persona.
Buyer Persona is a profile which defines your typical customer. You may have more than one persona who may have varied needs, wants and challenges.
Here is an example template which will help you create a buyer persona for your business
Once you have documented your buyer persona you will need to do further research on what are they searching for, what are the latest trends and challenges in their industry, what is your competition offering, etc.
Once you have that figured out, Set Goals for yourself. SMART Goals help you stay on course to achieve your short-term and long-term objectives.
2. Define your Content Strategy and Channels
The next step is to create a content creation and distribution strategy.
Depending on your product or service start thinking of the type of content that you can create which will be of value to your buyers.
Make a list of all such topics.
What format will this content be in? Will it be a blog or a video or a white paper or an infographic or something else? Depending on the content topic and your buyer’s preference, plan to build it in one or multiple formats.
Once you know what you are going to create, you will need to ascertain how will you distribute this content. Depending on your industry and audience profile, they may be frequenting certain social networks or industry forums or peer groups, etc.
Distribute this content across all these channels which may span across web, social, mobile, email, etc.
Finally, once you have decided on your content creation and distribution strategy; create a calendar which will help you stay on course of your plans.
It's great to create an impeccable strategy, but it would be of little use unless you can put your plans into action.
Here is a Content Calendar template which we use for our marketing plans. Download it and customize it as per your needs.
3. Implement your Marketing Process and Platform
I would highly recommend putting a structure to your plans. Marketing Automation Platforms will help you with most, if not all your marketing tasks and activities.
Here are few blog posts from MarTechReviews, which will help you understand why you need a marketing automation platform and which one is right for you.
4. Create an Inbound focused website
Creating an inbound focused website requires a lot of planning, research, and practical innovation. The focus is on getting relevant visitors to your website and converting those visitors into paying customers.
Here are few things to consider while building your website:
• Define your Visitor Journey – How you want your visitors to navigate within your website depending on who they are. (e.g. You would want a different journey for a CxO than let's say an IT Executive)
• Create a Content Map – Based on who they are what all content you want them to look at.
• Create non-intrusive Call to Action – What action you want them to take once they look at your content.
• Create intuitive Landing Pages
• Integrate your website with a marketing automation platform.
5. Develop and Distribute Content
Once you have setup all the aforementioned, it's time to get to work. Follow your content calendar and start building and distributing content.
There is no harm in modifying your calendar and proactively prioritising and deferring work based on the response you see from your audience.
6. Analyse, Measure and Improve
It is very important to measure your marketing performance and continuously improve as you go along.
Create standard weekly reports and dashboards you want to look at. Below is a list of reports which i generally look at on a weekly basis.
• Weekly Traffic Report
• Page/ Post Analysis Report
• SEO Keyword Raking Report
• Email Marketing Dashboard
• Social Engagement Dashboard
Let me know if you would want a sample of the same, would be happy to send it over.
Generally speaking, all these reports should be readily available either in your marketing automation platform or/ and Google Analytics.
I hope you found value in this post. Do write to me if you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation session to discuss your specific requirements.