Inbound marketing is a powerful tool and already the gold-standard marketing strategy across many B2B sectors. But if you're feeling overwhelmed at the thought of jumping in feet first, slow down! At its base level, an inbound marketing strategy can be achieved in five simple steps, which we've outlined below. Panic over.
1. Determine your target audience with personas
The whole premise of any good inbound marketing strategy is to identify the needs of your audience and offer them a timely and relevant solution. Bearing this in mind, personas are imagined identities that represent your target prospects. By understanding your ideal prospect's character, ambitions, fears and everyday experiences, you can create an inbound marketing strategy that really speaks to your audience and catches their interest.
2. Determine your offer mix
A successful inbound marketing strategy relies on the right mix of offers. The idea is to create various pieces of valuable content that you anticipate will drive conversions. If this is your first inbound attempt, we'd recommend starting with around 4-5 different offers of varying formats - these could be blogs, infographics, videos, guides and more.
3. Set a timeline and goals
The timeline will be unique for every inbound marketing strategy, but think about how to spread out your mix of offers to maximise their impact, without having the campaign run for so long that the overall theme is diluted. A more complex inbound topic may also take longer than a straightforward strategy. As a rule of thumb, however, campaigns typically run anywhere from 30 to 90 days, with offers spread throughout.
4. Drive traffic
To support your inbound marketing strategy and drive traffic to your offers, give the rest of your communication channels an editorial tilt. Sharing is caring, after all!
5. Nurture your leads
The cardinal rule of any inbound marketing strategy is to provide value, not high-pressure sales pitches. Just because someone converts on one offer in your campaign, it doesn't mean they're ready to make a purchase decision. Use a series of related emails to incrementally provide leads with more and more information. As your lead becomes more engaged in the content and opts to download additional offers, start to introduce them to your product or service. If they aren’t interested, don’t push a sales call on them. Think marathon, not sprint.
And there you have it, five simple steps to help you create a successful inbound marketing strategy! However, if you want to take your inbound efforts up another notch or two, speak to one of our experts.
So what are the do's of inbound marketing?
We've been in the inbound marketing game for some years now, and want to end this blog with some of the wisdom we've picked up along the way.
Firstly, consistency in messaging is key to inbound, as is delivering on your promises.
The highest-converting inbound marketing strategy is the one that delivers on what it has promised, and creates a seamless transition from copy and design to the deliverable itself.Make sure that you’re presenting a consistent message throughout the process and providing value to everyone that engages with your lead capture.
All aspects of your inbound marketing strategy should mirror everything else on your website, on your blog, and within the product that you will eventually try to sell. If not, you’ll have a difficult time getting your lead to the next lifecycle stage. Your campaign should be about more than just obtaining an email address — it should be about developing a new customer.
And what are the don'ts?
Don’t buy leads.
Purchased leads don’t actually know you, and therefore whatever messaging you send them will be unwanted. There's a risk of your email being marked as spam, which opens up a whole heap of issues. If your message is marked as spam, you may be placed on a blacklist, which is a disaster both to the immediate performance of the campaign and the long term reputation of your brand.
So yes, if you want a cheap and easy fix that causes damage instead of creating value, then buy in your leads . However, for far more sustainable and substantial results, an inbound marketing strategy is the obvious choice.
If you want to hear more from us on all things inbound marketing, get in touch to speak to an expert.