Developing and implementing a successful inbound marketing strategy
How to develop and implement a successful inbound marketing strategy
In our last blog, we delved into seven reasons why you can’t afford not to invest in inbound marketing. It’s all very well expounding the virtues of inbound, but the only way an inbound marketing strategy is going to grow your business and increase revenue is if you know how to develop and implement one. After all, being book smart about inbound and being street smart about it are two very different things. In this blog, we’re going to run through some of the elements involved in designing and executing an inbound strategy. Even if you enlist the help of an inbound agency to do it for you, it’s important to be familiar with how it’s done.
Goals, data and metrics are the compass with which to track whether an inbound marketing strategy is on course for success
First of all: what is a successful inbound strategy? One that grows revenue and profits, delivers maximum ROI and generates more leads, I hear you say. Yes, all those things are indicators of a successful strategy, but before you enjoy the growth your business so deserves, goals need to be set to measure whether your strategy is on course to being successful.
The goals you set need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. We call these SMART goals (have a look at this HubSpot blog for a more detailed description of what this means). How do you know whether you’re meeting your goals? With data analysis. Data collected by analytic tools (marketing automation software or Google Analytics) is analysed and metrics used to indicate whether your strategy is on track. If it isn’t, we adjust the overall strategy
Market research and data are used to create the buyer personas that your strategy revolves around
Another key aspect of implementing a successful inbound strategy is knowing your audience. Figure out who it is you want to target, and then conduct research into the pain points, needs and dreams of these personas. Find out where they go for information, what social platforms they’re on – even what kind of TV shows they watch in the evenings! Also use data about your current customers when creating these personas. This will paint a humanised picture of who you want to become a loyal customer. Once you know exactly who it is you’re trying to reach out to, you can craft content and communication around them, rather than reaching out to them in a way you think they’d like.
Content forms an integral part of a successful strategy as it speaks directly to your target audience
Once you know who you’re targeting you can start creating content around those audiences. The first part of creating content involves seeing what content you already have. Create a sales funnel for each persona (what kind of topics and issues is each persona interested in at each stage of the funnel?) and then make sure you’ve got the right content (blogs and conversion assets) to attract and convert them into leads. Your content should be educational, add value to your audience and speak to their pain points. Once you’ve created that content, the next stage is to promote it.
Lead nurturing ensures that website visitors are turned into leads, and then customers
Great – you’ve created content, promoted it and a few people have found your website through a blog article that made it to the first page of Google’s search results! After reading your blog, this visitor can do one of two things: leave your website, or be encouraged to continue their journey with you. This is where lead nurturing becomes important.
To turn a visitor into a lead you need conversion assets on your website. A visitor can download an eBook, for example, in exchange for their contact details and any other information you want to know about them: their job title, company and location, for example. Knowing how and when to communicate with your leads forms the basis of a successful lead nurturing strategy: bombarding a first time visitor to your site with a product handbook and a sales call is definitely not the way to go. This is why you’ve got to have such a clear picture of your sales funnel and what each persona is interested in at each stage.
We’ve covered the basics of what makes an inbound strategy a success. If you still need some convincing about inbound marketing’s ability to create real growth opportunities for your business, download our guide to find out more: