5 Steps to Start a Powerful Inbound Marketing Program
January 15th, 2020
Undoubtedly, the internet has had a profound effect on marketing. 16 years ago, there were no social media or other online platforms. The channels through which marketers could reach buyers were limited to print advertisements, direct mailing, and national TV commercials. These methods were targeted at a broad audience, and selective marketing through specially curated content was not possible.
Today, the marketing landscape has evolved, thanks to the power of social media and other internet channels. Marketers no more use the aforementioned “push” tactics, and instead employ inbound marketing strategies to gain a quality perspective on their customers. According to a study by the Weidert Group, 90% of B2B buyers use online search to make purchase decisions. Prevalent market conditions demand that businesses be equipped with an exceptional inbound marketing department.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
It is a form of “pull” marketing that draws customers to products and services via the online methods of content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing, etc. In contrast to outbound marketing where marketers attempt to go out and find customers; inbound marketing creates a brand environment that earns the attention of customers, making it easy for a company to be found by them.
Inbound marketing works best after the right type of buyers have been identified by a business. Basically, determining people who are most likely to buy what you are selling. Once the buyer personas are diagnosed, inbound marketing techniques can be employed to target them.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
While the traditional methods of outbound marketing are still relevant and useful, they must be aided with an inbound strategy. No business today can exist without an inbound marketing program. Let us quickly understand the importance of inbound marketing.
Increases Website Traffic
Inbound marketing allows businesses to get the most out of their website. Creating high-quality SEO-optimized content becomes a great asset that drives traffic to their webpage. Identifying keywords that are being popularly searched by your potential customers will increase the chances of your company being discovered by more people, eventually leading to a higher rate of lead generation.
Increases Lead Conversions
Once your web portal starts experiencing increased traffic, you can create compelling CTAs or calls-to-action to convert this traffic into actual leads. This process of lead conversion is of utmost importance and this increases your chances of converting a lead to a paying customer.
Converts Leads to Customers
Once your web portal begins to generate quality leads, it’s time to nurture them into conversion. The right CTAs and offers will attract the right leads to complete their purchasing journey. Inbound marketing can have a significant impact on converting a number of quality leads into loyal customers.
Optimizes Marketing ROIs
Inbound marketing requires a lower monetary investment as opposed to outbound marketing. For example, publishing content that potential buyers engage with is free of cost as opposed to paid advertising on T.V., radio, and print. Inbound marketing is automated, cheaper and generates higher-quality sales leads.
Five Steps to Build a Robust Inbound Marketing Plan
It is now abundantly clear that diving into an inbound marketing plan is imperative for businesses that wish to expand in today’s cutthroat competition. However, before beginning, you may have certain questions, such as, what are the steps involved in getting an inbound program off the ground? Who is responsible for executing them? What kind of work does it take?
Given that you already have a dedicated marketing team in place and have hired a marketing manager, preferably with a solid experience in marketing leadership, you are now ready to apply the following five steps to launch a powerful inbound marketing plan –
1. Set KPIs
Start with sharing your revenue growth goals for the coming year with your marketing team. This will help them identify all the key performance indicators or KPIs that they will need to track. Also, evaluate your CLV or Customer Lifetime Value, which is the net-profit amount attributed to the future relationship with customers. The CLV number will help to answer the following three questions –
• How many customers are we short of achieving our revenue goals?
• How many fresh leads are required?
• How many more visitors are needed to increase the number of leads?
2. Create Buyer Personas
Define your ideal customer and create buyer profiles that you want to target through this marketing drive. It will optimize your marketing budget as you will be investing in acquiring customers who have a need-gap that can be fulfilled by your business offerings as opposed to a more general crowd.
By clearly defining buyer personas, you will be able to identify different potential markets and tailor engaging campaigns to entice them. You can also employ several data-driven applications to know who your customers are and what they want.
3. Develop Content Strategy
Once you have successfully created buyer personas, device a strategy that outlines the primary message you want to engage these personas with. Remember that each persona has different needs, triggers, and motivations. Valuable content employing appropriate keywords has to be developed for them.
SEO-optimized content will allow your potential customers to separate you from the herd of competition. Create high-quality blogs or e-books that are going to work as the primary devices to get search hits onto your website. The blog should not only contain content for every target persona, but for each stage of their buyer journeys as well.
4. Prepare Your Website
If you have an old website with only a few informational pages, get rid of it! To launch an inbound marketing program, your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly and needs to have a blog link.
Apart from this, your website also requires CTAs, which are essentially buttons placed at the right location on the page saying things like, “Get Your Credit Score Checked Now! Or “Subscribe Now!” This has to be done to entice your users to access content and read more about your business offerings. A well-prepped website provides conversion opportunities and is an integral part of an inbound marketing program.
In addition to blogs and CTAs, you will also need to create email templates that you can later send automatically to surfers who downloaded content that was a part of lead nurturing. Popular keywords and key phrases related to your industry will also need to be identified through SEO work and naturally incorporated into the website’s content on all landing pages.
5. Set Up Social Media
Now that all your content is in place and your website is ready, you need a way to get the word out. Your blog is just one of the multiple channels through which this can be done. Tapping into social media is a potent way to boost your website’s page traffic.
LinkedIn is a great platform to share links for your blog posts and other advanced content. Facebook and Instagram make sense for several fashion and lifestyle companies and Twitter works best when you want the media to pick up your content by means of retweeting it. Ensure that your company’s social media handles are complete and timely updated.
Combine these five powerful steps and you are ready to dive into the world of inbound marketing. These tips can help you attract visitors, turn them into leads and nurture them into becoming loyal customers. Inbound marketing will help you get discovered more than any other method of marketing.