Six Steps to a Successful Inbound Marketing Plan
Outbound marketing is becoming less popular, causing the business community to turn to inbound marketing. Through blog posts, videos, social media posts and newsletters, this marketing technique allows you to bring customers one step closer to your business. It allows you to build relationships with them, without having to make a phone call or practicing any sorts of outbound marketing. According to Search Engine Journal, inbound leads cost 60% less than outbound leads, showing that it’s not only convenient but also cost effective.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to create a successful inbound marketing plan. By following these steps, you will be able to prioritize each aspect of the plan and find out what works for your business and what is going to be the most successful.
1. Identify Your Target Market
The first step in any marketing plan is to find out who your target market is and what they want. Your company needs to produce content that interests your target audience and gives them an incentive to contact you. This marketing technique works the best when you focus in on a specific audience, allowing you to modify and make any adjustments when sending content to them. Understanding exactly who you are contacting will make it easier to cater to their needs and will allow you to craft messages and content that will make a lasting impression on your customers.
2. Determine Keywords and Triggers
When you have determined who your audience is and what content will be the most useful to them, it’s time to identify what causes them to research and show interest in your company. By finding which keywords trace back to your company the most often and the products and services you offer, you will be able to adjust the content you share. In addition, keywords allow you to see how difficult it is to rank certain words, as well as determining the location that produces the most traffic. Once determined, create a list of these words that produce high volume to ensure your team will know exactly what messaging they should use when targeting prospects.
3. Call to Action
Once you determine your target market and which keywords help drive traffic back to your website, it’s time to determine the call to action that will appear on your content pieces. In order to get prospects to download content, you need to entice them with a strong incentive or call to action. Microsoft Research reports that people spend only 10 seconds on your homepage before leaving if they don’t immediately connect with your marketing messages. Whether it’s taking the content you’ve produced and posting it on your social pages or adding a link to where they can subscribe to newsletters on your website, it’s necessary to choose a way where they can easily contact you if need be.
4. Creating Campaign Pieces
Now is the time to create or repurpose content for your target audience. Venture out of your comfort zone, creating not only text-based articles, but develop infographics, videos, and other marketing materials to creatively showcase your company’s products and services. With 60% of the population consisting of visual learners, adding more graphics may work in your benefit. According to Jeff Bullas, articles with images get 94% more views over those without an image, so be innovative when marketing. Find out how your audience reacts to your posts online and allow your team to analyze the posts to see how you need to adapt. For example, if your audience is extremely prevalent on YouTube or any video sharing site, it might be good to include videos in your posts. This will show your customers that you are trying to meet their needs in their preferred way.
5. Get Social
Now that you are fully prepared and have taken all of the necessary requirements to become a successful inbound marketer, it’s time to post online. With 23% of all time spent online being spent on social media sites (ContentPlus), your business needs to start posting content on social networks! It’s important to go beyond just posting a link; the goal is to engage your audience enough to ultimately make a sale. While it can be overwhelming being in charge of multiple social accounts, try to stick to the ones that your audience seems use the most. While Snapchat is a popular app right now in the marketing world, if your target audience is not using it, don’t focus your attention on it. Choose sites that are relevant to your market and where they spend the most time. Remember, you are trying to become a trusted source of content for your audience, so make sure you are interacting and showing how you can help them.
6. Analyze Your Results
Once all is said and done, it’s necessary to track and analyze your results. You need to make sure your marketing methods are measureable to fully take advantage of this technique. Whether you are using Google Analytics, marketing software with reporting features, or an ROI measuring tool, allowing you to see if your goals were met is vital.
Transitioning from outbound to inbound marketing may seem like a big risk, but ultimately, it will produce results for your company in a quick and cost effective manner. The less time you spend on printing ads or making cold calls, the more time you will have to connect with customers and prospects over the Internet, helping to build your leads and sales opportunities. The steps above will give you a great guideline for making this necessary switch and will help you to build your company’s online reputation.
John Foley Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team help printers get on a strong path to marketing success. Their approach includes software solutions, consulting, Website development, marketing audits, and strategic marketing plans. interlinkONE’s software solutions for the print industry include their marketing automation platform, MAX, and ilinkONE V8. Learn more about MAX: Marketing Automation. Executed. by visiting MarketWithMAX.com, John at JohnFoleyJr.com, and his companies at interlinkONE.com and GrowSocially.com.