With companies of all industries using inbound marketing to attract customers, creating a comprehensive strategy that has a great impact is what will separate them from the competition. Depending on your inbound marketing strategy, your message could fall flat among consumers or increase your return on investment significantly.
Here is how to develop the right inbound marketing strategy:
Put the Consumer First
Since what sets inbound marketing apart from traditional marketing is the need to draw people in rather than force a brand message on them, this type of marketing is focused directly on the consumer. As a result, your business needs to build its inbound marketing strategy around buyer personas, which represent your ideal customers.
Personas & Inbound Marketing Strategy
Crafting buyer personas typically involve interviewing or gathering market research on potential and current customers. Marketers can then gather this information and create a buyer profile based on demographics, job titles or industry and more to better understand their ideal customers and market their products more efficiently.
According to HubSpot, websites that utilize personas are two to 5 times more effective for their target users. In addition to being more effective for marketing toward prospective customers, marketers avoid wasting resources trying to capture the attention of a wider audience that may not be interested in their products or services in the first place.
When businesses put customers first, they develop an inbound marketing strategy that concentrates on engagement, which is likely to lead to greater conversion and retention rates.
Determine Your Content Marketing Needs and Goals
After fleshing out your buyer personas, you’ll need to create content that serves several purposes, especially education. Almost 9 in 10 business to business marketers use content marketing as part of an inbound marketing strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Although traditional marketers have a tendency to educate customers on their brand and their products and services, inbound marketers should also teach customers about how to recognize their problems and which purchasing options they have to solve them.
To do this, inbound marketers need a variety of content in their arsenal to educate and engage their audience, including:
White papers and research studies
Infographics and videos
Importance of Content Distribution & Outreach
When choosing which mix of content marketing to invest time and resources in, marketers should be aware of where potential and current customers are most likely to consume this content. While landing pages and blog posts that appear on your business website play roles in attracting customers to your brand, other content like social media and emails that are meant to be shared with other people should not be ignored.
Visual media like custom graphics and videos are also crucial tools to spread your brand message and engage with prospects. According to stats reported by WordStream, nearly half (45 percent) of internet users watch videos on Facebook or YouTube for an hour or more per week. With this in mind, companies that produce videos are more likely to distribute content on social media channels, such as Facebook, because that is where their audience is.
Analyze Your Outcomes and Pinpoint Weaknesses
Creating and distributing your content customized for your buyer personas will be less effective if you do not analyze your performance. Perfect your inbound marketing strategy by using analytical tools and platforms that will allow you to measure your outcomes, such as traffic growth and ROI, so you can take action to boost your future results.
Setting Goals & Tracking KPIs
Before you can measure your outcomes, establish your goals and chosen KPIs. This can be related to selling products and services, engaging with customers, etc. For example, if you are an e-commerce company, you’ll want to have a measurable outcome related to selling products so you’d want to track metrics related to number of products sold, cost per lead conversion and more.
Once you have metrics you want to measure, use your analytical tools to report and analyze outcomes in addition to testing out strategies that will meet your business goals. Finally, you want to use this data to continually improve upon your inbound marketing strategy by highlighting weaknesses in your marketing plan and gradually phasing them out.
With the right strategy for your inbound and content marketing, you’ll more likely to engage with your ideal consumers and keep them as lifelong customers.