It's really tough to accomplish anything in this world without a strategy. Whether it’s coaching a football team, cooking a family dinner or running a business, all need a good plan.To prepare for a football game, coaches develop game plans and determine the best lineup of players to help the team win. Similarly, for marketing too, a marketer should make sure that everything is well planned to achieve important business goals and operations to run smoothly.
As you look around, you will find more and more companies leaving behind traditional marketing strategies and turning into inbound marketing methodology to generate new leads, customers and revenue.
The concept of inbound marketing is based on attracting strangers and converting them into customers through relevant, educational and helpful content.
What makes an inbound marketing strategy work
A successful inbound marketing strategy is developed to generate sales qualified leads, establish credibility and increase brand awareness.
Though the key to success for any brand depends on how your product or service solves your customer's problems and adds value to make the difference, there are few proven steps you can follow to make your inbound marketing strategy win.
7 Steps to develop a winning inbound marketing strategy
Step 1. Create Buyer Personas:
While making an inbound marketing plan, you need to establish a clear target audience as your entire strategy revolves around creating content which speaks and appeals to this audience. Once you have the clarity to whom you are talking to, the better content you will publish which gets your prospect engaged.
To have a clear vision of your ideal customer is to develop buyer personas and which content topics should be focused on. The buyer personas created by you will be your guide to creating your content marketing strategy for the fiscal year.
When you understand your customer's problems, challenges, needs and questions which affect your prospects the most you need to create and publish content to address these issues which will make your content strategy much more effective.
Step 2. Identify Where Your Audience Lives Online:
Once you are aware who your audience is and what your goal is, the next step is to locate the audience.
Where are they online?
Look for them at social media, websites, blogs, forums, communities, etc. First look for them at social media, Q&A sites and if you are into B2B business, Linkedin will be better. There are various forums, and groups, where you can easily find your potential audience.
Step 3. Enrich Your Blog Content:
Your business blog is a tremendous asset to your brand and a critical component of the inbound marketing strategy. From bolstering thought leadership to being found in the search engines the true benefits of blogging are too compelling to ignore.
By sharpening your blogging tactics, you’ll build a true reputation, drive traffic to your site, and grow your email list. But in a digital era where more content is being produced today than ever before, you need to make your blog posts engaging enough to separate you from the sea of articles on the web.
- You need to leverage interactive content like surveys, polls, videos etc enriching your content to improve website experience.
- Have a content strategy which supports 1000+ words blogs as long forms of content performs well on search engines.
- Blogs should also be mobile optimised.
- Add more visuals, not only does it make it appealing, you will receive more social shares
Step 4. Make Social Media Plan:
Once you have identified your target audience, determine which social media channels that your audience is using the most.
Linkedin is the best bet if you are targeting executives and professionals. And it is important to research which platforms will provide you with the best reach.
You should limit your major social media marketing efforts to two or three platforms. It's really better to work on one network and do it well than have a poor presence on five or six.
Step 5. Search Engine Optimization:
Search engine optimization is best to drive constant traffic to your website over time. Many sites which utilise inbound marketing techniques say that they get most of the traffic from older content which has ranked well in search engine results.
When new content is released, there is generally an increase in traffic, but it slows down and usually vanishes in no time.
Remember the tortoise and rabbit game. Think of SEO as the tortoise and the new content as the rabbit. Even after the rabbit has run out of the race, the tortoise still moves, slow and steady.
And when your content appears higher in search results, it presents an image of authority to readers.
Step 6. Paid Marketing (SEM, SMM):
If you want to reach the right people, search engine marketing is the right option. As per recent studies, 93% of internet experiences start with a search engine. One thing that is unique about search engine marketing is that it is one of the only forms of advertising which helps you to pay to advertise to consumers who are already searching for your company.
Step 7.Grow & Nurture Your Email Subscribers:
As per Email Monday, five years from now 74% of companies feel email marketing as one of the channels with the highest ROI. As building your leads list is the lifeline to your business, by capturing quality leads into your sales funnel, you can create more opportunities to convert these prospects into buying customers. With these proper nurturing tactics, your email list can be a revenue generating machine for your business.
A winning inbound marketing strategy should be consistent and persistent. Good results are guaranteed if you are producing content which delivers true value consistently to your audience and you remain persistent about it.