One of the attractions of inbound marketing is its flexibility with digital marketing services. It offers a plethora of options and tactical tools and generates vast quantities of data and information. Perhaps more than other marketing approaches, an inbound marketing strategy is crucial to defining a cost-effective, disciplined inbound marketing campaign.
A sound digital marketing strategy will put a human face on your brand, position your brand on the right platforms to attract your audience, and assist your brand in engaging with your prospects.
Five-Step Inbound Marketing Strategy
In creating an effective inbound marketing strategy for your business, map your options against five questions:
- What is your goal?
- Who are you targeting?
- Where do they live online?
- What content attracts your audience?
- When and how often do you need to connect with them?
Clarity around these five elements will help you determine which tactics to adopt in your strategy.
Defining Your Goals
As with every digital marketing services & plan, your inbound marketing metrics need to be SMART. That means strategic, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Incorporate the customer conversion process when defining your goals.
Goals may be high-level:
- Revenue growth
- New product/service launch
- Increasing sales to current customers
- Increasing your brand’s geographical penetration
Or they may articulate goals for visitors, prospects, and customers:
- Turn a visitor into an audience member (useful if you are just starting or have great conversion rates)
- Turn an audience member into a prospect (your website traffic is fine but you aren’t generating enough sales leads)
- Turn a prospect into a paying customer (focus here if you aren’t converting enough leads)
Defining Your Audience for digital marketing
Inbound marketing strategy is heavily customer-centric. Without customers, there is no business, regardless of how attractive your brand may be. A good strategy involves a deep dive into the psyche of your audience. Understand what makes your customers tick, identify their problems, needs, and desires and analyze the researching and purchase preferences and behaviors.
Discover your customer’s trigger points. Understand when and where your customers interact with your messages. It is equally important to identify their pain points and the problems your customer’s encounter, which stimulates them to search online for your brand. Anchor your messages on real solutions rather than loose assumptions and target your audience with an arresting mix of emotion and reason at a time when their need is top of mind.
Add context to your audience appeal by incorporating the needs and desires of different customer types at different phases of the buying cycle.
Defining Your Online Channels
The digital world is an increasingly complex place. Not every channel and tactic will fit with your digital marketing strategy. There is no one size fits all in a high-touch, personalized marketing environment. As you grow your inbound marketing experience, you will find some channels are great for raising awareness or driving website traffic but under-perform when it comes to generating quality leads.
Prioritize your inbound channels to reflect your target audience’s preference for where they hang out online. If the majority of your prospects favor Facebook, then you need to direct your resources to that channel. Alternatively, you may have a brilliant blog that cuts through the clutter and attracts an audience.
Defining Your Online Content
Content is an integral element of inbound marketing. Brilliant cut-through content keeps your website visitors and customers engaged with your brand and stimulated with rich and valuable information. This is how you will keep your name on their minds at the point when they’re ready, willing and able to buy.
Research your competitors’ content and map how they use social media. Track backlinks and discover how competitors score on their SEO performance.
Defining Your Online Content Distribution
Align your distribution channels to your inbound marketing strategy. Will you adopt social media and email marketing, PPC advertising, or influencers in your digital marketing strategy?
Measuring Your Inbound Marketing Strategy
There is a bewildering range of analytics available to measure the effectiveness of your inbound marketing strategy. However, before you commit time and resources to establishing a monitoring regime, first ask yourself five simple questions:
- How engaged are customers, fans, and prospects with my brand?
- How many website visitors are taking the actions I want them to take and how often?
- Is my organic site traffic trending up?
- Who is talking about my brand?
- Am I getting the best and most relevant results from my investment of time and resources?
Determining the best set of metrics to focus on will depend on your brand and your inbound marketing goals. However, there are a few basic metrics every inbound marketer should understand and know how to track.
Eleven Success Indicators
Inbound marketing success is indicated by the presence or absence of lead indicators including:
- Online Sales Revenue
- Cost Per Lead
- Customer Value
- Inbound marketing ROI
- Time On Site/Page/Bounce Rate
- Traffic To Lead Ratio (New Contact Rate)
- Lead To Customer Ratio (Measures content effectiveness)
- Landing Page Conversion Rates
- Organic Traffic
- Social Media Traffic (+Conversion Rates)
- Mobile Traffic & Leads (+Conversion Rates)
Always establish a baseline performance measure to use as a benchmark moving forward to monitor your brand’s subsequent performance. Establishing a performance baseline before rolling out your initiatives allows the impact of your inbound marketing strategy to be clearly measured and assessed.
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Gearing Your Business Up For Inbound Marketing
Smart inbound marketing strategy involves focusing the businesses’ knowledge and marketing tools to create a structured, results-oriented Go-To-Market plan. Investing the time upfront in thinking about your inbound marketing strategy will save you money and wasted effort downstream. Strategy constantly evolves as your visitor behaviors and customer preferences evolve.