First of all, we’ll start with a definition of inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is the development and deployment of content marketing, targeted advertising, and user experience to attract and retain customers.
Here are 9 steps on how you can establish your inbound marketing strategy starting today.
1. Make a Realistic Budget
If you chose to insource your inbound marketing efforts, make sure you have an ample budget to afford the necessary infrastructure. An inbound marketing team usually consists of a project leader, copywriters, designers, marketing automation experts, and ad operators. The salaries of these positions can quickly add up with an in-house team, so be mindful of the potential expenses. In addition to salaries, benefits, and admin costs, there a number of other expenses involved when insourcing an inbound marketing team including training, administrative costs, and software. All expenses aside, the whole purpose of inbound marketing is to permanently increase your bottom line. So determine your budget and move forward knowing that you’ll get ROI from your efforts.
Outsourcing your inbound marketing is also a viable option which can save costs and increase your overall impact. Crowdspin is a full-service “inbound marketing as a service” firm and is here to help. If you are interested in outsourcing your inbound marketing, fill out this complimentary inbound marketing consultation form.
2. Work With Experienced Professionals
Allowing people who are qualified and experienced to perform a task is always better than trying to do it yourself. When something complex goes wrong with your car, you hire a mechanic. When you want to run an inbound marketing campaign, your hire inbound marketing experts.
3. Understand Your Buyers’ Personas and Journey
Having a detailed understanding of the various buyer personas (influencers, gatekeepers, decision makers) and being able to map out the ideal buyer’s journey is the foundation of an inbound marketing strategy. Your whole company will benefit from understanding these aspects of your business—particularly the sales and marketing teams—which typically manage leads and the buyer’s journey.
Experienced inbound marketers can help to both identify your buyer persona and optimize your current buyer journey; identifying weaknesses and shoring up strengths.
An important question to ask yourself is… What content are you providing for leads and at which stage? Understanding your business so that you can answer questions like these will create the best possible sales and marketing process.
It is important to be able to identify what type of content should be delivered and at what stage.
By perfecting your marketing funnel, the entire sales cycle will benefit as a result. Your leads will be more educated, more engaged, more closeable, and ultimately more likely to stick around.
4. Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy
With a clear understanding of your buyer in mind, your next step is to develop compelling content and delivery strategies. Are you delivering the appropriate content at the opportune time to the right audience? Not sure? Teams of designers, operators and copywriters work in unison to create valuable and high-value content such as advertisements, social posts, blogs, white papers, case studies, and videos that ultimately help you engage—and convert—your prospects. Marketing automation experts, advertising operators, and inbound strategists determine the critical delivery points for each piece of content. Build your team so you can maximize your impact.
5. Optimize Your Channels
Are your marketing efforts being applied to the most effective channels for your specific business? Between advertising, blogs, social media, and partners, it can be difficult to determine which routes require attention and which are wasting your time and money. Optimizing your channels on your own will take both considerable time and capital. You will have to develop, deploy, and test campaigns through each channel until you find what works. It takes someone with experience to avoid spreading your resources through channels that are not appropriate to your specific customer. Experienced inbound marketers have worked with businesses just like yours and know which lanes to step on the gas in and when to hit the brakes.
6. Develop a Deep Understanding of Your Unit Economics
Understanding and improving metrics is never simple. Being able to identify key performance indicators (KPI’s) is only the first step. Invest the time to figure out metrics such as cost per lead, customer acquisition cost, sales conversion rate, and customer referral rate. Equally important is being able to determine and implement the steps needed to make improvements to your numbers.
7. Let Your Data Guide You
Setting realistic goals from the start will play a big part in how you interpret your company’s progress. You must be able to view the data and give objective feedback. It can be a difficult decision to cut ideas or programs that aren’t working as well as they should. Sometimes it takes an outside perspective to be able to see the whole picture.
8. Determine if you Should Insource or Outsource Your Inbound Marketing
Deciding on whether you should have an in-house team or a third-party partner to assist you with your inbound marketing is a critical step. The reality of having an in-house team is that it requires a significant capital investment. There is infrastructure required to have an in-house team and executive buy-in. Outsourcing your inbound marketing has a number of benefits because you can leverage the infrastructure, experience and human resources of a proven company.
Having a sound inbound marketing strategy with high-value content is the gift that keeps giving. As you build your audience, content, and brand it gets easier and easier.
9. Use Video!
The statistics on the benefits of video are staggering. According to this blog post on Sales Prospecting from Dubb, marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users!
Here’s an example of a video pitch we made for Crowdspin.
We encourage you to invest in your inbound marketing and if you need help with us don’t be shy to get a complimentary inbound marketing consultation from one of our specialists.