10 Easy Inbound Marketing Steps To Get You Started
If you run any type of business, then the chances are that it will more than likely have a website.
However, just by having a website built isn’t a 100% guarantee that orders or enquiries will fly in without having to do anything else.
But what can you do and how can you improve your chances of customers finding you? You’re probably sat scratching your head thinking what next?
This is where inbound marketing comes into play, Hubspot states:
Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them. While outbound marketing interrupts your audience with content they don’t want, inbound marketing forms connections they’re looking for and solves problems they already have.
Or in other words, inbound marketing is a way of getting your potential customers coming to you rather than you doing the leg work in the traditional ways such as cold calls, mass unsolicited email etc.
Impact, has put together this great infographic illustrating 10 key steps to get you on the right track when starting out in the world of inbound marketing.
1. Understand what inbound marketing is
Inbound marketing can be a fairly heady subject, it has many faces to it and can be complex to fully understand and master it.
Read as much as you can and watch videos online at all the methodologies out there.
There are tonnes of free online resources on the subject. Take a look at KissMetrics, Neil Patel and Social Media Examiner to name a few.
2. Create an inbound team
Inbound marketing isn’t something you can dip your toes in. If you’re considering starting inbound practices then you’ll need a focused approach and a team that can help you.
For example, you’ll need to create content so you’ll need a copywriter and a designer, plus other skilled people.
For many small businesses, this simply isn’t possible from a time and cost perspective, however, focus on what you can do yourself and build from there.
As you build, allocating budget to these areas will help.
3. How is your current marketing working?
Before you do anything, you need to understand how your current marketing activities are working. Some key questions that you can ask yourself are:
What marketing are you doing at the moment?
How are they working for you?
Did one marketing activity produce more results than another?
How much budget can you allocate to marketing?
What’s your current marketing spend?
4. Set your marketing goals
Think about what you’re selling and what you need your marketing to do for your business. Set some achievable and realistic goals
5. Understand who your customers are
A central part to all marketing whether inbound or not is to fully understand who your customers are and what makes them tick. It’s important so you can ‘give them exactly what they need’ in terms of the content that you create and the marketing that you do..
What are their pain points?
What problems do they have and how can you help them?
What are their benefits from using your products and services?
6. Create your marketing ideas and make a plan
Once you have your marketing goals, it’s time to think about what inbound marketing strategy will be and what you need to do to achieve them.
This can include:
Decide on your USPs that will resonate with your audience
Keywords that your audience (buyer persona) are searching for
Your content strategy
How regular will you blog?
How are you going to use social networks?
How will you handle a new lead and nurture them into becoming a customer?
What technology will you use?
If you don’t have the skills inhouse who will outsource elements such as design and content to?
These are just a few inbound marketing decisions that you will need to action but there are many more.
7. Review your website and that it fits your audience
Your website, as mentioned above is central to all your inbound marketing efforts. If you already have a website then you need to carefully review this and ensure that it syncs with your audience.
If you need a new website then make sure that you work with a professional company to build this correctly from the grassroots up.
We have covered in a previous blog what goes into a great website.
8. Produce and publish your content
Content is a vital part of your inbound marketing strategy, basically, it is the ‘hook’ that will bring more customers to you. Here are some of the types of content and outlets you can use.
Free help guides
Downloads and useful information.
A strong social media presence paid for advertising
Email marketing to your subscribers.
These are just some ideas to get you started.
9. Promote your content
With the greatest content in the world, you will still have to promote it. Don’t just create it it and wait for people to find it.
10. Check your marketing results
Once you have a firm inbound marketing strategy in place and have been actively working on it for a while, it’s time to evaluate the results.
Try to understand what aspects of your marketing is and isn’t working for you. Looking at your web traffic, user numbers, visitor time on your site, bounce rate, click-through rates and your conversion rates.
After you know this it’s time to try and understand how to improve your inbound marketing methods.