June 12, 2017

How to Create an Inbound Marketing Strategy

If you’ve found that your outbound marketing efforts are becoming less effective over time, then read on.

You may have noticed that your email blasts to purchased lists of unqualified prospects, cold-calls and direct mailers are no longer generating the quantity and quality of leads needed to fill the top of your sales funnel—leaving your sales team twiddling their thumbs.

So how do you generate qualified leads for your company when your traditional, outbound marketing strategy is failing in returns?

The answer is inbound marketing. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is defined as “an approach focused on attracting customers through content and interactions that are relevant and helpful—not interruptive.” Unlike outbound marketing, potential customers find you through blogs, search engines and social media.

Below are six steps to help you get your inbound marketing strategy off the ground. These steps will attract visitors, convert visitors into leads, transform leads into customers and delight customers into promoters of your business.

6 Steps to Kick Off Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

  1. Set SMART goals.

The first step to creating your inbound marketing strategy is to set your business goals. Benchmark your company against your competitors, industry and position in the market to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely) goals.

  1. Create buyer personas.

Buyer personas are research-based representations of your ideal customer. Determine who your buyers are, what they want to accomplish, where their pain points are and how they make their buying decisions.

  1. Get discovered.

Locate your audience. Determine where they spend their time online and how they are searching for your content. Blogging is essential to getting discovered because it brings traffic to your website. The secret is to create content that addresses the pain points of your buyer personas. Relevant visitors will come to your website when you blog about the right content.

  1. Get leads.

Convert visitors to leads by offering premium content, such as eBooks, webinars, case studies and white papers on your website. Visitors are more likely to fill out a form with their contact information if they feel your content contains unique informational value.

  1. Acquire customers.

One way to transform leads into customers is to launch lead-nurturing campaigns. Set up workflows that trigger personalized follow-up emails with targeted content based on actions your leads take on your website. Workflows help move your leads through the sales cycle and encourage such activity as making a purchase.

  1. Retain customers.

Once you’ve acquired new customers, you must not forget about them. Continue to engage existing customers with tools like surveys and social monitoring so that you can monitor their questions, comments, likes and dislikes. You may even delight your customers to the point that they become happy promoters of your business and products.

Transitioning from a traditional outbound marketing strategy to an inbound marketing strategy may seem like a leap of faith for your company, but in the end, it’s worth it. Inbound marketing will keep your sales funnel full and transform leads into customers, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to develop and maintain your strategy. The sooner you put your plan into action, the sooner you will reap the rewards. So, what are you waiting for?

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