Have you ever taken a trip to a new place you’ve never gone before on a route you’re not familiar with? Whether you had help from a map, directions from a friend, or the voice on the GPS unit, you had a strategy to get you to that new place. With inbound marketing, you also need a plan to get you to your goals.
Why Have an Inbound Marketing Strategy?
- It extends your company marketing strategy into the inbound realm. Businesses that succeed have a marketing plan that guides them. An inbound marketing strategy is a subset of that overall plan, focusing on how the company will sell to the online marketplace.
- It keeps your online activities aligned with your business goals. Your inbound strategy needs to align directly with your monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. For example, if you want to expand into a new market, your online efforts need to focus on attracting that new audience with new content and offers.
- It gives you and your team direction. If your ideal customer is a teenage boy interested in video games, why would you focus your online marketing efforts in places where middle-aged women with no kids are the most likely audience?
The Heart of Your Strategy
The core of your inbound marketing strategy comes down to three steps:
- Creating engaging content. The way to get random internet users to find your company, online, is through engaging, compelling content. This content is what the search engines use to rank your website. The higher the ranking, the more visitors you get.
- Converting visitors to leads. Once you have a visitor, the next step is converting that person to a lead. That means collecting data, tracking their interests, and passing that information on to your sales team.
- Analyzing data to improve conversions. It tells you which website pages get the most attention, which call-to-action offers get the most clicks and what is working and what is not.
These steps form the core of your inbound marketing strategy. How you plan to implement each step forms the body of that strategy.
Making the Connection Between Your Marketing Strategy and Inbound Efforts
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to choose either inbound or traditional outbound marketing, but not both. The fact is that inbound marketing works quite well with outbound, or traditional marketing. Here’s how you can do it:
- Bring in an inbound marketing consultant. You need someone who understands how inbound marketing works. That person can help you develop an effective strategy that meshes with your existing efforts.
- All your inbound strategies need to tie directly back to your business goals. Your strategies need to trigger actions from your target audience. And those actions should be measurable so that you can track and analyze the results.
- Don’t cut and paste another company’s inbound marketing strategy. You need a plan customized to your business, your goals, and your target audience. What works for another company will not work for yours.
- Test, Test, Test. With your inbound strategy in place, you need to test how it’s working. What’s the conversion rate for each content channel? Which channel is giving you the best rate of lead generation? Is the strategy helping you meet your overall marketing goals and objectives?
Without a plan, your inbound marketing efforts will fail. You won’t be getting the sales leads that keep your business running. But, done right, inbound marketing guarantees you’ll get those leads. Find out what other inbound professionals are doing and where your inbound marketing efforts stand with our B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Report. Just click the button below.