As a business owner, you can’t afford to waste time or money trying various marketing tactics to see what might work. Instead, plan a cohesive inbound marketing strategy to ensure the best use of resources. An effective plan includes these basic areas of focus that you can build upon by asking yourself "How will my company...":
- Identify the right resources to create an effective team – Evaluate your firm's expertise and ability to take on additional work based on your budget. Consider hiring outside talent to fulfill specific roles and/or inbound marketing activities. A well-rounded team will cover project management, web design, web development, search engine optimization, copywriting, blogging, email marketing, data analysis and social media marketing.
- Define specific business goals - Saying that you want more leads isn't specific enough. Instead create detailed plans. For example, "We’ll increase sales by 30 percent over the next year via inbound marketing, outbound campaigns and lead nurturing," or "we’ll increase qualified leads with targeted content, social media and email." The goals revolve around converting leads into clients by leveraging engaging, stratified content, marketing automation and intuitive business development.
- Find our target audience – In addition to your defining your business goals, it is equally important to develop detailed personas of ideal client(s) niches, map their decision-making process, list influences and influencers--and note where they can be reached/found. Personas are the basis for inbound marketing – they are a cast of fictional characters, each possessing different roles, interests, priorities, goals and pain points. Knowing what makes your prospective clients tick will help you strike up a more meaningful exchange.
- Address our client’s pain points - As previously discussed, identify and isolate your client’s pain points by researching and listening to your audience. Learn what solutions they’re asking for - identify what they are not finding. What are they bemoaning? What industry trends are popular? Is there room for your firm to stake out a unique position? A thorough understanding of these things will help you to respond with a very specific inbound marketing effort.
- Get found - People looking for your services will begin their quest by using a search engine. The first step toward ranking high in results for the most relevant searched terms is to incorporate the right keywords in your website. It is important to look for the right terms that are searched frequently and make every keyword a winner. Create a list of keywords or long tail keyword phrases that have a relatively high monthly search volume and medium to low competition level. There are a number of resources to conduct your research, like Google’s Keyword Planner. Use this tool to develop a list of pertinent keywords that are in the sweet spot of competition and search volume. This list of key terms and phrases will help you identify the kind of content you will need to create. Ensuring content is found through the right keywords and effective SEO framework for placement will ensure you will be found by the right audiences.
- Attract prospects with great content - Create useful content daily to help solve problems by responding with postings on your website, blog, social media accounts and discussion forums. Create content in the form of downloadables, videos, and even live events, using a voice fitting the audience and formats fitting each channel.
- Qualify the right leads - Stratify content to match interest levels shown by prospects/site visitors, beginning with freely offered content, segmenting prospects by type and interest level. In-depth content will guide users to your solutions, providing information, fueling understanding and supporting decision-making. The best way to reach out to leads and answer their questions is through a series of automated emails. Email automation gives leads a little nudge or reminder that you have valuable content available at their disposal. This encourages leads to re-engage with your content and move further down the funnel. The emails that you send to top-of-funnel leads should answer the most common questions that arise during your sales process.
- Convert leads - Identify warm leads (repeat visitors with increasing interest), collecting contact information in exchange for downloadables or email subscriptions. Prospective clients who continue to revisit content are actively moving through the lead-nurturing funnel allowing you to position your services by illustrating your firm’s unique brand. Business developers can participate by tuning in at the qualify and close stages. When a lead continues to engage, they are considered qualified and ready for business developer engagement.
For more information on developing your marketing strategy, contact Colosi Marketing.