By Gabriel Nwatarali
No matter what kind of business you own, you’ll require a strong marketing strategy. In marketing, there are two main strategies and these are outbound (traditional methods) and inbound. This article will focus on inbound marketing. So what does an effective inbound marketing strategy look like?
For the uninitiated, inbound marketing is a practice where the aim is to naturally bring customers to a business. There are many inbound marketing tactics that you can use to attract new customers.
However, as a business owner, it can be daunting trying to figure out whether your inbound marketing plan will be effective. Especially, when you didn’t put it together yourself.
But First, Why Engage in Inbound Marketing?
For years, businesses have interrupted consumers and they tolerated this behavior for a time. These days, people have the power to choose how and when they want to see your ads. You simply cannot expect them to respond whenever you want them to anymore.
Since most consumers became fed up and stopped paying attention to ads that interrupted them, inbound marketing was born. It’s about leading new customers to find the information they want at the exact time that they need it.
What to Expect From An Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy
Every inbound marketing strategy should contain these things.
1. Your Target Customer is Clearly Defined
Defining and understanding your customer will help you craft messaging that’ll resonate with them. The easiest way to really know your audience is to have buyer personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal customers.
Are your customers CEO’s, CIO’s, construction workers or other? Buyer personas will help your business understand how these people may think. Additionally, it helps your team focus their messaging.
2. Your Triggers Are Outlined
Triggers are the events or pain points that cause consumers to look for your products, also known as marketing triggers. Your plan should identify the pain points of your potential clients and attempt to meet them at their point of need.
3. Keyword Research
A good strategy should include keyword research.
You need to know how your ideal customers search for your products or services. You can’t assume here, so this has to be done! Use Google keyword planner to gather keyword information.
4. Goals Should Be Set!
Every goal should follow the SMART goal framework. Meaning that it is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
Your KPIs (key performance indicators) should be present in your plan. For example, a KPI for a spa/salon business can include:
- Total monthly website visitors
- Number of website visitors that went to the physical store
- Number of visitors that downloaded the brochure
Setting goals will keep your team focused on achieving them.
5. A Clearly Defined Content Strategy
There are three main stages in a customer’s journey or buying cycle and these are awareness, evaluation and purchase. These stages can happen really quickly or slow, depending on the kind of business.
In the awareness stage, the prospect has just discovered your product but they’re not sure that they need it. In this stage, you’ll need content that informs the consumer about your products and reasons they need it.
In the evaluation phase, the consumer is aware but skeptical. They’re evaluating your company and products to make sure that you’re right for them. You need content that’ll move them towards making a buying decision, such as webinars, case studies, brochures etc.
In the purchase stage, the consumer is ready to buy but they need a little push. You can use content like product demos, free trials or complimentary consultations to close the deal. You can also be direct by just asking for the sale by getting your sales team to call them.
6. Lead Nurturing
People are ready to act at different times, so your plan should have a lead nurturing system.
You can nurture your leads by consistently producing content that’ll move them further down the sales funnel. Lead nurturing content should always add value.
Also, you need to periodically ask for the sale because every time you do, you’ll move people closer to saying yes.
7. Have a Plan to Regularly Obtain Leads
A good way to do this is to have a blog. Your blog can consistently supply you with leads!
Create content with valuable information, and then offer something else of value that they’ll need to download such as a white paper or eBook. Before they download it, collect the minimum information that you’ll need to begin communications with them.
Now it’s your turn, please leave a comment.
Gabriel Nwatarali is a digital marketer and designer. He is the founder of Tech Help Canada, a design and marketing agency. He currently resides in the beautiful city of Ottawa, ON.