May 21st, 2015

Inbound Marketing Strategy

It goes without saying that the secret to having a successful marketing campaign is to have a plan and/or strategy. Ironically, in a recently conducted survey of a group of 1,000 business owners, 86% of them confessed that they did not have marketing strategy. Nor did they have a written marketing plan. So it follows then that there may be a similar problem involved with those business owners who have started using inbound marketing methods and techniques to promote their companies and the products or services they sell. It is safe to say that inbound marketing is not foolproof. However, if there is not a sound marketing plan or strategy in place when that campaign is executed, it is most likely doomed for failure.

The Key Element - Killer Content

Think about something for a moment. There is one aspect of all inbound marketing plans that is always present, no matter what the product or service that marketing campaign is promoting. That element is content, whether it is used in a call to action, blog posts, home or landing pages, or when engaging in networking forums and social networking sites. With the recent changes that Google made to their search algorithm, the content in any marketing plan has become even more critical. When you combine this with the changes in consumer behavior that we have witnessed and the exponential growth of using social media, you have to incorporate several tactics into that marketing plan in order for it to be effective.

Here are two results from a recent survey that was conducted by Hubspot, the award-winning internet marketing blog:

  • Over 50% of the businesses and corporations that were surveyed claimed that they had acquired their customers using blogs and social media networking sites
  • 92% of these businesses and corporations said that they had acquired those customers when they were blogging several times per day

5 Ingredients Every Inbound Marketing Plan should Contain

Whether you are sitting down to create a new inbound marketing plan for next year, or you just want to revamp your current one to spruce it up a bit, there are 5 ingredients that need to be included if you want it to be effective. There are two schools of thought broken down as Ingredients for Inbound Marketing Plan #1 and #2. The differences in these elements is based on the actual focus of a company's inbound marketing plan and what they want to achieve with it.

Ingredients for Inbound Marketing Plan #1:

  • Nurturing process - when website visitors become sales leads, there are several things you can do to nurture them along such as e-mails and even phone calls.
  • Blog Content - as a powerful sales lead generator, you can reach your target audience with the blog content you compose.
  • Sales Content - content mapping plays a key role in funneling your sales leads down to a call to action and converting them into buyers.
  • Social media networking - using social platforms to share your marketing content is critical. It's hard to predict when content that you have shared at Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter will go viral, but when it does, it could be extremely profitable for you.
  • Integrating the elements - CRM integration is needed to integrate all of the above elements. More importantly, it can help you to customize sales reports while tracking buying behaviors and sales conversions.

Ingredients for Inbound Marketing Plan #2:

  • Calls to Action (on-site marketing) - this is probably the most important element of Inbound Marketing Plan #2. If your sales materials or website is not instilling confidence in your visitor traffic or not urging them to buy, you will lose them. It's just that simple.
  • Media relations and news releases - you can improve your visibility significantly by using online press releases. Any story that is newsworthy and relevant to your business will attract qualified traffic to your website.
  • PPC (pay-per-click) advertising - products or services can easily be test marketed using PPC advertising such as AdWords and it will help you to use keywords or keyword phrases that are more effective than the ones that weren't working for you in organic searches.
  • SEO (search engine optimization - helps you to achieve better rankings in the search results and generate sales leads through the major search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo.
  • Social Media and Networking - using a mix of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media can have some amazing results when you promote your business and products or services through them.

Remember that above everything else, the intent of any inbound marketing strategy is for your target audience to find your website. Therefore, content such as franchise marketing articles, informational content, and product or service article marketing has become necessary in the development of any inbound marketing plan.