Inbound marketing can be both simple and complex. Simple because all you’re trying to do is answer prospective customers' questions. Complex because there are numerous ways of creating content for those answers, getting in front of the right audience, and designing an effective drip campaign.
In this post, I wanted to share with you the five most basic steps and link to other articles I’ve written in the past that go into more detail. I’ve also created this page, which gives you a high-level overview of the stages of inbound marketing, and what strategies you should implement in each stage.
Start with a strong foundation - create a buyer persona and target your content to them
If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach or attract to your site, then you’re not going to understand what content you should create. What are the questions that you need to answer? What kind of content do your subscribers want to see?
Check out these articles to learn more:
- Attracting Outstanding Customers: How To Define Your Buyer Persona with Customer Data
- Why a Buyer Persona is Essential to Marketers and How You Can Create One
- 15 Questions to Ask Sales For Better Buyers Personas
- When and How to Update Your Buyer Personas
Produce high-quality content consistently - this will set you apart from the competition
Once you know who you’re trying to target, what kind of content they like, where they go for information, and what questions they have about your industry, it’s time to start content production. It’s as simple as filling the gap. Take a question they have, and write the answer. Videos may be the best way to explain things, in which case you’re writing a script. You may need to talk to someone in development to answer a technical question, which could be a podcast interview with an accompanying transcript. Or, it could be a tried and tested blog post that generates both visits and SEO improvements.
Here are some articles about content marketing:
- How to Make All of Your Content Engaging (Even If It Isn’t!)
- Make It Personal: How Your Voice Can Attract More Customers
- 5 Content Marketing Tips to Generate Return Visitors to Your Site
- Determining Your Site’s Tone of Voice
- How to Easily Generate Valuable Blog Topics Every Week
- How to Create Content for Awareness Stage Prospects
- 3 Questions To Ask in the Consideration Stage of the Buyer's Journey
- How To Get More Customers Through Decision Stage Content
- How to Cater Your Site to Your Buyers Journey
Use social media to amplify your content and reach new audiences
While social media can be a waste of time if we’re mindlessly scrolling, it’s still true that social media can be a powerful tool for reaching the right audience. Your buyer persona will inform which platforms are the right ones to use. Facebook may not be right for business-to-business, but it is still suitable for business-to-consumer. The reverse is true for Linkedin. Twitter can fall on either side; it’s about how you use it. The key with social media is not to just push out new blog posts and hope people engage; it’s about proactive engagement with those already using the platform. Share your latest press release and blog post, and have conversations related to your industry. Look for folks asking questions, and answer them.
Here are a couple of related posts:
- Don't Rely on Anyone Else's Platform. Build Your Own.
- 6 Tips for Managing a Facebook Business Page
- The Do's And Don'ts Of Social Media Marketing
Nurture leads through email marketing and lead nurturing campaigns
Once you have someone in your database, it’s not time for the hard sell. Depending on where leads are in the buyer’s journey, they may only be in for new blog posts, not for what you’re selling. Instead, developing a drip campaign, workflow automation, and what-have-you will get them on the path towards becoming customers. Or, if they’re already a customer, then it’s about keeping them happy and invested, so they continue being a customer and refer you to their network.
These are some articles related to building email campaigns that will help generate new revenue:
- How To Create A Welcome Series For New Subscribers
- 5 Types of Email Newsletters Your Readers Actually Will Want to Read
- How to Create Your Customer Onboarding Email Series
- Building an Evergreen Email Series
- Crafting Killer Marketing Emails (That Will Actually Get Read)
- Seven Ideas for Keeping in Touch with Your Lists
- Don't Forget These Top Email Marketing Strategies
Measure your success and optimize your strategies accordingly
Inbound marketing is not only about getting the answers to your customers' questions and establishing yourself as an expert but also about constant improvement. As the web evolves, customer purchasing habits change, and your business grows, you need to adapt your marketing to fit. This is where paying attention to the data and making changes come into play.
Here are the articles I’ve written that talks about just that:
- What Is a Content Audit, and How to Use the Results
- How To Keep Your Website Content Fresh
- 6 Things You Should Know About A/B Testing
- How To Experiment With Your Call-To-Actions
- Finding the Right KPIs for Your Business
- How to Optimize Your Landing Page for Conversion
- Creating Goals & Activities for Your Inbound Marketing Efforts
I know this has been a blog post full of links, so bookmark this page and dive into what makes sense for you now. If you have questions about inbound or what I’ve written in the past, just get in touch.
I help business owners and marketing professionals build powerful, automated content systems, which increase sales and boost customer happiness. Here’s how it works.