You’re ready to adopt an inbound approach. You’ve read the stats, are persuaded by the case studies and have even started to blog. But inbound marketing is a lot more than blogging or using social media. Inbound marketing is a step by step process that will create a specific path from stranger to prospect to customer to advocate.
Here’s what it looks like in a nutshell.
Step 1 – Strategy
It all starts with a well developed strategy. Your strategy will define your goals for inbound marketing, and help you focus on the right techniques and channels that will help you meet those goals. The strategy should include details about your ideal customer and the steps you need to take to attract them. Who are they? Where do they get their information? What is their biggest problem that your product or service can solve?
Most importantly, the strategy should outline how you are going to provide an ROI for content marketing. Which specific measurable steps will you take?
Step 2 – Review Your Website
Your business website is important in any case, but if you’re adopting an inbound marketing approach, it’s even more essential. Your website is the hub of your online marketing activities. It has to be easy to navigate, professional looking and hit all the right notes with your target audience.
Take a look at your website through your prospects’ eyes and make sure that it is answering their major questions, building trust and creating a specific step that they can take with your company – like opting into your newsletter or requesting more information.
Step 3 – Increase Your Website Traffic
After creating a website that is designed to capture leads, it’s time to drive some traffic to it. There are four main techniques you can use to increase traffic:
- Blogging –By creating blog articles that interest your audience, you can get 55% more traffic.
- Social media – Businesses that use social media effectively see a 63% increase in marketing effectiveness.
- SEO – Since 46% of daily searches are for info on products or services, it makes sense to optimize your site for popular, relevant terms.
- PPC – Pay per click campaigns can drive pre-qualified candidates to your website.
Step 4 – Convert your Incoming Traffic to Leads.
No matter how much traffic comes to your website, it’s worthless if you can’t convert it. Building a landing page with an offer targeted to buyers at a specific step in the decision making process can help you gather qualified leads. For example, when buyers are at the “ready to buy” stage, they are looking for opportunities to get a trial, try a demo or schedule a meeting. If buyers are interested, but uneducated, they’ll be looking for ebooks, white papers and introductory videos.
Step 5 – Convert Your Leads into Sales
Lead nurturing campaigns can convert interested individuals into prospects ready to buy. There are many tools you can use in this stage to convert leads. Segmenting leads, email marketing campaigns and using CRM software can help you leverage your inbound marketing efforts into sales.
Step 6 – Measure Your Results
Measurement is key in inbound marketing because there are so many options. Your metrics show you what is working and what needs to be improved or replaced. Key metrics to look for include traffic to leads, leads to customers, cost per lead and cost per customer – but there are many more you can focus on.
When you follow the six steps of the inbound marketing process, you can reduce your marketing costs and get better results.
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