Whether you’ve got a new product to promote (yoga pants for cats), a recently revamped website to show off, or a social media sharing goal to reach, getting the results you want all starts with your internet marketing campaign. And call us biased—only because it works—but for the most effective customer engagement, inbound is the way to go.
Inbound marketing refers to creating digital content that draws customers in with the information they actually want, rather than going out and trying to grab their attention with cold calling, print ads, billboards, or shrieking. Instead, you’ll be using all of your digital channels, including your website, blog, email lists, and social media accounts, to bring potential customers to content that aligns with their goals.
To develop an effective inbound marketing strategy:
1. GOAL SMARTLY.
Verb a noun, too, while you’re at it. Inbound marketing rewards the brave, and the well-organized.
Start by setting SMART goals, which are encompassed by this handy acronym describing five primary objectives:
Knowing what is realistic and attainable for your campaign is essential. Having vague or unreasonable expectations will only set you up for disappointment and make it harder to focus on the gains you do receive.
Setting your goals should rely on the knowledge you glean from reviewing your metrics. Study your Google and social analytics to help you determine the attainable and realistic aspects of your goals. For example, getting “more” likes for your product’s Facebook page is desirable, but it’s not a particularly SMART goal. Getting 100 new Facebook likes within three months, however, is much Smarter.
2. KNOW WHO YOU’RE TALKING TO.
You know that not all customers are created equal. So save time and money by focusing on the ones who most need and will find the most value in your products and services that is, the ones who are likeliest to become good leads, then sales. When building your online marketing plan, target one specific type of customer.
3. KNOW WHERE TO FIND THEM.
After determining your ideal buyer persons, you can figure out how and where to target them. What channels will really grab their attention? Everyone is online, all the time, whether at their desks or on a mobile device. It’s important to know where and how your potential clients use social media and other sites, so you can market to them more efficiently.
For even more comprehensive oversight, use Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, other tools to find out much more detailed information, like when your personas use different platforms and which elements of your posts result in the most engagement.
4. MAKE AN OFFER THEY CAN’T REFUSE.
First, put away your press-on mustache and Marlon Brando impression. This isn’t that type of offer. Now that you’ve identified the who and the how, it’s time to start to provide a targeted offer to draw them in. You need to create content that people want and are willing to give you their contact info to receive.
The purpose of your offer is to educate your leads (or generate new ones), and guide them into the next stage of the sales funnel.
5. CHECK YOUR RESULTS.
Now that you’ve got your content strategy laid out, and your channels are drawing visitors to your site and your landing page, pave the way to constant improvement and longevity. Be sure to analyze your results and adapt your methods. You can use what you learn from successful decisions as well as unsuccessful ones to strengthen your campaign at any stage.