The thought maybe running through your head is, "How can inbound help me with my marketing?” It’s a fair question, but the real one should be, “How can’t inbound help me with my marketing?”
Inbound marketing, and the marketing campaign that goes with it, is a method developed to help companies bring customers to their products, rather than drag the products to the customers. Instead of cold calling a hundred people, the inbound method sends out feelers to entice your target audience.
If used correctly, campaigning for new customers, volunteers, donors, or whomever else you happen to be looking for will drop significantly in difficulty. There are several steps to take in the process of starting an campaign, and we’re going to go through them together.
Step 1: Determine Your Audience
Clearly you can’t sell to everyone, so you need to determine who you’re going to target at the beginning of your campaign. To do that you need to look to your buyer persona, which is an idealized version of your perfect customer that has been built around collected information on who is invested in your company and products. There are a lot of ways to create your buyer personas, and more than a few guides like How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business.
With the help of your persona, you can figure out what your audience will pay attention to, where they will look for new information coming out of your company, and how they will respond to your marketing campaign.
Step 2: Find Out Where Your Audience Is
With a target persona in mind, you must now decide where they are. Will they take kindly to an email campaign, a series of posts on their favored social media sites, or something else entirely? That is one benefit of researching your personas. If done right, important available details on where they like to browse will be in their profile, and you can proceed to the next step.
If, however, that information is lacking, you will need to work hard to find out where your ideal customer would look to find your market. There is a significant amount of research necessary to finding out where your customers are. Reviews, statistics, surveys, and cold hard data will help you construct this information so you can pinpoint your target audience.
Step 3: What Content Should You Use?
After figuring out exactly who you are selling to and where they are, the next step for an inbound campaign is to find out what you should be giving to your customer. Taking into account everything you know, what will entice your customer the most? How will they respond to what you give them? Will they appreciate a guide or a consultation? Do you write a list of steps, like this one, or do you give them a success story that they can use as an example in their own quest to find answers?
The important thing is to give them what they want, when it best suits them. In no way do you want to seem pushy, and forcing a long list of questions on them when they are only just starting on their buying journey will turn them off from you and your service almost immediately. The buyer's journey is a process by which your potential customer will approach the problem, first becoming aware of it, then consider which of the numerous options to choose, and then decide on a product or service.
Your content is the key to a successful campaign. There are a lot of discussions about why content is so important, but that can be saved for a different conversation.
Step 4: Distributing
Once you have determined where your potential buyers are, what they want, and what you are going to give them, you need to figure out how you are going to give it to them. The best plan is to set a schedule for release.
Timetables are your friend, as they help you determine the best times to release your content. You can try to release a blog every week at noon and see how people respond. If not enough people end up reading it, change the time of release, maybe to around 3 pm, and see if your blog does better.
Other distribution methods include YouTube, social media, email, and everything in between.
Step 5: Is It Working?
After you have finished getting your content out into the world where your ideal persona will likely see it, the next step is to figure out if it is working at getting you new leads.
Determining the effectiveness of your inbound marketing campaign demands constant attention and some additional digging at the end after it's complete. There is no part of an inbound strategy that is unimportant, and you have to keep up the good work in order to get the right returns on your work.
Step 6: Rinse and Repeat
The final step in an inbound campaign is as simple as it sounds, though just as hard as the rest. In the final step, you need to follow all of the steps again so that you can make a new inbound campaign for your next buyer persona.
Feeling overwhelmed? We can help. Get in touch with a specialist today.
Posted by Kevin Glancy
Kevin Glancy is an east coast transplant who has had a taste of the inbound Kool-Aid and is pumped to share how it can help your business grow. He loves video games, a good laugh, and enlightening conversations.