Regular readers of our blog will be well aware of the importance of inbound marketing. As a powerful piece in your marketing toolbox, it is important to spend time working out exactly how you are going to make the most of it. However, like many things, knowing where to start is often a huge hurdle to get over. In this article we run you through the steps you need to get started with and make the most out of inbound marketing.
AudienceThe first and most important question you need to ask yourself when tackling inbound is: “Who am I trying to attract” If you are already an established business you should take a detailed look at your current customers and use that to profile your target audience. Go into as much detail as possible, it is sometimes useful to create customer personas, which can be used to create content for when moving forward.
Seek attentionOnce you know who you are targeting it is then key to work out where their attention is. Consider the online habits of your potential customers. Where do they hang out online? Is it on certain blogs, certain social media sites or other media sites? If you have good relationships with your current clients you can ask them where they spend most of their time online and use that as a guide to get started. Knowing this information helps you in two ways. Firstly, it tells you what type of content they are consuming. Secondly, it may give you quick and easy access to their attention. For example, if they use social media a lot, this is a free and easy way to get in front of them.
Identify themesYour inbound marketing effort will be significantly more successful if you create content that really scratches your customers itch. There are a number of ways to find subjects that your audience care about. The best way is to simply note down common questions that customers ask you. These may be product or service specific, but could also touch on wider issues they face. The most successful content tends to remedy customer pain points. For example, a marketing agency that supports retailers may create a blog post called ‘5 ways to take better product photos’.
Plan, plan, planSo, we have defined who we are targeting, where their attention is and what we are going to write about…now it’s time to execute. At this stage you will want to create a content plan. This will detail what content you plan on creating, when it is going to go live and other information such as which keywords you will be targeting. This will act as a guide, making it easier to achieve your goals. It also allows you to ensure the right themes and tone is used throughout your inbound marketing strategy.
DistributeHowever awesome, to the point and helpful your content is, if nobody knows about it, then you will see little benefit. Once your inbound content is in place you need to work out how you are going to distribute it to those that matter most. Having a plan of where you will do this will save you a lot of time and help to ensure success. There is no limit to how you can work your distribution, but some ideas include:
- Via your business social media account
- Via the social media accounts of your employees
- Posting in groups on social such as LinkedIn and Facebook
- Via an email marketing list
- To a network of influencers associated with your brand
- By commenting on forums and other industry specific websites with reference to your content
- Sending directly to your current leads.