5 Inbound Marketing basics your start-up needs to know
*This blog post has been refreshed for 2018
By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your prospective customers, Inbound attracts qualified prospects to your website and keeps them coming back for more.
As HubSpot so wonderfully explains it; ‘’Inbound Marketing is about using marketing to bring potential customers to you, rather than having your marketing efforts fight for their attention.’’
You have to be sure every effort, no matter how small, is well-planned and flawlessly executed.
Follow these 5 Inbound Marketing basics to create a marketing plan customised to your business:
1. Know who you want to target
As a young company, nothing is more important than driving traffic to your website. The easiest way to attract traffic to your website begins with understanding your target audience and producing content they want. In doing this, you need to segment your target audience into personas so that you can create highly targeted communications for the different segments of your audience. It allows you to remain focused on your marketing efforts, to concentrate exclusively on the most rewarding prospects, and to make the most of your limited resources.
Just as you cannot market a product without knowing who you are selling to, your first step in attracting visitors is to create a buyer persona for your ideal customer.
HubSpot explains a persona as a ‘’semi-fictional, holistic ideal of what your customers are really like, inside and out. They are based on market research and real data about your existing customers".
If you need help with getting started creating personas, you can speak to one of our inbound marketing specialists who would be happy to set you off in the right direction.
2. Get your website up to scratch and the content that comes with it
If you have done things right, your website probably looks amazing and is easy to use which covers the fundamentals of basic user experience. However, it does not stop there. You need a website that not only functions well and looks great, but one that drives traffic. A lot goes into creating a website that performs well across all devices and search engines and depending on how you perform here, affects how much traffic is driven to your website.
- Implementing a SEO strategy. Have a look at a recent blog we wrote which covers five Search Engine Optimisation tips to help your business rank higher on search engines. Start by figuring out what search queries your personas are typing into Google - these long tail queries will end up forming the basis for your keyword strategy. Think about the topics you want your business to rank for. These topics are what you want to be known for. Around these topics, or pillar pages on your website, you'll build sub-topics or topic clusters that link back to the main pillar pages. This will help build your authority in search engine rankings.
- Producing content. If you have got a great website, you have established your personas and your keywords and topics are in place, you need to start generating some amazing content to get your audience engaged, and coming through to your website. Content does not need to just be writing in the form of blogs, it can be videos, infographics and podcasts too! Content is so important as it drives organic traffic from your blog or social pages to your website. Each post provides an opportunity for a customer to convert and you will gain credibility as content exists on the web long after marketing campaigns are complete.
3. Your content must have an irresistible offer
If you have achieved step 2, and you have attracted prospects to your website from your social or blog posts, then now is the time to up your content game. You can do this by using more advanced content to convert these prospects into leads. Every blog post should be followed by a call-to-action linking to a content offer that prospects receive in exchange for their contact information. A content offer could be a new piece of research, a webinar in which you demonstrate your subject matter expertise, a thought-leadership article, or something that they cannot easily get hold of themselves, but they really want.
4. Analysis and reporting
Spend is important, regardless of whether you are a start-up or a massive conglomerate. However, if you have just started out, you definitely do not want to be spending unnecessary budget on marketing pursuits that are not generating any return on investment. Figuring out which of your marketing efforts are working and which are not is critical. Once you have identified what is working, you can apply these learnings to double up on the successes and cut the failures out of your marketing plan.
The key to measuring success is a great analytics tool. If you need a no-frills solution, use Google Analytics, as it if free to use and easy to install.
5. Make sure your right-hand man (the sales team) is also up and running
At the end of every well-crafted Inbound Marketing plan needs to be a sales team ready to receive leads and close deals. Your sales team should be fully informed about your marketing efforts, especially when campaigns are released and briefed on any special offers.
For more information on Inbound Marketing, read our blog which explores the four ways to nurture and engage leads through inbound marketing.
If you are keen to get up and running and would like a little help, then please get in touch with us.