Inbound is an increasingly popular approach that organisations are using to attract customers. For some on the outside looking in, it can be difficult to know where to start with Inbound marketing. Content offers, blogging, personas, social, email? The list goes on. You might have seen companies being successful with Inbound but you often don't see the whole journey from the begining. Success doesn't magically happen with Inbound. You need substantial effort, the right tools, resources and process in place to really be sucessful.
In the this post, I am going to concentrate on the process regardless of the tools or resources you may have available. I believe anyone can introduce inbound to their business if they are willing to commit and put in the effort.
What is Inbound Marketing?
1) Define your goals
|TIMEFRAME||EXAMPLE GOAL||YOUR GOAL|
|Long term goal||12 MONTHS +||Increase revenue by 20% by year end|
|Medium term goal||3-6 MONTHS||Get 60 demo requests next quarter|
|Short term goal||1-3 MONTHS||Get 100 MQL leads to handover to sales in the next 4 weeks|
2) Define your campaign goals
|Example Activity||Example No. of leads||Your activity||Lead goal|
|Attend a webinar||25|
|Watch a video case study||25|
|Request a consultation||25|
|Request a demo||25|
3) Define your persona
"The best way to think about your persona is to picture them as a stereotype of your ideal customer, based on data."
- Company information - what type of companies do you sell to?
- Role in company - who is the end user?
- Goals - how do you help to achieve their goals?
- Challenges - how you help to solve their problems?
- Values - What do they value?
- Objections - What are common objections during the sales process?
- Marketing message - What is your elevator pitch?
- Where do they hang out online? - Blogs, social media, forums etc.
- Group similar personas together - You can do this by company size or industry for example
- Finally name your persona and include an image!
Resources for persona development:
"Constantly ask yourself what happens before this step and what do I want to happen after this step"
Promotional channel ideas
- Place CTA's on blog posts/ website pages
- Email to your existing audience
- Email newsletter
- Social paid ads
The nurturing path is a way to move your prospects down the funnel. It is a way of linking your persona from one stage in the buyers journey to the next.
"They Buyer's Journey is the active research process a customer goes through leading up to purchase"
At awareness stage
The buyer is aware they have a problem or opportunity. They are at an early phase of research and not that commited to purchase. Therefore the type of content they might consume at this stage might differ. Easily digestable bits of content work well at this stage.
e.g. a 1 page checklist.
The consideration stage
However, we want to entice someone after they downloaded the checklist to move to the next stage if they are ready to do so by providing another piece of valueable and educational piece of content for them.
e.g. a webinar perhaps on the same subject
They way you can do this is by triggering an email a few days after they have downloaded the awareness stage offer.
The final decision stage
At this stage you should consider handing them over to sales to have a conversation if they would find it valuable. Depending on your sales cycle their might be several content offers you could provide to your persona for them to be sales ready and have most of their questions answered before they get to sales.
e.g. a free consultation or assessment
This nurturing stage is basically sending a series of automated emails between each piece of content so that there is always a next step in place for your personas to take action on.