Inbound marketing allows you to build and distribute valuable content that enables new customers to find out about your business. For start-ups and small businesses, this might be exactly what you need if you’re working within a tight budget or are short on time. If you are getting ready to launch a business or are looking to increase inbound traffic to your site, here are the top 5 tips on creating a successful inbound marketing plan.
1. Identify Your Target Audience and Action
In order to create an effective campaign, you’ll need to know who you are targeting and what actions you want them to take. What are your goals and how can this audience help you reach them?
- Some questions you want to ask yourself: What is the age demographic? Is there a particular location you’re targeting? What are common characteristics of my current customers?
- Keeping these questions in mind will allow you to create content that attracts new customers. Whether you are targeting an older demographic or the city of Los Angeles, you want to gear your marketing content towards that audience.
- Now that you know who your target audience is, determine what it is you want them to do. Do you want your content shared across social media platforms? Are you looking to increase subscriptions to a newsletter?
- Knowing what actions you want visitors to your site to take can help you create the kind of content that makes those actions possible and thrive.
2. Create a Timeline
Creating a realistic timeline for the execution of the moving parts of your campaign can ensure that things run more smoothly.
- Establish time frames for content creation and promotion. No content will go unnoticed if you keep a timeline up-to-date throughout the process.
- Define milestones, tasks and responsibilities for anyone involved before you start. This way, no surprises come up and each member of your team (including yourself) is held accountable.
- As partnerships and events arise, your timeline can make it easy to determine availability and workload as things get hectic.
3. Create Campaign Pieces
Now that your timeline is in place and you know who your audience is, you can begin creating content for the campaign.
- As you determine resources needed for each piece of content, you can adjust the timeline accordingly.
- After determining your audience and how they interact online, create content that appeals to their online behaviors.
- Make sure each piece has the call, or calls to action that you determined early on.
- Analyze competitors to see what has worked for them and what hasn’t. Apply the best and most successful methods to your own campaign.
- You should have a list of keywords for SEO. Make sure all content is informative, interesting and has a least some SEO purpose.
4. Get Social
Whether your potential customers choose to utilize social media sites like Facebook, networking sites like LinkedIn or blogger outreach, make the most of these interactions.
- Focus on the networks where your audience is most active. Interact with your audience as someone who is knowledgeable about the product, service and/or industry.
- Share content beyond your own. You’ll gain followers who are interested in similar topics and you can create a great foundation of people who will have interest in fields related to your business.
- Ask others to share your content. This includes family, friends and new followers/fans. If you know any industry authority figures, ask them to share your content and engage with what you’re doing.
5. Make Sure You Can Measure Results
If you can’t measure results, you won’t be able to determine where your successes (or failures) are coming from. You won’t be able to maintain the beneficial tactics and eliminate the negative.
- Make the most of sites like Google Analytics. You can track conversion rates and determine where site traffic is coming from.
- Measuring results allows you to adapt and evolve. You can analyze the effectiveness of what you have done and make changes for the future to make it better.
Without a high budget or a tremendous input of time, you can create a successful inbound campaign by identifying and engaging with potential customers and creating content worth sharing.
About the Author
Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as online marketing and social media trends. She is a web content writer for Business.com.