If you’re reading this, chances are you are quite familiar with the basics of inbound marketing. The idea is to attract relevant site visitors, convert them to leads, close the sale and then continue to delight the client.
Attract –> Convert –> Close –> Delight.
But how? There are as many ways to move a prospect from attract to delight as there are businesses in this world. How do you prioritize your inbound tasks and methods for business growth? To create focus and provide a path to action, we offer you seven foundational inbound marketing best practices to put you on the right path to growing your business.
Attracting Prospects (Web Visitors)
- Identify your Buyer Personas: Who is your ideal client? How can you attract them? What are their pain points and what is your solution? Don’t just assume you know, ask current and past clients directly.
- Use the Buyer’s Journey: Your personas follow a specific path to move from awareness to consideration to making a decision. Use this path and your knowledge of the personas to create messaging that will form your website, business blogs, landing pages, CTAs, social posts, and ad copy. Speaking about the pain points of your buyer persona in all stages of the buyer’s journey is key to filling your sales funnel.
- Create Relevant Content: Create useful, relevant content that is engaging. Business blogs are still a great way to add helpful content to your website continuously. You may have heard that Content is King, but the reality is great content is king. Your content needs to stick out among the crowd while being optimized to draw in your buyer persona.
- Always Plan your content using relevant data.
- Create content with the ideal personas’ pain points in mind.
- Distribute content through all the available channels.
- Analyze the results from your content as well as market trends and web search trends.
- Adjust and Repeat.
Converting Web Visitors into Leads
- Leverage your content to draw ideal personas to your website and convert them from a visitor to a lead and eventually a client.
- Lead generation should always be built-in to every piece of content you distribute. With great offers in relevant locations on your website, proper landing pages, strong CTAs and a marketing automation system (Hubspot) in place to track and nurture, you can increase your leads and grow your business.
- Remember to distribute the content through all available channels including your lead generating website, business blog, social media, landing pages, premium content offers, CTAs, marketing emails and more.
Closing Leads into Paying Clients
- Nurture Leads: With inbound best practices, you are bringing prospects into the fold at various points in the buyer's journey. Some are in awareness, others consideration, and some are ready to make a decision.
With a lead nurturing workflow in place, you can build a relationship with prospects at every stage, and continue to guide them towards deciding to work with you. Urge the decision with specific emails that provide particular and relevant content, answers questions, or points them to the next step in their process based on the content they’ve already consumed.
- Set SMART Goals: Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. Every inbound task should be working towards specific goals which are set to grow your business. By following the SMART anagram, the goals set will become something to work for instead of a pie in the sky stretch goal.
- Every goal has to be specific, not more traffic, but 10% more traffic to the website.
- Measurable goals mean you have to be able to track it, so rather than shooting for more brand awareness, we would set a goal for 10% more engagement with our Instagram page.
- Attainability is vital! Goals that are pie in the sky will discourage your team. Use your historical data to set realistic goals, and then create a plan that has those goals in mind. If you want 5% revenue growth, work backward and measure the number of converted clients you need, how many leads that amount would require you to get, and then one step further, how much traffic your website needs to get those leads.
A realistic goal will help you determine how much content you need, the frequency of distribution, and even ad budgets.
- What goals should you set? Is it relevant to your business strategy to set a goal of doubling your Facebook likes? It might be. But make sure you have a system set in place that is going to ensure your goals are relevant to reaching your business growth goals.
An example might be to improve a landing page conversion rate by 10% - with satisfactory traffic volume we need more of them to convert. OR Increase web traffic volume by 10% - with satisfactory conversion rates, more traffic will help us reach our goals. Follow the goal down the line to make sure it can, in fact, move the needle for your business.
- All goals must have a timeline or deadline in place. If you want to improve traffic volume by 10%, the goal should read more specifically such as: increase traffic volume by 10% by the end of Q1.
- Test, Measure and Test Again: With every piece of the inbound marketing puzzle being completely measurable, you need to use data to make changes and test the results. This continuous process is what makes inbound so effective. It is ever-changing along with your buyer persona’s buying process. Nothing you’re doing is set in stone.
- More immediate items such as landing pages, CTAs, web copy, and ad copy can be optimized and measured regularly.
- Larger items such as premium content offers, buyer persona’s, and web design should be analyzed and addressed more on a quarterly or annual basis.
- The trick is only to change one thing, measure, and optimize further.
If you follow this foundational formula for your inbound marketing efforts, you can indeed grow your business. The key is to stay active in creating content, distributing it, measuring results, and creating more informed content. As the data comes in, you’ll get better and better at creating the right content for your ideal buyer.