Do you feel like you’ve done everything right but you still aren’t getting the marketing results you were hoping for? Are you finding it difficult to achieve your marketing goals? Don’t worry, you are not alone. But the sentiment is actually quite common with many executives who identify a lack of an effective strategy as the biggest obstacle to their Inbound marketing goals.
However, a strategy is a high-level plan of action designed to help you achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty. Let’s take a look at how to build your own inbound marketing strategy in just 24 hours:
Firstly, it is important to clearly lay out the goal around which we can base the entire process. You should already have several business goals so choose one that you want to focus on. It will become the core and driving force behind every step in your strategy. Whatever you choose is up to you but it is the first step toward your new strategy.
Figure out who your customers are and nail down your target market. You can begin this strategy by reading through your messages and customer profiles. You can also speak with your sales team to gain a little insight into the people making purchases from your company to draw up a rough draft of who you want to speak to.
Allocate 2 hours for this step.
To clarify, now that you know your goal and who your audience is, it is now time to find them online. Make a list of places they may be including social media sites and groups, specific blogs, websites, and forums. Try to look for industry-specific platforms and groups where your audience may go to engage. In the end, you should have a master list of targeted areas where you can find your audience.
This step is very research-intensive so put some more time into it. Allocate around 4 hours here.
Now that you have found your audience, it’s time to listen. Use a strategy to figure out their pain points, the problems that they are experiencing, and any questions they may have. Just by listening you can extract common issues and needs that repeatedly come upon these online platforms. Use this information to identify any parallel challenges that match up to the product or service you are offering and rectify them. Also, use this data when tailoring your messaging and content to speak directly to the customers’ pain points and detail how you can solve them.
Allocate 2 hours to this process.
Now that you have taken the time to do the research to find out who you are talking to and what they want to hear, you can move into the creation phase. Many may be tempted to jump straight to this phase, but doing the research first is imperative to inform the type of messaging and content you need to create.
In addition, use the information you have gathered from listening to your audience to brainstorm ideas that speak to the issues you discovered. Create a list of titles around which you can create your content, for example, blogs, videos, webinars, whitepapers, e-books, etc.
For instance, if you are wondering about how many pieces of content you need to publish each month to achieve your goal, the answer isn’t black and white. If you think back to the definition of strategy in the intro, it talks about uncertainty, this is where that comes in. Start off with an educated guess; on average 2-3 blogs per week is a good place to start.
Another way of building your Inbound Marketing strategy is to do some A/B testing. Do more of what is working and less of what isn’t. For example, if you get great engagement on your blogs increase the number, but if you are getting lower engagement on webinars lower the number of those. However, keep in mind that the number of pieces you do is just one of the variables that may be affecting engagement on your content.
Lastly, create an email nurturing campaign surrounding specific pieces of content like an e-book or whitepaper. This strategy will help to move your audience through your sales funnel toward your goal.
Allocate 2 hours to create your content plan.
Once you get your content you will then need to promote it. This is where your promotional plan comes into play. It spells out how you want to share and distribute your content with your audience. Now that you know where your audience is hanging out online, you can use that list and post and share your content to all of those locations.
Allocate 1 hour to layout your promotional plan.
And that’s it! The total time for the above steps comes up to 11 hours, which seems like a lot of time, but can be completed in portions over a 24-hour period. You can even spread it out over a week and do a few hours a day to complete your strategy.
Most importantly, while your strategy will evolve and change over time, working out your Inbound Marketing Strategy in advance will help you to start moving forward quickly and set you up for months to come.
Need help getting the ball rolling? Reach out to our certified experts to get your inbound marketing strategy on the right path!