Okay, so you’ve made the decision to invest in an inbound marketing strategy. Congratulations! You won’t be disappointed… unless you don’t really know what you’re doing or where to start.
In that case, you might be a little disappointed — but don’t worry, that’s why we’re here.
Beginning a new marketing approach can be a bit intimidating and requires some time to figure out, and you could be in serious trouble without thinking through your strategy before implementing. So before you dive in, step back and answer a few questions:
What goals do you have for your company this year?
Want to grow your business in 2016? Who doesn’t? Come up with a goal that’s a bit more defined so that you’ll be able to better identify the steps needed to get there. Maybe you’ll want to close five more contracts per year. Or, close contracts worth 50% more than what you’re currently selling. Think about what you really want to achieve.
What are your specific benchmarks for success?
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the benchmarks you’ll use to measure the success of your marketing plan. So once you create your goals for the year, you can keep track of progress by regularly monitoring your KPIs. Again, these are unique to your business and your strategy. As you continue to figure out what you’re looking to accomplish and what steps you’ll take to get there, your KPIs will become self-evident.
Who are your target customers?
Growing your customer base, or getting more in touch with what current customers are looking for, are the main ways you’ll be improving your sales this year. But in order to reach more customers and understand their needs, you first need to understand them. A buyer persona is a general profile of who your ideal customer might be. If you’re targeting a 40-year-old male whose main priority is saving his company money, you’ll want to use a different approach than for a 25-year-old female design engineer. Figure out who you’re trying to reach and then you can determine the strategies needed to reach them.
What challenges are your target customers trying to solve?
The strategies you’ll be employing to reach your buyer personas should focus on making your buyers’ lives easier. What problems do they face on a daily basis, and what can you do to solve those problems? Can you figure out a way to bring costs down for procurement managers? And can you provide more technical information for design engineers to incorporate into their CAD files? Find the pain points, and do what you can to relieve that pressure.
Once you ask yourself these questions (and come up with the appropriate answers), you’ll be able to tailor an inbound marketing strategy specifically for your company. In this day and age, you want to invest wisely, so understanding your goals, KPIs and target customers is key to a successful marketing campaign.
This is just a quick guide to getting started on your inbound marketing journey. As you continue to learn and develop your strategy, you’ll see that there are many components that can be utilized for additional growth. Just remember, when it comes to promoting your company and capabilities, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and this is something that will require constant involvement and modification. It’s a big investment, but it will pay off in the long run if you do it right — no shortcuts here!
Want to really jump-start your campaigns and avoid unnecessary mistakes? Let us help you.
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