As Inbound marketing is growing in popularity, more and more business owners are looking for ways to get started on an effective Inbound Marketing strategy. What many business owners find out is that there is a never-ending list of things you could do to boost your marketing efforts.
With so much to do, it can be a bit overwhelming. In today's blog we will look at some very effective things that you can easily implement to "get the ball rolling" on your Inbound Marketing strategy.
One of the first things that I would recommend is to spend the time creating personas for your business. Typically you will start with 2-3 personas, however, down the road you may have up to 12+.
The reason that personas are so important is that everything you will be doing in your Inbound Marketing strategy should be tailored around one of these personas and focused on one of the stages of the buying cycle.
To have these clearly defined from the beginning will not only make sure you Inbound Marketing is more targeted and personalized but also more effective.
Once you have your personas created, the next most important thing you can do is start blogging on a regular basis with amazing content. I know for many business owners they shrug off blogging as not important, however, I can honestly say that blogging is probably one of the most important things you can be doing in all of your marketing.
Blogging will not only increase the traffic to your website, it will also help with SEO, establish you and your business as an authority and it will start developing a relationship with the reader. There are many other benefits to blogging, but the bottom line is you need to make a priority on it and just "Get Er Done".
Talk to your entire team including sales and production and start gathering ideas for blogs. The blog topics should be common questions, objections, points of pain, etc. that you personas have. Take the time to get a minimum of 104 ideas together so that you can plan on writing a minimum of two per week.
Use Social Media Management Platform:
Another very easy way to start building a social media following and be more effective in your Inbound Marketing efforts is to use a Social Media Management platform. We personally use Hootsuite and love it. (they also have a free version)
I would highly suggest taking the time to learn exactly how to use the tool to it's maximum potential and then properly setup the tool so you can maximize it. So many people half ass setting up and using tools and then they really don't see much value from it.
In Hootsuite, I would suggest setting up streams for each one of your social networks. Then create social monitoring streams to listen to the conversations going on around your brand, industry or city.
One of the other very important features we use in Hootsuite is the scheduling function. We can spend 20 minutes a day scheduling out content for the entire day/night so that all you have to manage later in the day is the personal conversations happening.
Easy to Create Content:
There are some very easy types of premium content that you can create and offer on your website as a way to start capturing leads. I know for many business owners they are strapped for time, so here is another blog I've written that will help explain how to quickly create content your customers will love:
Start Collecting Lead & Customer Data:
One of the most frustrating things for us as an agency is to start working with a client who hasn't done a good job of collecting lead and customer information. As a business, your lifeline is your contact database. You work so hard to attract people who may be interested in purchasing, why would you just let them leave without getting some information.
Look at your current website and think of ways that you could start collecting visitor information. This can be done by having a newsletter sign up, blog subscription, landing pages with forms to download content, etc.
Additionally, look at your physical process within your business for areas of where you can collect information. Is there a point in your process that you could have a customer fill out a form to provide important sales and marketing data?
It's really not hard to set this up and it's critical to start collecting this information so you can have a wide audience to market to in the future.
Setup Tracking & Management:
There is no way to effectively make improvements to your marketing and website without having some way to track and measure what you're doing. Take the time to setup Google Analytics, Google webmaster tools and any other relivant tracking software so you can start collecting this data.
These Google services are free and take minutes to setup. Once setup it will collect and store data for the future. So even if you don't have time to make any changes, at least you will have the data for the future once you do have time.
One big suggestion is to take the time to setup Google Goal Tracking in the Google Analytics platform. It's usually very simple to setup and will help you gain much more detailed insight on the people who are actually making conversions on your website. Make sure to setup this goal conversion tracking on any item on your website that makes some sort of impact into your bottom line (newsletter, blog subscribers, leads, sales, etc).
These are just a few of the easy to setup items that will help you start laying the foundation for the rest of your Inbound Marketing efforts.
I specifically included some of these because many times when we work with a small business owner, they don't have analytics tracking or customer databases which slows and complicates the process.
If you have any questions about any of this or have comments, please post in the comments section below.