Owning a business can never be easy, whether small business or large scale business. But over the past few years’ things have changed and you have numerous strategies to adopt to revolutionize your business. So an effective planning strategy or plan is essential for your business to maintain and develop your business to the next and successful level. Have you ever heard about the inbound marketing process? This term was coined by the CEO of HubSpot.Inc. Brian Halligan in 2005.
So what basically Inbound Marketing is?
Inbound Marketing is extremely different from other marketing strategies, instead of focusing on buying ads, emails, and other methods, it mainly focuses on creating quality content to pull the customers towards your business and products. You can create a natural relationship with your customers which will naturally attract the inbound traffic towards your business.
So how does it work for businesses?
First of all, I must say that inbound marketing is not that easy. If any business company have to adopt inbound marketing strategy, they must have a deep understanding and knowledge of different marketing tactics like content development, SEO (search engine optimization), social media, lead generation, lead management and analytics.
So the question here arises, can it be done by yourself as a small business owner or company with enough money and time, the answer is yes, only if you have the staff or experienced professionals having command and profound understanding on the above mentioned marketing tactics.
The Inbound Marketing Process
So now let’s quickly jump into the process of inbound marketing.
1. Assess your marketing
The first and foremost step of inbound marketing is to start the process with an honest assessment of your current business strategy and your present marketing tactics.
What questions can you ask yourself about your business to make things clearer?
- Is my business appealing to the right types of clients that we want?
- What marketing efforts are we currently using to grow our business and customers?
- Which of our present marketing techniques are working very well for the client’s ad for our overall business?
- Am I and my business staff giving quality time and effort to participate in marketing activities?
Once you have done with your business assessment, then set your goals accordingly, quarterly, semi-quarterly and annually.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Your marketing goals should be aligned as per your business goals. They should be realistic, practicable, detailed and measurable.
The questions you may ask yourself
- How much budget I have required to develop the strategy?
- What KPIs will we use to measure our success?
- What type of sales increase am I looking for?
3. Develop your consumer personas
This stage begins with developing a picture perfect of your clients. The buyer personas means semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers, where they hangout online, which marketing tactics will resonate them the best, whether it’s social media, SEO, content marketing, and combination of all.
4. Review your business website
Your business website is the central point of your business where all your online marketing activities will stream. Imagine an Auto Service Center in Abu Dhabi, doing operations online and helping clients to book their maintenance package via website. If the website is not delivering necessary information, will it be worth investing in marketing? Well, that’s why you need to review your business website at every point. Your website is the identity of your business where customers can come in to look for the product which provides them perfect solutions to the problems. So it must have a clear message, a Call to action approach, relevant images of the end result, offers or discounts, a way to show that why choose us?
5. Generate traffic on your website
Once you have developed a strong and meaningful website, the next step is to generate traffic on your website, so that your potential customers will see what you are offering for them. Here, SEO, social media, pay-per-click and blogging takes place to do the right thing. So which marketing tactics would suit the best, this depends on certain factors, such as your business goals, budget, and your consumer’s personas which you have developed for your business. More traffic on your website means you will attract more target audience on your website. Publishing a blog on a daily basis or three a week will make your website rich and the content must be as per the need of your customers, what products or services they are looking for.
6. Content promotion
If you post or publish something, then how do people know about it? Obviously you have to promote your content so that maximum people would read it and get aware of the content. If you don’t have a profile on Linkedin, a Facebook page, a profile on Pinterest, then it’s time to generate profiles. The more relevant your content is and it is promoted to the right audience, the more traffic will generate.
7. Lead nurturing sales
Lead nurturing sales means; you have to develop the relationship with your buyers every step of the way. It focuses on marketing and communication. You have to listen to each and every customer and give them the answers about what they are looking for.
8. Evaluate your progress
It is essential to know that you keep evaluating the marketing processes, what is working and what is not. There are numerous analytical tools that will help you to determine the process and to determine effectiveness of your inbound marketing efforts.
This strategy isn’t easy and once you have decided to implement an inbound marketing process, you may require a proper team to get the most out of it.