The Foundation of an Inbound Marketing Strategy

By Madison Taylor
January 14, 2023
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Do you want to build a low-cost lead-generating inbound marketing program? Here are a few things you need to think about in order to create a successful strategy.

Know Thyself – Time For An Audit

First things first: figure out exactly what you’re working with. Sit down and think about who you are, not just as a person or a product but as a brand. What do you stand for? What are you selling, and to whom? How have your marketing efforts been informed so far? And are they working?

Take a long, hard look at your website. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, that’s your first priority. More than half of global web traffic goes through mobile, and the numbers are only going up.

What about speed? Slow websites lose visitors, conversion, repeat customers, and, therefore, dollars. A site that isn’t optimized to load quickly on any platform isn’t an annoyance, and it’s a ball and chain holding your business back.

Finally, is your website user-friendly? There’s an old adage called the Three Clicks Rule — every piece of content on your site should be accessible with three clicks or less. It’s not a completely hard-and-fast rule — exceptions can be made for sites with hundreds of pages, and obviously, you don’t want to over-crowd — but the principle is sound: don’t bury your content.

What about your social media channels? Are they built out correctly? Make sure all your information is current, your logos are high-res, current, and matching, your links are working, and your “about” sections contain a relevant, up-to-date mission statement.

If you have brick-and-mortar locations, make sure the address is right. Add contact info, including email addresses and phone numbers — some people don’t like to (or know how to) contact you through social media.

Are you using the right social media accounts? Not every service is right for every business, and it’s not worth maintaining a presence on a network that your customers aren’t using. If you’re in the B2B arena, you need to be active on LinkedIn. If you’re in a photogenic business, like food, clothing, vacations, and the like, you need to be on Instagram. Take stock of where your customers are and follow them there.

How Are You Keeping Track Of Customers?

If you don’t have one already, you’ll need a CRM — customer resource management software. And a Rolodex isn’t going to cut it.

You’ll need to be able to keep track of customers, where they came from, and how long it took. You’ll want to track which pages they visited and in what order before they made a purchase. And you’ll need to know what happened after their purchase — did they have complaints? Leave a review? Come back and buy again?

Build Out Your Buyer Personas

We talk a lot here at MTM about buyer personas, but it’s only because they’re so important. A buyer persona is a broad-stroke image of your perfect customer. You don’t need to know everything about them — that would get very granular, very quickly — but you need to know who you’re selling to and what makes them a good fit.

Think about big things like age, family size, income, and location. Some of those will be deal-breakers — if you’re a carpet cleaner, you’re not interested in people who don’t live near you, and if you make luxury cars, you’re not interested in people who don’t make enough to afford them — and you can exclude them from your marketing efforts right away.

Take hobbies, careers, interests, and buying habits into account. Do people who use your product also tend to have other hobbies? Most rock climbers drink beer and most motorcycle owners also buy leather clothes — making connections across industries can help you find markets you’d be missing otherwise.

Finally, think about your product from the point of view of the problem it solves in broad terms. If you make a robot vacuum, you’re not just selling a vacuum. You’re selling convenience, time, and effort. Think about your potential customers from the point of view of how you can help them, not what you can persuade them to buy.

Foundation for Success

The foundation of an effective inbound marketing strategy rests on a thorough understanding of your brand, your online presence, your audience, and your customers. Building that understanding involves a process of self-discovery through introspection and evaluation of things like your website’s mobile-friendliness, speed, and user-friendliness. It also extends to your social media channels, where maintaining an up-to-date and engaging presence is crucial.

Tracking and managing customer interactions is essential, and the use of CRM software is imperative for this purpose. This allows you to monitor the customer journey, from their initial interaction with your brand to post-purchase experiences, including feedback and repeat business. Moreover, building detailed buyer personas is fundamental to tailoring your marketing efforts effectively. Understanding your ideal customer’s demographics, interests, and pain points will enable you to craft more personalized and resonant messaging.

Ultimately, the success of your inbound marketing strategy depends on your ability to connect with your audience on a meaningful level, addressing their needs and aspirations. By taking these foundational steps and continuously refining your approach, you’ll be better equipped to create and implement a successful inbound marketing strategy that drives growth and fosters lasting customer relationships. Remember, inbound marketing is an ongoing journey of adaptation and improvement, and your commitment to these principles will pave the way for your brand’s long-term success.