Yesterday we shared the 10 secrets behind how we cracked the code on inbound marketing. For the next 10 days we dive deeper into each of the 10 secrets so you know exactly what you need to do to crack the code for your company.
Today’s secret is Marketing Strategy.
If you think inbound marketing doesn’t need an overall strategic marketing plan, think again. I know most inbound marketing people think strategy is related to the specific tactics they are working on like website design strategy, landing page strategy or even content marketing strategy. They are correct, but missing from that conversation is the overall company marketing strategy.
Inbound marketing attracts people to your business. You have to know as much about the people you want to attract as possible. What are their titles? What magazines do they read? What websites do they visit? What blogs do they subscribe to? What emails do they get regularly? What associations do they belong to? Are they male or female? How old are they? What is their educational background? What jobs did they previously hold? What are their personalities?
It gets very detailed when it’s done right. These profiles are commonly referred to as “personas” and in our case we literally create visual representations of these people with pictures and names as part of our marketing strategy process.
Once you know who you want to go after, then you have to identify their “pains” as they pertain to your products or services. This exercise ensures that your marketing messages are about your prospects and not about you. This is a very common mistake most people make. After all, it’s easy to talk about your company and it’s hard to talk about your prospects’ challenges.
Next you need to know how you solve those pains. More importantly, how do you solve them remarkably, differently than all of your competition? Most of the businesses we work with have this remarkable element to their business but they don’t talk about it, don’t market it, or don’t present it in a way that their prospects connect with it. We spend a lot of time, working with our clients, to help them be remarkable and then equipping them to tell remarkable stories to their prospects and clients.
Now that the core marketing strategy work is completed you still need to consider planning for the tactics required to execute the strategy. How often do we need to blog? What are we going to blog about? What keywords are important that we be ranked for? What are we going to email about? What content do we need to create? Where should we share that content?
This marketing planning schedule or calendar is critical to making sure you have enough tactics to drive your business goals. This is a common mistake made by many business owners, CEOs and marketing professionals. They don’t have enough tactics to get them to their business goals.
Here is an example to help you know if you have enough tactics. Let’s say you need 50 leads a month from your website to get you 5 qualified sales opportunities and you're pretty sure you're going to close 40% of those to bring in two new clients a month. Makes sense right?
To ring up numbers like that—conservatively, you need 5,000 website visitors a month. If you only have 400 visitors a month now, you're going to need to do a lot of blogging, create a lot of content, rework most of the pages on your website to make sure they are optimized, actively source your educational content to key website properties, email your clients at least once a month—are you starting to get it? You need a very aggressive marketing effort.
You can get there, but it’s going to take time and it's going to take work. The good news is that all of this is trackable, testable and actionable. You have a goal and you know how to get there. Now you just have to do the work.
Monday, I will start to share more insight into some of the secrets around how each of the inbound marketing tactics contributes to moving the numbers.
Start Today – Marketing strategy for an inbound marketing program should probably be done by someone with experience creating plans like this for businesses in similar industries. Inbound marketing requires a unique set of skills and an understanding of how digital marketing tactics work together.
If you’re not comfortable creating this on your own, reach out to an inbound marketing agency for help. In addition, make sure you are working with a full-service inbound marketing firm that specializes in delivering both the strategy and the full complement of marketing tactics. This will ensure your marketing strategy, plan and schedule is comprehensive enough to get you to your goals.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading the Reality Marketing Revolution!