A high percentage of people still have no clue what inbound marketing actually is. Now don’t get me wrong, traditional outbound marketing can still produce results, but when coupled with a digital or inbound strategy, you can create a pretty badass integrated experience.
This article lays out the thoughts and feelings that I have when a prospect or lead tells me “implementing and inbound marketing strategy is just not for me.” The following five steps should be just enough information for you to easily implement results-producing inbound marketing methodologies into your business.
Step 1: Audit Your Website
To begin the journey toward implementing inbound marketing for your business, you must first assess the overall effectiveness of your website. Monitoring simple metrics like the number of visitors that come to your site per month, which specific pages receive the highest amount of views and have the longest retention rates per viewer, and how many qualified leads are being generated from your form submissions are good places to start.
All these numbers can be gathered by looking at your Google Analytics Dashboard. Wait, you don’t have Google Analytics on your website? Ok, ok, bookmark this post, attach the analytics to your site, give it a month or two, then come back and finish reading this article.
Once you’ve taken an audit of your website and dug into the analytics to see exactly how it’s performing, you’ll be able to better understand what your action items and goals will be when you move to Step 2 and beyond in this process of implementation.
Oh, and here is a helpful little tool to jumpstart your audit. It’s built by HubSpot; they’re an inbound marketing automation software company and this is their Website Grader [still in beta, so be nice].
Step 2: Develop Buyer Personas
This has to be one of the hardest steps for people when it comes to implementing inbound marketing. Why? Because developing buyer personas takes time and requires some strategic thinking about the people or peoples that you are trying to get to buy your products or services. To do so, you must formulate that “ideal customer” and know them inside and out.
Once again HubSpot is here to save your a$$ a boatload of time and energy. They have developed a tool called MakeMyPersona: The Awesome Buyer Persona Word Doc Generator. There’s also this handy little article explaining what are buyer personas and why do they matter?
Check it out and let me know how your persona development goes!
Step 3: Implement a Blog
There are many free blogging tools out there, but if you have the budget to buy into one of the best marketing automation software on the market [that happens to have it’s own blog tool implemented within it], I’d opt for HubSpot.
By now you probably think I’m getting paid by HubSpot to write this article… [SPOILER ALERT] I’m not.
If you’re not already blogging for your business, implement a blog, write some articles, and the following awesomeness might just happen for you:
- See an increase in visitors to your site
- Generate more qualified prospects and leads
- Convert those prospects and leads into customers
- Position your company as a thought leader in your industry
- Make greater than 1 million dollars
Ok, maybe not the 5th one, but if that happens, write an article about it and link to my article because I helped push you off that inbound marketing ledge. Thanks!
Step 4: Create an Editorial Calendar
Once you’ve implemented your new blog, you’re going to need to write some content to post out on the interwebs. The easiest way to stay organized and make sure everyone who has a say in your business blogging strategy is on the same page is to create an editorial calendar.
How’d you know that I was going to conveniently put another HubSpot resource here for you to use? But wait, there’s more! I’ve actually got two, yes two resources to help you with your blogging efforts.
The first is HubSpot’s Free Blog Editorial Template. This template will help you keep your content authors & topics organized, track keyword & call-to-action use, and ensure your content is developed on time & on target.
The second is HubSpot’s Topic Generator. Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with exactly what you want to write about. Start here and see if you can craft some damn good content for your audience.
Step 5: Drive Traffic to Your Site
Now that you’ve audited your website, developed specific buyer personas, implemented your new blog (and hopefully have actually begun to post articles), and created your editorial calendar, it’s time to start driving traffic to your site so you can generate some new business.
What’s the number one reason that you started your business anyway? To make money! Yeah, probably because you love what you do as well, but let’s be serious, the smell of that sweet, sweet green never escapes your mind.
I hope that by reading these five easy steps you’ve now found the easiest way to implement inbound marketing. Just take it day-by-day and do what you can until you’re fully up and running. If you feel so inclined to let me know how your progress is coming along. I’d love to hear how things are going!