How to Get Started With Inbound MarketingIf you’re thinking about how to get started with inbound marketing, you may not know exactly where to begin. Endless online resources say that you should blog, research keywords, write whitepapers, buy marketing automation software, and more – but where should you begin?

Instead of randomly blogging about various industry topics and creating content without a purpose, you’ll need a focused marketing campaign. A campaign with coordinated parts and that speak to your ideal customer.

Follow these steps to get started off on the right foot with your inbound marketing campaign.

Create your buyer persona(s)

Before you start producing content, make sure you’re producing content your target customers are actually searching Google for. A great first step here is creating your buyer personas.

Buyer personas are fictitious representations of your ideal customers. Your buyer personas should be generalized summaries of ideal customers that you come into contact with. Is it a company CEO, an HR manager, or a procurement specialist? Your buyer persona will help you figure this out.

Additionally, buyer personas help you visualize what your ideal prospect deals with on a daily basis. Once you understand their pain points, you’ll be able to attract more of them by writing content that speaks to their needs.

You can create your buyer personas through interviews with current customers, or just from being a good observer and listener when you talk to new prospects in your target industry.

HubSpot has a customizable template that can help you get started mapping out your buyer personas.

Create your blog

Instead of randomly blogging about various industry topics and creating content without a purpose, you’ll need a focused marketing campaign.

If you plan on attracting the types of people that you defined in your customer personas, then you’ll need a blog. Simply optimizing your service or company pages for search engines doesn’t cut it anymore, because those pages don’t help the early stage buyer that’s searching Google for information.

Creating a blog can be a bit of a technical hurdle, but the biggest challenge will actually be figuring out what to write about. Planning out your blog is a great way to keep organized, create content on a regular schedule and to make sure it focuses on a topic that your potential customer is looking for.

To get you started, try writing down a list of very specific topics that come up in sales conversations or as popular topics in your customer’s industry. Take that list and form each idea into a blog post title, one per week.

For more information on writing your blog and optimizing it, you might want to check out these articles:

The key to your blog posts is that they are full of information that speaks to your potential customer’s pain points. You should be trying to solve their problems with innovative ideas and solutions, not pitching your product or service.

For example, if your ideal customer experiences corrosion in their boiler system, then you need to write about what causes corrosion in boilers, possible ways to reduce corrosion, etc.

Need some help planning your blog? The same blog planner template we use for clients is available for download for free, and includes instructions. Use this Excel template to define the purpose of your content, then list out all of the blog titles you want to produce. To take it a step further, add a column for post date to hold yourself accountable to produce this content on a regular schedule.

Get started writing and promoting

Once you have your blog topics and schedule mapped out, get started writing blog posts, publishing one per week. So that as many people see your blog as possible, you might want to send your email list a digest once or twice per month, and you’ll want to link your blog to your social media profiles so they show up there as each blog is published.

Start generating leads

Ultimately, you’ll need more than a blog to generate leads. You may already have white papers, product guides, industry guides or other information that relates to blog posts you write. Create landing pages with lead forms so people can download them in exchange for some contact information.

At the end of each blog post (or within the text of the articles), include a link to the landing page that contains the related information.

If this all seems like too much to handle, or if you’re unsure if you’re company blog is really going to get the kind of new business you’re looking for, you can sign up for an inbound marketing opportunity review here on our website and have an expert review your work.

With some structure and some focus, you’ll be able to attract new customers as they search Google. Once they are on your website, you’ll be able to demonstrate your expertise and get more business opportunities as a result.