Creating an inbound marketing strategy is like planning a road trip. You identify where you’re at, determine where you want to go, and plan the best means of getting there – one reasonable rest stop at a time.
Just as you’ve created seemingly tangible representations of your target personas (if you haven’t done that, we’ll schedule a “stop” along your roadmap…), it’s a good idea to physically draw a map of your projected inbound marketing journey.
- How many new site visits do you want to see each day/week/month/by next year?
- What SEO terms and phrases should be revamped?
- How will you tweak content marketing to reach new blogging and social media post goals?
- What would you like to see more of along the way? New graphics? Photos? Videos? Client testimonials?
- Who’s paying attention to metrics/analytics so the trip can be re-routed if original routes don’t pan out?
Steps To Drawing an Improved Roadmap for Inbound Marketing
Of course, the first step in any successful journey is to have a firm grasp of where you’re standing, because it’s always best to start at the beginning. Until we know where you are, what’s working and what isn’t, and where you want to go, we can’t customize the best strategy to transport you to your final destination.
Step 1: Analyze Where You’re At
Here are some of the questions you can use to analyze where you’re at:
- Have we isolated our target buyer personas?
- When was our website designed?
- Do we have well-rounded content?
- Is our content timely? Is there enough varied content to meet prospects wherever they are in the buying cycle?
- What kind of action to our CTAs and landing page forms get?
- Do leads that are “qualified” by our marketing team convert more often than not?
Step 2: Hone-In On Your Buyer Personas
If you don’t know who your buyer personas are, your road trip will become a frustrating round-a-bout with no exit in sight. You need to know more than the ages and basic demographics of your target markets. It’s time to learn who they are at more nuanced levels so content creation is aligned with their voice, needs, fears and desires.
Plus, there’s no point in designing a website if you don’t know who you’re designing it for, which brings us to Step 3.
Step 3: Design a New Website or Tweak the Existing One?
If your website was designed five-years ago or more, the next stop should be a growth-driven website design that responds to visitor actions and interests. Period. Any website that doesn’t load quickly and attractively on various gadgets, and that a website manager can’t easily tweak in response to data and analytics, should be dumped for a new one.
If your existing site rocks, learn to manage data and metrics so you can craft a more intuitive website journey for site visitors (more on that in Step 5). Remember that a prospect should never be more than just a few clicks away from the compelling CTA that converts them into a sale. If you haven’t visualized how your content links compelling offers together, you’re missing out on lead conversions.
→ Ensure that your content is effective with our top metrics tips.
Step 4: Re-Think Content Creation
While looks (aka “the surface design”) might be part of the problem, ineffective content creation is the most common culprit of failed inbound marketing attempts. If you don’t have a good grasp on buyer personas, you won’t know how to write content that will engage them.
Even so, high-quality, genuine and authoritative content is key to being found on Google, so make sure you:
- Blog often – the more the better – with blogs that are educational, informative and fact-based (avoid sales-pitch!).
- Post regularly on social media accounts, and participate in relevant industry social media conversations to expand your network.
- Use updated SEO strategies, focusing on varied, topic-specific content and a range of synonymous keywords and phrases.
- Change it up by interspersing text-based blogs and social medial posts with photo and video content, infographics and quotes.
The more interesting, intuitive and hook-worthy your content is, the more followers will want to join the inspiring caravan.
Step 5: Get Friendly With Metrics
Almost every aspect of an inbound marketing roadmap can be handled in-house, but this one can stymie even the most dedicated of marketing professionals. Why? Because metrics and analytics are best handled by those who understand the nuances of numbers, and that’s not most people.
However, analyzing metrics (analytics) is where it’s at when it comes to learning what your customers and prospective customers want – and what turns them off. their actions, bounces, page visits, eNewsletter opens/click-thrus – all of this data paints a coded set of directions telling you how to proceed towards inbound marketing success. If metrics aren’t your friend, invest in a company that embraces the Digit in digital marketing.