A successful inbound strategy requires businesses to have personalised and genuinely helpful interactions with buyers. In the era of the informed buyer, and at a time where people face extraordinary challenges, it is imperative to embrace change with strategies such as inbound, to help your company thrive in the new normal. So if you’re just starting out with inbound marketing, here are a few key tips we have compiled to help you be successful.
Develop Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. The most well-thought out personas are created throughout your business, not just by marketing departments. The key here is to continue developing your buyer personas as you learn about who your ideal customer is. By leveraging data you have on them, you can learn about changes in their behaviours, what actions they took on your platform and what channels they prefer to communicate on. You can then use this information to focus your marketing and sales efforts in the right places and begin to forge real relationships with your buyers.
If you want to learn more about the importance of buyer personas, we wrote a blog on the subject which you can find here
If you want to get started on creating your buyer personas right away, consider using HubSpot’s free “Make My Persona” tool.
Create relevant content
Now you have created a buyer persona that represents your ideal customer, you need to find ways to attract them to your website. That means creating helpful and relevant content that is personalised and valuable to your buyer. It can come in the form of educational videos, blog posts, eBooks and much more. As long as you are building a backlog of content relevant to your buyers, you can start developing a successful inbound strategy. Content is at the heart of inbound marketing and without it you wouldn’t be able to attract new leads, engage prospects or delight your customers.
Creating content is a great asset but making it relevant to where your buyers are sitting in their journey is crucial. For example, buyers in the awareness stage would benefit from blogs that highlight concerns or pain points that are common amongst their industry. However, content offered around the features and benefits of your products or services is more suitable for buyers in the decision stage as they want to know which vendor is the best fit for them. Therefore, when mapping out your content strategy think about where your buyer sits in the cycle and what content would be of most value to them. For more thoughts, download our research on the Era of the Informed Buyer and read page 9 on how to provide content for the buyers journey.
Make campaigns data-driven
A successful inbound marketing strategy is data-driven. Without properly understanding and analysing data you can’t personalise your outreach or content. Without this, your investment in inbound isn’t being utilised to its full potential.
Just as you use and understand data to learn about buyer behaviours, in the same way you need to leverage data across all your channels for a holistic overview on the health of your campaigns. There are a whole variety of campaigns you might have like lead nurturing, advertising or email marketing - each providing valuable insights you can use to inspire your next steps. It’s important to focus on areas like conversion rates across these channels so you can gauge who is getting the most value from your resources but more importantly identify underperforming areas to amend.
Keep on top of your CRM
There are plenty of useful CRM softwares to help you manage your database of contacts and perform analysis of all your campaigns. At Resonance, we are a HubSpot Partner Agency, so we use HubSpot for every aspect of our business as well as for our clients. Contact databases are easy to create but it’s important to manage them well and regularly clean them. With 22.5% of email marketing databases naturally decaying every year, it’s even more vital to keep on top of your CRM and get to know which contacts engage with you most. After all, inbound is about having one to one, personal conversations that are valuable for the prospect and you can’t provide this without a good understanding of your database.
One method of keeping your CRM organised is to create lists of contacts segmented by your preferred filters. That way, you can manage your leads more effectively and target a variety of email marketing campaigns to the right audiences. As you qualify leads and they become prospects, HubSpot’s sales and marketing automation services allow you to enrol contacts into sequences or workflows. Follow ups can be more timely and engaging whilst cutting down on your time spent contacting leads individually. It still ensures a personalised outreach so you retain the holistic and human approach to inbound marketing which makes it so successful.
These are a few of the various components to a successful inbound marketing strategy. It’s important to note that whether you are selling to businesses or consumers, you are dealing with real people. People don’t want to be sold to anymore and what they need is someone to show a genuine interest in solving their problems. By applying these tips to your inbound efforts, you can show them your value by providing helpful insights driven by data.