How Can I Sculpt a Plan to Start Inbound Marketing

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1 How Can I Sculpt a Plan to Start Inbound Marketing An Effective Marketing Method for Doing Business Online By Courtney McElroy, CEO Marketing Force 1

2 How Can I Sculpt a Plan to Start Inbound Marketing Table of Contents Page Number Introduction 3 Buyer Personas 3, 4 Attract 4, 5, 6 Convert 6, 7 Close 7, 8 Delight 8, 9 Conclusion 9 Author Biography 10 2

3 Introduction Thank you for downloading our e-guide. Inbound marketing is a revolutionary method of marketing that involves leveraging blogs, video, e-books, e-newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing and other forms of online content to attract customers, convert them into leads and then customers and then finally making them love you which increases retention, usage and the number of customers who actually want to promote your organization. It also involves moving away from old style outbound marketing tactics like generic e- blasts, flyers, direct mail, etc Inbound marketing is a holistic concept that addresses the entire marketing cycle and is solidly based around truly understanding your market and providing them with real value. If you want to sculpt a plan to start inbound marketing then you can begin by understanding and planning around each stage in the inbound process. This e-book will provide you with a high level review of each stage in the process to get you started. Buyer Personas Inbound marketing is premised around truly understanding your prospects and your customers, their needs and what you can do to make their life better. This doesn t mean showing them how your product or solution is the answer to their problems this means understanding them and building relationships by offering them real value and the things that they really want and need. Many marketers make painstaking efforts to optimize their content and approach for search engines when what we need to do is optimize our content and approach for what our prospects and customers want and need. This means understanding buyer personas. 3

4 All future marketing action and everything you do is dictated by your buyer personas. What is a buyer persona? Your buyer persona is your ideal customer. A fictional character that will help you refine your marketing activities. Everyone in your business should be able to identify their buyer persona. Not all visitors to your website are your buyers so it s important that you base your assessment of your buyer persona on your buying customers. What gender are they? What age range do they fall in? What type of profession(s) are your buyers? What factors do your buyer personas take into account when they make a decision to buy? What are their shopping habits? What pains them, etc.. Once you have determined what your buyer personas are you are better positioned to start to create marketing and content strategy that really speaks to them and gets results. Attract Inbound involves primarily attracting prospects through social media and search engines. As we mentioned earlier, many marketers plan their content around SEO. While SEO is important, you will want to optimize your content 1 st for your visitor and 2 nd for the search engines. Social media will play an important role in your inbound marketing. Social media is the bookends 4

5 to successful inbound marketing. Did you know that people spend 4x more time on Facebook than they do on Google? Browsing habits have changed and your goal should not only be to get your content found on search engines but to also create content that is share worthy. It should be so good that when prospects stumble upon it on social media, they want to share it with their networks, thus influencing the buying habits of others. This is far more potent and effective than simply focusing on someone finding your content through a Google search. Think about putting the time and effort into creating exceptional marketing content that really interests your buyer: Target one keyword grouping per piece of content that you release and do not denigrate the quality of your content for SEO. Select quality keywords that your buyer persona would use. Structure your pages to make keyword topics understandable and to make it crawlable. Think of the keyword as the topic. Of course you want to optimize your content on-page but content is king! Content fuels your inbound marketing and blogging influences SEO. Each and every blog post you write gets published as its own page. Your content should be helpful, valuable and educational. Blogs help us become industry leaders through education. Blogs though are not the be-all and end-all. Planning the content aspect of your inbound marketing plan also means giving consideration to sharing the content of others. Think about associations, suppliers and even clients when you think about sharing others content. Not only do you add more value to your clients but you promote sharing and those whose content you choose to share will likely share yours in turn! The best 3 rd party content to share is studies, statistics, whitepapers, funny videos things that will make your social media better but that you may not have the budget to produce yourself. 5

6 Do: Write an optimized synopsis of what you share and even get SEO value out of it. Do not: Re-post it in its entirety on your blog or you could be penalized by Google for duplicating content. Once you have a diverse social presence and a plan to produce great content the next step in your plan to engage in inbound marketing will be to convert your visitors into leads. Convert The conversion process is so critical because it s how you convert traffic into leads. So now you have your visitor, but what do you do with them? How do you convert the right visitor into a lead? How do you ensure a high conversion rate? The first thing you need to know is that likely 75% of people who come to your site may not be ready to buy your product or service. There are generally 3 types of visitors: 1. A prospect who knows they have a problem and is researching a solution. 2. A prospect who recognizes the need for a solution and is sourcing vendors. 3. A prospect who recognizes the need for a solution and is ready to buy. This process begins with your landing page. To address the needs of all 3 prospect types you need to offer them something that is of value to them and that can help them towards solving their problem. This could be a whitepaper, e-book, cheat sheet or anything you feel is of value to your buyer persona. You need to offer a call-to-action. A call-to-action must be in the right place on your landing page where it s most relevant. This is how you will call them to take an action (download your offer, for example) and extract basic information so that you can nurture them once they become a lead. 6

7 Once your prospect has filled out your form for the free offer, where do you send the offer? Once they click submit, they should be directed to a thank you page where the offer they were promised is delivered. Your prospect is now a lead. You can push your lead further into the sales process by sending a follow up inviting them to speak to you about your services and also offering them future offers in exchange for more information about them. The conversion process is so critical because it s how you get leads. So now you have a lead and it is time to turn them into a customer. Close marketing and social media marketing will be two tools that will help you to stay connected to your lead and eventually turn them into a customer. s will help you build relationships and nurture the relationships with your leads. To send a great you need to set yourself apart. 1. Identify a specific goal. 2. Segment your list so that you send the right to the right lead. 3. Personalize whenever possible. 4. Avoid sending from generic addresses like addresses. 5. Write mostly in the second person and use actionable language such as check out this blog post or would you like to book a time to chat. , like your offers, should present value. Also, avoid taking a one size fits all approach to your campaigns. Focus on the benefits of what you re offering and not the features. Provide solutions. 7

8 Your must be brief, no more than 200 words. The most important step to sending the right to the right lead is to test your . Find out what s working and what s not so that each you send out is better than the last. Having a strong platform that helps you to segment your lists and automate campaigns, without your prospects sensing that the s are automated, is critical. Plan out your marketing based on what will take place with your audience over time to minimize the work involved with constantly having to come up with content for campaigns. Say goodbye to generic blasts and newsletters. If you provide your prospect with value and they like you, they will want to open your s, leading to higher open rates and more closed deals. Delight Your customer s perception of your company is formed by every interaction you have with them. If you delight your customers they will become your promoters. Your customers are your greatest assets. Did you know that 48% of customers who had a negative experience told 10 or more people about it? When you keep your customers happy you open the road to word of mouth referrals which will keep you ahead of the competition. In order to delight your customers you must be proactive. 8

9 Train and practice with your employees develop principles that your employees live by. Don t try to hard sell customers. Listen to your customer the customer is always priority #1. Make sure you understand what your customer wants. Ask questions to ensure you understand what they want and help them solve their problems. Educate your customer continue to provide great content to your customer via s, blogs, social media, etc. Measure and track everything! Follow up customers always remember how you make them feel. It s the small interactions that make a big difference. Delighting your customers will ultimately lead to a lower cost of acquisition, increased retention, increased usage and more promoters. Conclusion Your customer s perception of your company is formed by every interaction you have with them. If you delight your customers they will be your promoters. We hope that this e-guide has provided you with many high level tips that will help you to sculpt your inbound marketing plan leading to inbound marketing success! 9

10 Author Bio Courtney McElroy Founder and CEO of Marketing Force Courtney is the founder and CEO of Marketing Force, a digital marketing and communication company that she founded 6 years ago that helps companies stay on the leading edge of digital marketing trends and engage in inbound and social media marketing that works! Among Courtney s many accomplishments is her experience as a senior executive at a large organization where she developed and created marketing strategies for new lines of business that led the company to new growth exceeding 75 million dollars in capital during her tenure. Courtney is an entrepreneur who has been involved in a number of successful ventures, one of which is EasyCourt, Canada s first national, online, fully automated SaaS based solution where consumers and businesses alike can create their small claims court forms with ease. Courtney is also a speaker and writer who has been heard on AM640, The Customer Experience Show, The Financial Technology Show, among other widely recognized forums. In her spare time Courtney mentors other young up-and-coming entrepreneurs, loves to dance, spend time with her beloved dog Bobby and travel. Contact Courtney McElroy Phone: LinkedIn: 10

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