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7 Tips For Creating A Successful Inbound Marketing Plan

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An inbound marketing plan is meant to convert leads into customers through an interactive, engaged and connected experience. Your target is to interest your audience so that they keep coming back for more.  You’re “pulling” the customers rather than “pushing” them.

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When audiences are more active than ever, it’s not a wonder that inbound marketing has become a rage. Which means that companies must create highly successful inbound marketing plans if they have to stand out and get noticed.

One thing one needs to do if you want the plan to be a successful is to know its purpose.  One should ask yourself a few questions before one begins to develop a inbound marketing plan:

  1. What are the goals?
  2. What challenges have one faced in the past?
  3. Who is my right customer?  How can one attract and engage them?
  4. How much money do one invest in an inbound marketing program?

After you have the answers, it is time to start planning for a Successful Inbound Marketing Plan.  Here are 7 tips to develop an inbound marketing plan that’ll convert your leads into sales.

1. Identify your target customers

The primary goal of the inbound marketing program is to get visitors onto the site. Before one starts developing the content to drive these campaigns, one should determine the types of customers that has to be reached.

Inbound marketing works when you’ve identified a specific target audience, as this will help one to create better content that matches their interests. One can start by doing an analysis of the types of customers that has been attracted in the past. What are the characteristics they share and how can one use these traits to identify new potential customers?

For eg; if your Web analytic shows that most of your customers are coming from Twitter and that a big percentage of the followers are 25-to-44-year-old women, you can create inbound content that will appeal specifically to this group.

2. Set your desired action

Now that one have an idea about the people one has to target with the inbound marketing plan, one has to determine the call to action that has to be included in the content pieces.

Everything that one do within the inbound marketing strategy should match with the company’s vision and values. It also could be something like sharing your inbound marketing content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest or purchasing or subscribing to an email list. Making a viral sharing of content the call to action is one way to generate word-of-mouth interest, another hallmark of inbound marketing.

But one would want the activities to be well worth the effort. What are the goals and priorities and what are the main sources of income?  Where would one get the best result for your spend?  Whatever makes the company unique, whatever drives the company forward, whatever keeps one profitable – make these things the focus of ALL the inbound marketing efforts.

3. Create your viral campaign pieces

To spread the word about the business, the inbound marketing plan must include text-based articles that can be shared through social networking profiles, infographic images and videos.

The type of content pieces one wants to create will depend on how the target audience will behaves online. For eg; if the prospective customer one is targeting is active on YouTube, one will more likely see more success with a video than an article.

One can either create the content by self or outsource it to an expert. Either way, make sure to include the call to action selected.

4. Get socialimages

Once the inbound marketing pieces is completed, the next step is to put them on popular social networking sites. The inbound marketing plan should cover as many areas that makes sense for the company: social media, SEO, blogging, PPC, website design. One would want to go beyond posting a link and waiting for the traffic to start coming in, therefore observe the following best practices:

  • Pick the social networks where that the target audience is most active on. Marketing on Facebook is hot right now, but why invest energy when the target audience isn’t active on it? Target the networks where the prospective customers spend most of the time.
  • Be a valued and engaged member of the chosen social communities. If one wants people to share the content, one has to become a respected member of your social networking sites. Do take the time to set up the profile, interact with a lot of others and share content beyond ones own marketing pieces.
  • Ask the top users to share the content. Industry authorities can deliver huge traffic to the site if they share your content with their network followers. So, one should directly ask these top users to pass on the campaign content.

5. Measure the inbound marketing success rate

Whatever is the goals, make sure that they are measurable. For eg: one has to know which of the actions would draw a potential customer to the site. Google Analytics is an extremely useful tool for checking the conversion rate tracking and this will help one to monitor the inbound marketing results thereby determine whether the efforts are paying off.

6. Understand the commitment

Inbound marketing is an investment.  One needs the budget or one need the time.  One cannot commit to developing a Successful Inbound Marketing Plan if one does not have one or both of those things.  Something that a client find it hard to realize is that an inbound marketing strategy takes time to produce results, especially one doesn’t have a decent budget to fund the activity.  It is important that companies understand the dedication that an inbound marketing plan requires.

7. Don’t be afraid to learn from experience

The best inbound marketing strategies are created with the intent to act.  You’ll be spending time planning, but most of your time should be spent on doing.  Create a 12-month inbound marketing approach, and then take action.  Always test one’s CTAs (calls-to-action), the landing pages, the offers and other efforts so that one can improve as one goes on. One will also learn by reading others’ successes and failures.

With an easy to navigate website and strong traffic generating efforts, traffic will become leads and leads will turn into sales.  As long as one stays on top of the metrics and nurture the leads that can be generated, one will be working with a recipe for a great inbound marketing success.

Credits: Vision Advertising, entrepreneur.com

  • inbound-marketing

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