So – you have a product or service that you want to market. But how do you go about it?
You could just improvise and hope for the best. Through trial and error, you may eventually get it right. Of course, by that time, you may have also run out of budget.
A more advisable approach however would be to properly map out your marketing strategy to maximise your return on investment – preferably with the support of expert inbound marketing specialists, many of which offer inbound marketing packages that can help you plan your growth.
With that in mind, here are the six core components you’ll need to make your inbound marketing plan a success:
6 essential components to include in your inbound marketing plan:
1. Market analysis
As much as any business would love to be the only one offering products and services of their kind, unfortunately, this is very rarely the case. As such, you need to be aware of your competition.
One of the best ways to identify your competitors is to do a little online research. If you’re a recruitment agency that specialises in graduate roles, for example, you could type the search term “graduate recruitment agency” into Google and see what appears at the top of the results page.
Once you’ve identified your key competitors, it’s time to do some detective work and figure out what sort of strategies they have in place to market themselves.
There are plenty of tools available online and as part of inbound marketing packages that will help you discover this information; SEMrush is one great example. Utilising this tool can successfully provide you with detailed information on your competitor's digital marketing strategy, such as:
- their backlink profile
- keyword analysis
- site health audit
- PPC adverts
- advert copy
- web traffic and organic search rankings
In your investigation, don’t forget to analyse the weaknesses of your competitors overall digital marketing strategy as well as their strengths. Not just discovering but understanding your competitor's weaknesses will help you create a great competitive advantage!
2. Target audience
The next item on our list is your target audience. This is very much linked to your market analysis as the whole idea of doing the research is to ensure that you have a customer base to tap into.
One of the first steps to creating a solid inbound marketing plan is to establish your Buyer Personas.
These are fictional representations of your ideal target customers, and are a fantastic means of understanding who they are – from their age and gender to their buying habits, pain points to personal and job goals, and much more.
We recommend starting by creating buyer personas for your core targets that will help you define who you are going to try and reach and gather deep customer insight.
Understanding your ideal customer in-depth will help with developing your content marketing strategy as you can tailor your content to solve your personas’ business problems.
Offering content that solves these problems will not only attract new customers but delight your current customer base too – it’s a win-win! This process will also help you understand what marketing channels are best suited to this audience and adapt your budget accordingly.
It makes it easier later down the line to decide what channels are worthy of your time. A good persona also helps you develop a tone of voice befitting of your brand and in line with your target audience’s habits.
3. SMART objectives
You’ve researched your competition and coined your target audience, it’s time to set goals. Using SMART objectives, you can define what you want to accomplish as a brand. The SMART acronym generally stands for:
Specific: What specific demographic of your target audience are you chasing?
Measurable: Can you track your success rate?
Achievable: Are the goals you have achievable?
Realistic: Are these achievable goals relevant and realistic?
Time effective: Is your timeframe to reach your targets realistic?
With good SMART objectives put in place, you can then start working on how you will achieve these objectives and through what marketing channels.
4. Selecting and planning your various channels
Now you’ve understood your competition, target audience and set yourself some SMART goals to achieve, it’s time to select and plan the various channels you’ll utilise within your inbound marketing strategy.
A good place to start is to analyse the size and scale of your business. If you are a larger corporation who has been in business a few years and is fully functional, you will need to begin by reviewing the data you already have available to you.
Try analysing your website visits, Google Adwords data and content marketing to understand where the majority of your traffic and visitor engagement is located.
If you are a smaller scale business or a start-up then you will need to test different marketing channels to see what works best for you. Start by allocating your budget to a few areas, then review, re-define and tweak accordingly.
5. Tracking and analysing
The single most amazing thing about modern, digital marketing, is that almost every aspect of your strategy can be measured.
As part of inbound marketing packages, you can receive detailed reports on unique visitors to your website and other online channels like social media. Other metrics that can be measured include exit rates, click rates, open rates and conversion rates among others.
This very detailed overview of your customer journey not only helps to rapidly identify weaknesses in your marketing plan and address them, but also gives you the chance to push its strengths.
Successful inbound marketing is all about crunching numbers, looking at reports and making informed decisions, as opposed to making educated guesses!
Once you’ve got all the above information, you can really get to work on setting up a robust strategy! It will become rapidly apparent following this whether your budget is being used and allocated appropriately.
If you are lacking in funds, you will now know what to focus your budget on. But maybe you were also over budgeting, which is always a lovely surprise! Having a clear idea of budget and ROI targets helps you to adjust on the fly.
After all, a good inbound marketing strategy should be scalable and adaptable to business performance and changes.
Think you might be missing some of these essential components?
At Angelfish Marketing, we offer a number of inbound marketing packages and services based on our years of expertise in the industry, which encompass all the above components and much more!
If you’d like to discuss what we can offer you in these packages, feel free to get in touch with us here or schedule your free one-hour consultation with our team below...