Go-to guide to your first year of inbound marketing

Posted by Richard Stephens on 02/08/19 11:14
Richard Stephens
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With 55% of marketers saying that blog content creation is their top marketing priority, it’s clear to see that marketing strategies are moving from traditional, ‘outbound’ techniques to more up-to-date, ‘inbound’ methods where it’s all about enticing people to engage with the business. Producing blog content is a great way to offer potential leads something valuable so that, when they’re at the point where they’re ready to make a purchase, they pick you over your competitors. Plus, the stats are pretty promising: marketers who prioritise blogging efforts are 13x more likely to see a positive return on investment (ROI) and content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. 

Ready to step into the world of inbound? In this blog post, we reveal what you can expect after one year of inbound.

First three months

Consumer buying behaviours have changed alongside the development of new technologies. Did you know that 47% of buyers now read up to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep? Think about it, how many times have you turned to Google to answer your questions for you? Because of these changes in habits, the process of marketing now needs more focus on producing valuable content that’s readily available to those searchers as they look for answers online.

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The first three months of the inbound marketing methodology is all about building the foundation. You won’t see results right away, so you’ll need to show dedication and motivation as you begin the process. Don’t worry though - the results you’ll see later on will make it all worth it!

Part of the foundation is creating your strategy and goals. To do this, you first need to create your buyer personas. This is a vital step to understanding the reasons why you’re creating the type of content you’re creating. As part of our online marketing and SEO services, we conduct workshops with our clients to create their buyer personas so that all content has a clear direction and purpose.

What is a buyer persona?

Essentially, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional character based on your target audience. You’ll need to think about:

  • Demographic information (age range, background, socio-economic class, education etc.)
  • The questions they have in relation to your business
  • Where they go to find this information
  • The type of challenges they face and their pain points 
  • How you can provide a solution to their challenges and objections 

Once you have your buyer persona, you’ll need to start thinking about each stage of the inbound methodology and how they fit into your sales process.

Stages of inbound

  • Attract: How will you pull people into your business? This might be by creating valuable content in the form of blog posts, videos or infographics, depending on your persona.
  • Engage: How will you entice people to engage with your business? In other words, how will you turn them into leads? One way of doing this is to offer a free downloadable guide in return for their email address. In this case, it’s a win-win situation!
  • Delight: Now that you have new customers, how will you delight them? Perhaps you’ve got more super helpful content that you’ll send in an email straight to their inboxes? Remember, it’s less about sell, sell, sell, and more about delight, delight, delight!

Now that you’ve laid out your plan, it’s time to build a content strategy that offers solutions to your persona’s problems.

Planning your blog posts - quick top tips

  • Conduct keyword research
  • Think of catchy titles incorporating one of your keywords
  • Centre your content around the questions and challenges your persona faces
  • Create pillar pages and topic clusters
  • Set up social media accounts to share your posts 
  • Prepare to email your new posts to your database once a month

This stage of planning will give you a good idea of whether you have the capacity and affordability to write the required number of blog posts per month. As a part of our online marketing and SEO services, we take the weight from our clients’ shoulders and produce high-quality content that ignites their SEO and increases their website traffic.

During these first few months you’ll be setting out the foundations of SEO and beginning to implement it on your website. Although you may not see any organic results for a few months, don’t worry; it’ll be working its magic in the background and you’ll soon reap the rewards! In the meantime, we can help you produce fast results by using Facebook advertising and Google ads to drive traffic and gain results quicker. For example, for one of our clients, we generated 447 website sessions from paid social alone in just two months.

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First six months

At the six month mark, you may start seeing organic results from your inbound marketing efforts. This is because inbound takes time. It requires a lot of maintenance, patience and effort to produce results, so you really do need to commit! As your lead generation continues to grow, you’ll start to nurture these leads so that they engage with your business. That’s why, once you’ve established your content strategy and started to implement SEO techniques, you need to think about how you can engage your leads.

Engaging your leads - quick top tips

  • Build out landing pages and forms that appeal to your target audience and encourage them to sign up to your blog or download the latest offer
  • Ensure you still offer educational and helpful content and not a sales pitch; you need to get your leads onboard

Over this initial six-month period, you’ll need to increase your lead generation. But without sales pitches and outbound techniques, how do you get your business in front of your target audience? In other words, how do you make your audience aware that your business exists?

Social media strategy

Social media is one of the biggest tools available to marketers today and building your social media presence is key to accessing new leads. Be active and engage with others to create a community of like-minded people. Open up discussions, share your content, and share others’ too - they might even return the favour!

As we mentioned earlier, social media advertising - when done right - can be very effective in producing quick results. You can design your ads to appear to the exact audience you want to target - and now that you know your buyer personas inside-out, you’ll have a clear idea of who this is. Because of this, you may see an initial spike in website traffic. At the six-month mark, this spike may start to plateau - but don’t be put off by this, as this is where your SEO efforts will begin to kick in, so your traffic will soon be on the rise again 

Your keywords will begin to rank and improve position as the health of your website improves. At Angelfish, our online marketing and SEO services include monthly technical SEO, meaning we fix any errors on your site that put Google off ranking you higher. Plus, we identify existing pages that need further optimisation, again boosting those rankings.

First year

So, one year into inbound and what will you have? Well, after all of your hard work, you’ll see a regular and steady stream of leads coming in through your website. A combination of SEO, content and social media strategies will transform your business. You’ll see a positive ROI and your customer base will start to expand, plus, you’ll have learnt new skills and got into great habits that will take you through to your second year of inbound and beyond.

With so much to do and keep on top of, inbound can seem like an overwhelming prospect. That’s why we’d like to offer you a free health check to save you the hassle of analysing your current performance and figuring out what to do first! As a digital marketing agency, we offer online marketing and SEO services designed to help you grow your business. 

Simply click here to get a free digital marketing review and expert consultation for your business.  

You’ll get all of this on us: 

  • Website analysis – find out how hard your website is currently working for your business and what it could be doing better
  • Content review – discover how to properly leverage your content to engage with your prospects and generate leads 
  • PPC and SEO audit – determine what terms you’re ranking for in search engines, how your paid adverts are performing and where future opportunities lie 
  • Social media review – size up your social media and discover what you can do to use it more effectively  
  • Expert consultancy – enjoy a one hour review with one of our inbound marketing experts, absolutely free 

So, let’s get cracking!

Free digital marketing healthcheck

Topics: Inbound marketing