Increasingly, marketers across industries are beginning to embrace inbound marketing as the best philosophy to attract their target audience and grow their business. Content-based marketing allows for a more organic promotion of your brand, while lead generation sends contacts into your database that you can nurture toward becoming customers more easily.
But inbound marketing, as the above suggests, is also complex. Jump into it without strategy, and you risk getting confused and ending up with a strategy that won’t actually help your business. If you’re just getting started in switching your marketing strategy to an inbound-focused variety, where should you focus your efforts? As it turns out, that depends heavily on the situation you find yourself in.
If You’re Just Starting Out
If you have a brand new business looking to promote yourself, congratulations! You found the perfect time to get started in inbound marketing. In fact, you get to start from scratch, which brings with it a variety of advantages.
Above all, you can design a website that is specifically optimized to help you publish quality content and generate leads. You can start small – only running once-per-week blog, and only offering a handful of sign-up landing pages, and expand from there.
If this situation describes you, focus the majority of your efforts on planning out a strategy that is viable within the time and budget you have available for marketing.
If You’re Looking to Switch Gears
Have you been marketing online, but become increasingly convinced by the many benefits of inbound marketing? In that case, your first priority should be to see how much of your current efforts can be adjusted to the new philosophy.
Inbound marketing, as mentioned above, relies on content-based efforts to grow your thought leadership and promote your brand through expertise rather than overt promotion. You may already have a website and social media presence, as well as some of the content required to get started. Find out how much of it you can use, to ease the transition as much as possible.
Which pieces of content would your audience love to read? How can you adjust your social media presence to link more directly to your website? Which part of your website can easily be converted into lead-converting landing pages? Answering these questions should be your focus to start.
If Your Growth Begins to Accelerate
What if you have been running a business that is finally gaining traction? Lead nurturing efforts may be your perfect starting point to embrace inbound while scaling up your marketing without additional resources required.
A growing business means increasing leads in your database. How effectively do you communicate to them in order to drive them toward becoming customers? Research suggests that between 30% and 50% of B2B businesses send leads in their database directly to sales, despite the fact that nurtured leads have a 451% higher chance of becoming sales qualified.
Accelerated business growth increases the importance of lead nurturing. Don’t ignore the other parts of inbound marketing, but place the majority of your efforts and resources here.
If You’ve Been Struggling Online
Of course, you might also find yourself in a position not directly related to any of the above. Struggling to generate traction online, you might look to inbound marketing as a last resort.
In that case, start small. Narrow your efforts to the single most relevant social media network for your audience, and build a simple website that only includes a bit of info about yourself along with a blog and a sign-up page that promises (and delivers) relevant content. Over time, as this presence begins to prosper, you can begin to think about expanding again.
The complex process of inbound marketing can lead to confusion and inertia, especially among small business owners with little marketing experience. Finding your starting point is a crucial step in helping to make your inbound approach successful. That starting point, of course, depends on your individual situation – but the above can help you prioritize your efforts and maximize the success of your inbound marketing. To learn more about focusing your inbound marketing for optimum success, contact us.