Now that you understand what inbound marketing is and why it’s a critical component of the marketing strategy for your startup, we’ll help you understand the tools you need to get started, how to estimate cost, begin setting expectations, and measuring success.
If you’re not sure what inbound marketing is or why it’s a critical component of your startup’s marketing strategy, read part one of this blog post.
What type of tools do I need to get started?
Think about the point of inbound marketing. It’s about attracting strangers at the right time with the right content in the right place to get them to become a lead, then ultimately a customer. Some people will see your content via social media, others will find it via SEO using targeted keywords, some will see it in an email, and others even elsewhere.
Having a good customer relationship management (CRM) system will help you understand where leads are finding and opening your content most.
For now, the best tools in your content marketing toolbox are a few good content producers who can blog, share and build trust for your brand. Building a solid email campaign through marketing automation will allow you to target those customers with a nice, scalable lead nurture campaign where you can touch them several times a month on their areas of interest.
You will learn what prospects like with surveys, polls, white paper downloads, free widgets and anything you can offer them to get any free information back in return. Knowledge is power, so the more you know, the more you can speak to your potential customer.
How much will this campaign cost me?
Inbound marketing is an investment. Time and materials is a good way to measure what it will cost you. Additionally if you invest in a marketing automation system like Act-On, Hubspot, or Hatchbuck, your investment increases.
Whether you hire these resources in-house or use an agency, you need someone to create the content and distribute it. If you have a tool, you will need a person to manage all the content that goes out and comes in through it. Then you need follow up to see what kind of response you get from your campaign. Next, you need to work with sales to follow-up with the lead he/she was provided and hopefully close the deal. After a few good sales, you have paid for your campaign and your resources.
What benefits should I expect to gain in the first few months of starting my inbound campaign?
You need to build your brand presence and credibility around strangers. They need to learn who you are, what product or service you provide and what your niche is.
Decide what your value proposition will be. Will you be the best-priced product on the market, or is stellar customer service your niche? Either way, you need to get engaging content out there in channels that allow your prospects to find you. Once you spark their interest and get them to submit a lead through a quote form, you have a chance in converting them.
Expect to target your leads at a reasonable rate of growth. Your first month depends on how much content you distribute, where you distribute it (your reach) and how good it is. Your calls to action must be solid as well, or strangers will not become visitors. Don’t worry if your first month or two only yields a few leads. That is okay and it will only go up from there. Remember it takes time to get it right.
What type of metrics should I look at to measure success?
Good metrics to consider for your inbound marketing campaign are:
- open rate
- click through rate
You should also consider number of downloads if you are offering a piece of content like a white paper. Those downloads should provide you with an email address from the prospect so be sure to follow up. An example of a this is our Ultimate Guide To Lead Generation. We offer this piece of relevant content in exchange for some basic information. Click below to see how the process can work:
Similarly, when a quote form is submitted, then that is considered a lead as well. You can number your leads based on profile information and behavior and that is called lead scoring. Lead scoring allows you to place a level of interest on the prospects from cold lead to warm, hot, and so on.
Remember, don’t get frustrated; any good inbound campaign will take a few months of testing the waters to see what works. Sometimes a funky infographic could get you tons of interest, or you may flop on an email creative you thought was sure to rock the house. Short and simple works best, don’t overcomplicate your content and always test everything you do!
Overall, you will need a strong inbound marketing campaign in place to build your foundation and cultivate your lead lists. Know that content is king and is sure to build your business as long as you implement it correctly. The voice of your customer is there, you just have to listen!
If you would like help with your inbound marketing strategy or content, contact us today!