You're ready to start implementing inbound marketing. You know it's right for your company. You're champing at the bit.
But - doesn't it take a long time to develop a great B2B marketing strategy and then implement it and track it and tweak it and perfect it and...and…?
The answer is: yes and no. It certainly takes dedication and plenty of work to start inbound marketing from scratch. But the truth is that you're not sta
rting from scratch. There are plenty of things you can do today, with minimal time and resources, to start attracting and converting customers to day. Here are
10 ideas you can start with:
- Write down what you know about your buyers
Buyer personas are an absolutely essential part of inbound marketing. These fictionalized profiles of your ideal buyers require a good deal of research and a bit of creativity. But you don't have to do all that today. Instead, write down what you already know. Try to come up with 2 to 3 different buyer personas and consider who they are, where they work, and what they care about. Even though you are engaged in B2B marketing, you are still selling to humans so you want to get to know them. This initial look into who they are will be a great resources as you move forward.
2. Do a content assessment
Even if you've never tried your hand at inbound marketing before, chances are you have at least some content to work with. It might be blog posts, white papers, or even product specification sheets. Spend a couple of hours going through what you already have and thinking about how you can make it more valuable to your potential customers. Change the name? Add a new introduction? Make sure you're taking full advantage of all the content you already have before investing in all that new content you're going to make as you continue down the inbound path. After all, it's the content that attracts.
3. Clean out your contacts
If you think email marketing is on the way out, you're wrong. But before you send off your next email blast, be sure your contacts are in order. This might mean getting rid of those contacts who have unsubscribed or haven't opened an email in years. Or it might mean spending the time to segment your list so that you can specifically target your messages. It might take an afternoon, but it will make your marketing emails that much more effective in the long run.
4. Send an email
You've just cleaned out your customer list and organized your content, so go ahead and put together an email newsletter, bringing subscribed customers to the content they might not have seen before. Track the responses you get and see how it goes over. Use what you learn to keep improving your email marketing tactics.
5. Create a LinkedIn page
Social media can be a powerful promotional source for your marketing efforts. When it comes to B2B inbound marketing, LinkedIn is extremely effective. Even if you have your own personal profile as a marketer, creating a page for your company gives you the chance to listen and learn from the conversation around your company and your industry on this popular platform. And it only takes a few minutes to set up. 91% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn. You should, too.
6. Get an outside opinion on your website
During the inbound marketing process, your website not only works to attract new leads, but also to guide them down the path you want them to take. The website you have now probably isn't as efficient as it could be at doing that. If you want to get started on making improvement today, get an outsider to look at your website. A friend or a colleague or even a relative. Ask them their impressions and watch where they go first. This is just the start of collecting data that can help you create the most effective inbound website you can.
7. Have Lunch
Whew, all this inbound marketing talk is exhausting. Time to take a break and grab a bite. But wait, even lunch can be an opportunity to get started with inbound marketing. Instead of chowing down at your desk, organize a lunch meeting with your sales team. When inbound marketing works best is when sales and marketing are on the same page. Start the conversation over some sandwiches and finish it when you meet all your business goals.
8. Set a goal
Before you do any inbound marketing, you want to know exactly what it is your aim is. What do you want inbound marketing to do for you? You don't have to set all your goals right now. Just set one. Do you want to increase your leads by a certain percentage this quarter? Or see revenue go up by a specific dollar amount compared to last year? Set a goal. Write it down. When you're aiming for something specific, you'll be better able to track your inbound efforts.
9. Scope the competition
Whether your top competitors are utilizing B2B inbound marketing or sitting on the sidelines, knowing what they're up to can be extremely helpful in knowing how to proceed with your strategy. You're probably already keeping up to date with them, but if not get started right now. Visit their website. Check out their content. Look for the social media pages. What are they doing that you can do better?
10. Read our blog
Ok, this one's a little self-serving, but you're already here so why not take a few minutes to look through the amazing inbound marketing content we have? You can learn new strategies that are specifically suited to B2B marketing, read about the latest in SEO news, and get yourself psyched up for inbound marketing in 2015.
Inbound marketing takes time and dedication, but if you use your time wisely, step-by-step you will create a B2B inbound strategy that starts working immediately and only gets more effective as time goes on.