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5 essential steps to launch an Inbound Marketing Plan

If you are taking the first steps to launch an Inbound Marketing program, congratulations! You are probably hoping that inbound marketing will change your company's growth trajectory and you are right. With all the research you have done previously, you may still have some uncertainties, such as: What kind of work should be done to launch an inbound program? What are the steps involved and who executes them?

No organization is the same as another: internal skills, objectives and resources; strategies and tactics will always vary greatly, but in general, there are 5 fundamental steps to implementing an inbound program:

1. Goal setting and KPI

An experienced Inbound agency will be precise when working together to establishing the growth objectives for the next year's to come and define the KPI's that will be tracked to measure the program's and inbound strategies success. These steps often involve identifying the client's combined loan to value (CLTV), a number that reflects what your average customer is worth during the life of the business relationship. That number will help determine 1) how many new clients you will need to meet your goals and, to achieve those goals 2) how many prospects you will need; and 3) how many visitors you will need on your website to have so many prospects based on the average conversion rate.

2. Define and document the ideal clients profile and a buyers journey

We all have an ideal client. Think about the next thing: if you had only one dollar to spend on marketing, what would you spend it on? The process to identifying or profiling your ideal client is not easy, not like Next Level Strategy could say "any company or person who needs marketing" ; it needs to be defined in a more detailed way, for example: "companies that know that their marketing efforts are not being enough to reach their sales goals, and would like to leave behind the traditional marketing".

Once your ideal clients are defined, it is also important to identify certain people within your company. For example; if we are talking about B2B companies, people within the company that will influence the purchasing decision and those who actually make the decisions. These are the people you want to attract to your website and to whom the content that is created will help solve their problems in decision making. When you know specifically the people you are writing that content for, you will be able to make the content highly relevant and compelling to them; you can talk directly about the challenges they face. Here the search engines will help you since, these will provide your content options because the topics will be aligned with what they are looking for.

3. SEO investigation and content development (blog and downloadable content creation such as guides and ebooks)

Before you start writing anything such as content, remember that step 2 was defining your ideal clients' profile, the messages, blogs, guides and others; and the people who you must write the content for. Each one of these ideal clients have different objectives and needs, so there must be appropriate content available to them for when they search, your content will be the right one that will satisfy those needs and help break those barriers when they decide to purchase. There are valid suppositions about what they are looking for using SEO tools to identify these specific phases that will optimize your content.

Blogs are the major tool to attract; it will attract potential clients to your website, where they will learn more about your company and find more relevant content such as ebooks and guides they can download. They can download this "advanced content" if they provide their contact information; this makes them prospects and with the contact information they have provided, nurture them with emails that offer even more additional and relevant content.

Content should be created not only for each type of the ideal client, but also for each phase of the conversion funnel that they are in that moment. Are they beginning to deepen into the challenge in question and how can they solve it? Or are they more advanced and will they buy different solution options? Are they ready to make a decision and just looking for a reason to pull the trigger? Each situation requires different types of messages and content.

4. Have your website ready for Inbound

Not any outdated website can accommodate everything you need for your future prospects. A website needs a blog, of course, but also call to actions (CTA's), which are basically graphic bottons with messages such as "Get your guide to profile your ideal buyer!". These CTA's attract more prospects when they access your content and provide you with their contact information voluntarily.

These are your opportunities of conversion and they must be distributed strategically all over your website. When visitors click on your CTA's to obtain this advanced content, generally it redirects to what is called a landing page, where they obtain a brief description of content and the form they must fill out in order to download the content.

Along with these forms, there should be created thank you pages and email templates, given that when sending such emails you are enriching the visitor with more content. Incorporate key words, as we mentioned this in step 3, it is essential to incorporate those keywords or phrases naturally throughout the entire content of your website.

5. Configuring profiles and social media accounts

Once you have all type of interesting and relevant content that your best prospects are going to want, you should spread the word. Many of them will find the content on your blog, but you can increase the amount of visitors to your website and content by promoting it on social media. For example, YouTube is an incredible platform when you have video content to share, LinkedIn is a platform for your team to share links about your advanced content, for other businesses, Facebook works better or even Instagram if you want to be more on the visual side of things.

Having all of the things mentioned above, you will be ready to attract visitors, convert them into prospects and nurture them till closing the sale. This quick look simplifies the basic steps of the inbound process.

Of course there are additional things to consider, like measuring the results (which should be done from day 1) and using the data to make continuous improvements to the program. You will also want to keep the Sales department informed and work together with Marketing to implement the Service Level Agreement (SLA). This agreement provides the responsibilities of each team member and keep everyone on the same page when it comes to goals and processes.

We eat, breathe and dream Inbound Marketing, if you have any questions about specific needs your company needs, contact us! We are always anxious to help you understand your challenges and take advantage of your maximum potential.

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