Inbound Marketing is an increasingly important aspect of any marketing campaign. The number of success stories is astounding. For those unfamiliar with the term, inbound marketing is the art of utilizing useful information to build credibility as a thought leader in a particular area of expertise. If you have ever downloaded a white paper or e-book, you are actually seeing Inbound Marketing in action.
What's involved in starting an inbound marketing program? Here are five things to consider. We'll be expanding more on these in future posts.
1.) Start with your audience. What problems do they have? How do they define success? What can you offer them that will help them succeed? If you are able to help a prospect gain even a small new insight into an existing challenge, you are on the path to becoming a trusted resource--perhaps the most important goal of inbound marketing.
2.) Establish goals & metrics for success. Hubspot, a leading provider of inbound marketing software, suggests four key metrics will help you monitor success of inbound marketing efforts
Click-Through Rates - the proportion of the audience who clicked on one or more links contained in your message
Conversion Rates - the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action (asked for a sales person to call, downloaded more information, etc).
Time to Customer Conversion - the length of time it takes for a lead to become a customer
Cost per Customer - the marketing cost of acquiring a new customer
Read more: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32216/The-Metrics-You-Need-to-Measure-Lead-Nurturing-Success.aspx#ixzz1sAaSSOL9
Take a moment to develop realistic goals for your inbound marketing efforts, and do your best to achieve them!
3.) Commit to creating content regularly. Inbound marketing is content-driven. It is the only way to make it work effectively. "Content" does not have to long. In fact, the shorter and more to the point your content is, the more likely it will get consumed. One of the easiest ways to create content is blogging (yeah...like this stuff you're reading now). If you can make a single point that helps you audience succeed, you will be on your way to making their short list of suppliers or service providers.
4.) Promote your content. There are plenty of ways to promote your ideas without spending a dime. For example:
Add a blog link to your email signature
Post your blog on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Include links to relavent content in all of your communications
Follow threads in group discussions, and participate. Ask to be followed, and start following others.
Tell your colleagues
5.) Analyze and improve. You can't expect to be a pro when you are just starting to learn how inbound marketing can drive new business for you. Be sure to take time to analyze how you are doing against your metrics, and make adjustments.
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