As 2015 approaches, many entrepreneurs are putting the finishing touches on their strategies for the upcoming year. If you’re one of those business owners looking for a new and dynamic way to energize your marketing efforts, a properly-executed inbound marketing strategy can be just what you need to make the next year one of your best. Here are three tips that can help you accomplish that goal.
Get to Know Your Audience
“Know your audience” might be one of the oldest pieces of marketing advice in the book, but these days it’s easier said than done. In previous generations, entrepreneurs had a fairly easy time identifying their markets. In many cases, it was as simple as targeting an entire industry or broad group of people. As a result, most companies didn’t need to know much about their customers other than basic demographic details.
Today, however, it’s a whole new world. It’s not enough to simply know who your customers are; you now need to know much more about them if you intend to reach them with your marketing message. That includes knowing not only what they need, but how they communicate, where they spend their time online, and what type of media they find most attractive and engaging.
This assessment will help you in a variety of ways. Not only will it enable you to better focus your messaging on those prospects most likely to contact your company, but it can also help to better inform your content creation decision-making process and determine which mediums will work best with which groups of potential customers.
Publish and Promote Content
An effective content strategy encompasses more than just quality marketing pieces. To maximize your inbound potential, you need to identify your competitive advantage, develop cohesive messaging, and figure out the best way to deliver that message to your customers.
To accomplish these things, it’s helpful to think of your content strategy in the same way that a publisher views its publication schedule. Your blog posts, social media messages, press releases, and article marketing efforts need to be coordinated with a cohesive scheduling effort that demonstrates consistency across every online platform you use.
Moreover, it’s not enough to simply publish your content. Far too many business owners mistakenly assume that their job is done once they’ve placed their content online. They’re then surprised when all that work produces few if any new website visitors.
The key to avoiding that scenario is to aggressively engage with potential customers in various social media platforms, website forums, and other outlets. Without a consistent promotional effort, even the best content will produce no real results for your website or your business.
Measure and Prioritize
This last one is an area of weakness for far too many entrepreneurs: measuring results and prioritizing what works. All too often, small business owners fail to properly measure their marketing efforts. That leaves them with no information with which to adjust their messaging to correct flaws or capitalize on successful ideas.
From the beginning of any inbound campaign, it is important to track results, measure them against initial expectations, and modify your strategy to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing dollars. To do that, you have to make this aspect of your business a priority, and focus like a laser on the actual return on investment those dollars are yielding.
The fact is that most businesses can achieve success with an inbound campaign if their owners are willing to commit to these strategic fundamentals. With that level of commitment, these three tips can help you to develop the type of 2015 inbound marketing strategy you need to enjoy an out-of-this-world level of success.