7 Steps for a Stronger Inbound Marketing Strategy

Aug 16, 2022

Inbound marketing is a powerful way to bring visitors to your site and walk them through the sales funnel. Using valuable offers and engaging posts, you can attract B2B leads and cultivate them towards conversion.

Here are seven ways to improve your inbound strategy.

1. Establish Your Buyer Personas

First, you need to know who you are selling to. Buyer personas are fake profiles based on real buyers. Each buyer persona should be a distinctly different kind of buyer. You should include details on their job position, location, pain points, needs, fears,Picture2 challenges, interests and more.

The more details you can include about who you are targeting, the easier it is to effectively create an experience that appeals to that kind of buyer. It’s important to inform your personas with information from real buyers because assumptions may not show the whole picture. Even though you are selling products or services to other companies, you are still targeting a buyer who will make the business case or purchase decision for the company.

2. Understand the Sales Funnel

There are four main stages in the sales funnel: attract, convert, close, delight. If everything goes smoothly, your visitors should become leads, then customers and then brand promoters. If people regularly fall through the cracks in this funnel, you miss out on a big opportunity.

During the buyer’s journey, your audience will not be interested in the same kinds of content or topics as they are during a different stage. For a stronger inbound marketing strategy, you should target each persona at every stage.

For example, vistiors in the attract stage might ask Google, “how can I cut overhead costs?” and click on a blog post by a software company’s blog article on reducing unnecessary business expenses. Once on the software firm’s blog page, they might then follow a CTA to download an eBook on budgeting tips and cost-saving initiatives. This action could trigger a series of nurture emails on how the company's automation software saves businesses time and money, causing the lead to request a software demo with the company. If they are delighted during onboarding and supported by relevant content afterward, they will likely promote the brand to partners in their network.

3. Assess Your Existing Content

Do a content audit to understand where you currently stand. Create a spreadsheet containing the title, link, target persona, date, stage of the sales funnel and quick recap for each piece of content on your site. While this might seem like a big job, it will really help you get an inventory of what topics you have already covered and what buyers you aren’t targeting very often with your content.

During the content audit, it might be helpful to note which pieces specifically need updates. Old content may look different than your current pieces and contain old information or broken links that need to be updated. You can start a content calendar to jot down ideas for content that fills the gaps based on the content you already have.

4. Refresh Your Website

If you haven’t worked on your website lately, it’s probably time for an update. Web standards change frequently, and an outdatedPicture1 site can turn away visitors. Work on boosting website conversions with a site that loads quickly, provides a mobile-friendly experience, looks attractive and is user-friendly.

Make sure your site matches your branding to help keep the buyer's experience cohesive with your business. Your site should encourage guests to stay with relevant messaging, intuitive navigation and enticing offers. You may want to add modern tools, like chatbot support or engaging video content, to further support your visitors.

5. Select Relevant Distribution Channels

Where are you organically posting about your content or offers on your website? Email and social media platforms can be some of the best places to gain additional traffic. Don’t post the same information across all platforms. Be selective in what you share and how you post it to your various channels. Your audience doesn’t want to follow an account that continually spams them with irrelevant, brand-centric content.

While a post on Twitter should be short and pointed, a post on LinkedIn might be longer and include a personal story relating to the content. You need to learn each platform and how your audience interacts on that platform to share the kind of content that really resonates and invites engagement.

6. Create New Content and Refresh Old Content

Remember how you were noting outdated content on your inventory and jotting down new ideas on a content calendar? Well, start capitalizing on those notes. Make a list of every old blog post that can be updated into something more relevant and valuable. Your old pages can give your site more domain authority if you refresh the content. Leave a note on updates that says when the post was originally published and when it was last updated.

If you have old content that doesn’t align with your current brand or make sense to your audience, you can delete it. For new posts, look to target the personas or stages of the buyer funnel that aren’t often targeted in your existing content.

Related Article: The Anatomy Of A Great Content Strategy

7. Create Gated Content Offers

Larger pieces of content — like a guide, eBook, webinar or infographic — can be gated as a kind of give-and-take exchange. This is the perfect opportunity to build up your contacts list and fill out information about your lead in your CRM database. Your ask should align with your content value. While you shouldn’t gate blog posts, you can require visitors to fill out a simple form to download your guide.

Because they require more time and money, these larger offers should address specific questions or problems your buyers frequently express. Talk to your team about what kinds of questions, hurdles and objections they are facing with their prospects. Use your premium content as a supportive tool for your team, giving them something they can hand a lead to answer a question.

Your inbound approach is the key to online business growth. To keep strengthening your inbound marketing strategy, download this FREE inbound marketing checklist. For more information on boosting your inbound strategy, contact Sarah Chula at schula@strategicseven.com.

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