TL;DR: You can start using inbound marketing techniques today! Once you figure out your buyer personas, you can create intentional content that meets them on each stage of the buyer’s journey on the various platform they may be on.
The term “inbound marketing” is more than just slapping “inbound” in front of “marketing” to sound fancy. It’s a statistically tried and true process that has proven on countless occasions how effective it is.
Just take a look at these inbound marketing stats we've been updating since 2018!
To make inbound marketing work for you, you need the right ideas to form a cohesive marketing plan and create a stellar campaign.
Here are five tactics that inbound evangelists use to grow their business and rock their campaigns. Soon you can be one of them!
|Understand Your Buyer Personas & Their Problems||Map Out the Buyer's Journey|
1. Understand Your Buyer Personas & Their Problems
Recognizing that each customer base varies in persona per company is critical for developing sturdy inbound marketing strategies.
For example, if you specialize in manufacturing car parts, you wouldn’t talk to a Tesla Model 3 owner the same way you would a Ford F-150 owner about their vehicles. Just like you wouldn’t talk to a vegan about recommended recipes the same way you would to someone on a low-carb diet.
This is why creating buyer personas is so important when developing a strong inbound marketing campaign.
But what exactly is a buyer persona, you ask?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents the ideal type of customer that you would like to market to.
Let’s take the above scenarios to create a couple of buyer personas to explain this process.
You would start by giving both the Tesla Model 3 and the Ford F-150 owners easy-to-remember names, like Tesla Tammy and Ford Freddy.
Then, you would proceed to shape their personas by collecting analytical data about each persona and by asking questions that your company can solve, like:
- What are their problems?
- How can they be solved?
- What are their interests?
- What do they value?
Take This Tactic
If you haven't spent the time creating your buyer personas, hit the pause button.
Develop the buyer personas with your team so you can fully optimize past content and create future content that aligns with your goals.
Here are three resources to help you get started:
- HubSpot's free persona template
- HubSpot's free buyer persona generator
- Impulse Creative's blog about the difference between an ideal customer profile (ICP) and a buyer persona
When you have your buyer personas fleshed out, you can actually load them into HubSpot!
This will help you target content (more on that later) to your specific personas.
2. Map Out the Buyer’s Journey
Once you have a better sense of your buyer personas, you can start to develop content that meets them on each stage of their journey.
But understanding where each customer is at in their buyer’s journey should be the driving influence on how you market to them.
Going back to our buyer personas, if Ford Freddy’s F-150 won’t start, he’s not in the mood to read about the newest Ford F-150 when his problem is getting his current one to start.
Down the road in the buyer’s journey he may, but his current problem, or want, reflects his current position in the buyer’s journey, which is all that matters to him right now.
Take This Tactic
When you create content such as blogs, premium offerings, or even social media, consider which stage in the cycle this will hit your audience. Consider using Tags and Campaigns in HubSpot to track balanced distribution as you should have content that hits each stage of the buyer's journey.
Ideas for consistent Tag naming conventions by each stage:
Awareness: How To; How Do I?; Explain Like I'm Five
Consideration: Behind the Why; Putting it Into Practice; Next Steps
Decision: Emerging Trends and Case Studies; Breaking Down the Latest Product Update
3. Don’t Broadcast. Solve Problems.
So, you find yourself driving along to your destination and you turn on the radio to listen to some tunes. But as your destination approaches, you realize you’ve heard nothing but commercials on the radio station, defeating the purpose of turning on the radio in the first place!
No one likes this intermittence of pointless information. People want what they want when they want it, and if the information doesn’t fulfill those wants, then it gets tuned out or turned off, just like a TV show or radio station flooded with too many commercials.
This idea of providing valuable information that serves to fulfill what is truly wanted is the basis for developing irresistible inbound marketing strategies; to create value, you must offer it.
Customers can tune you out if you don’t provide solutions to their problems. If people can do it to their favorite radio stations, they can certainly do it to you.
The formula is simple here. Solve problems; don’t broadcast selfish and pointless information.
Take This Tactic
Provide un-gated (i.e. free) solutions via social media or blogs to create immediate value.
Worksheets or playbooks your team already uses (scrubbed of the most proprietary information) are a great start to give your clients impactful, tactical content. These quick wins for your team create trust between you and your audience.
Once they see the quality of your free work, they'll be more inclined to pay for an even higher tier of work.
4. Be Social
How can you solve the problems of potential customers if you aren’t seen or heard?
A vital part of engaging with new customers is marketing in the channels where they are active.
For example, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok are all popular places to meet new customers. Identifying which one works best for your company can be pinpointed with data, analytics, and buyer personas.
However, these social media channels are best used for top of the funnel content rather than bottom of the funnel content.
Blog posts, DIY videos, and photos are all great examples of top of the funnel content that can be shared on these channels to help meet certain goals in your inbound marketing campaign.
Take This Tactic
If you're not on social media yet, hopefully we convinced you that you need to be. B2B brands belong on all platforms no matter what your service or product is!
- Learn more about how to engage your audience on LinkedIn (and not just network to future employees) with our free e-book.
- Are you getting the most out of your business's Instagram? We have 26 tips to make sure it's optimized for success in this free worksheet.
5. Learn More, Grow More
Our final strategy to help your campaign is learning and using every resource available to you. And although that might seem like a pretty basic step, an easy trap to fall into is staying stagnant with marketing strategies because they work right now.
A core idea in inbound marketing is to think ahead and future-proof your marketing as much as possible.
By learning and adapting with helpful resources, you can maintain relevance and reputation.
Take This Tactic
- Get certified in inbound marketing through HubSpot Academy courses. The courses touch upon the steps mentioned above along with mountains of more information that will help take your inbound marketing to the next level. At the end of each course, you’ll take an test that will reward you with a certificate upon passing the exam.
- Build strong relationships with your customers. Inbound marketing emphasizes customer experience and creating advocates for your brand. Learn how you can connect with your clients and build lasting relationships via conversational marketing.
- Read our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing. Learn to grow organic website traffic, solve problems for your target customers, and more in our handy guide.
There are plenty of ways to modernize your campaign with the powers of inbound marketing (and a little help from HubSpot). After applying these resources, you’ll be ready to take your business to new heights!