If you’re new to the world of content marketing to generate in-bound leads, starting from scratch can seem a bit daunting. But there are some tried and true methods that will get you from nothing.com to mycompany.com in no time. Here are the top ten things from Entrepreneur.com you can do to get the ball rolling.
- Determine your strategic goals. Take time to outline what you want to achieve from your efforts. Do you want to increase membership signups; increase overall revenue, or; generate more social advocacy? Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) goals is an easy way to get started.
- Develop rich personas. Get a clear picture of your audience and dig deep. Some things to consider asking yourself include: what are they like?; what keeps them up at night?; how can you solve their problems?; what do you want them to do?, and; how best can you reach them?
- Understand your customer’s journey. By determining the path customers take from not-knowing-who-you-are to loving-you-so-much-they-keep-buying-your-products you’ll identify gaps in your process. Answer these questions: how do customers reach your site?; what do they do once they get there?, and; what content leads them to the conversion page?
- Hire experienced, talented staff members. Your program is only as good as your team. You need people with expertise and training in writing, graphic design, coding, content strategy, lead generation, social media, and email marketing.
- Audit competitor’s websites. If you can peel back the layers to determine what they’re doing right you can replicate their success for your company. Look at what kind of traffic they’re acquiring; where do they get their traffic from; what keywords do they use to attract people, and; what external websites link to their site?
- Evaluate your own website. Once you’ve determined what competitors are up to, examine your own web presence. Ask yourself: is your web design aligned with current standards?; do your pages have a clear, concise message?, and; have you included calls to action in key areas?
- Create workflows for lead management. Outline the steps web visitors must take to get to a purchase. This can help you find gaps or streamline the process for a quicker conversion.
- Develop a three-month inbound strategy. Within three months you should be able to see growth, but shouldn’t be so overwhelmed you can’t execute the strategy.
- Identify premium content opportunities. Build and deploy at least four pieces of premium content including Ebooks, white papers, case studies, and email courses. These will serve as the cornerstone of your inbound marketing program.
- Stick to your inbound marketing strategy. Stay with your plan and remember this is a long-term strategy.
Need some ideas on how to create a social media marketing plan from scratch? Here’s a detailed infographic from Entrepreneur.com. Another way you can get off to a fast start is with New Moon Marketing Communications’ Small Business CONNECT program. This customized turnkey content marketing program is designed especially for entrepreneurs and small businesses. CLICK HERE for details on how you can get up and running in no time.