2016 may not be a very fun year.
People are always looking at marketing tactics when sales leads don’t materialize as planned.
“Our website isn’t good. We don’t have enough content. We’re not blogging enough or, worse — we need to do more outbound marketing.” But typically, these assumptions are not the problem.
More often than not, your performance has nothing to do with the individual tactics used and everything to do with your inbound marketing strategy.
When we’re asked to look at programs and provide guidance on improving performance, most of the time, the real issue is the messaging, the differentiation or the connection between the inbound marketing tactics.
There’s a reason we live by the mantra "strategy before tactics." Without a solid strategy and a completely planned, integrated, and orchestrated approach, you’re going to be disappointed in the results almost every time.
Here’s how to make sure your strategy is complete before you start investing in inbound tactics.
Know your numbers to make inbound marketing count
Inbound marketing is a mathematical exercise. If your industry needs historically requires at least 100 good sales leads a month to get to your revenue goals, you must calculate the number of qualified monthly website visitors you need and do the math.
The same holds true with new customers. If you get the 100 leads and know that about 10% will be sales-ready, use your close rate to see immediately if 100 leads are enough to get you to your revenue goals.
Everything we do around inbound is empirical; there are no questions around whether you have enough marketing to get you to your revenue goals. As long as your budget matches your goals, the rest of the process should be simple and straightforward.
Understanding your buyer personas is an important consideration when planning your strategy
Buyer personas are the profiles of your best prospects.
You want to have a deep understanding of their demographics, psychographs and online behavior. Incomplete personas mean underperforming marketing. Another issue is having too many personas. It’s just difficult to execute inbound marketing that’s targeted to four, five or even more personas.
Consider this pithy piece of wisdom: The same energy needed to light up a room also powers a laser that cuts through concrete. You want your marketing to be laser-focused if you want it to drive leads.
You will need to create compelling messages that resonate with your audience.
The biggest mistake of business messaging is losing focus of the fact that it’s not always about you.
Your potential clients may not necessarily care about you.
They don’t care how long you’ve been in business, how many employees you have or where you went to college. They only care about what you’re going to do for them.
They only care about the results they’ll get from working with you.
The major issue with most businesses’ messaging is that it’s sterile.
People do business with people, and human beings are looking for an emotional story to connect with. People want to know “why” you started the company and what makes you different from all the other standard options they’re looking at for their business.
The best businesses understand that they are not any different than the people they are trying to help. The best way to retain clients in hard times is to share your common struggles, learn their pains, and forge a stronger connection.
So, become an open book — tell your customers your story.