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How Does An Inbound Marketing Engagement Start Off?

You’re thinking about engaging an inbound consultant, but you’re not quite sure from the proposal what the beginnings of the engagement will look like.

An inbound marketing engagement can take on many different forms. Below is just one version of the initial steps of an inbound engagement. Different consultants will, of course, take different approaches.

As with other business initiatives, the strategy behind an inbound marketing initiative should drive the tactics.

1. Assess the Current State

Begin by interviewing stakeholders to get some key questions answered. Examples of questions are:

  • What problem do my company’s products or services solve for my ideal clients?
  • What do my prospects not know about my product or service?
  • What have past customers learned about working with us that they didn’t know before working with us?
  • Are the sales and marketing teams working in concert?
  • Is your website content getting enough visibility in the search engine results?
  • Marketing Analysis
Analyze Current Marketing State

2. Articulate Marketing Objectives

Based on the assessment, determine your marketing objectives and the relative priority of each objective. A list of objectives can include:

  • Brand building
  • Getting more business from our existing customers
  • Landing a greater number of net new customers each month
  • Acquiring more leads from our vendors

3. Identify Your Target Accounts

What is your area of geographic coverage? Do you sell locally, nationally, or internationally?

What industries/verticals have you sold into in the past? What verticals do you want to sell into in the future?

Identify Target Accounts

4. Define Roles Within Target Accounts

Who are the buyers within your target accounts? You may sell to the owner or a general manager if you’re selling into small businesses. If you’re selling to larger companies, you may be selling to an IT manager or the vice president of sales.

Who are the influencers within your accounts? Your marketing may be more likely to get an influencer’s attention than a buyer’s.

Who are the practitioners? These are the people who will be using your product or service.

5. Analyze Competitor Websites

How are your competitors approaching their inbound marketing? What keywords are they ranking for—even unintentionally—that we should consider also trying to rank for?

What can be learned from similar businesses in other parts of the country if you have a regional business?

6. Determine The Initial Traffic Sources

There are a variety of potential inbound traffic sources. It’s important to initially focus on just one or two sources, such as organic search results and social.

Over time you can expand your sources to video, audio, and blog sites such as Medium and LinkedIn.

7. Define Traffic Destinations

Where do you want to drive traffic that comes from organic search results? Here are some of the options. They are not mutually exclusive:

8. Identify Desired Visitor Actions

Once visitors arrive at a destination, what calls to action do you want to present to them? Each traffic destination should have one primary call to action.

  • Call us now
  • Email us
  • Get a quote
  • Schedule an online meeting with a consultant
  • Download something of value (lead magnet) in exchange for contact information
  • Download an un-gated digital asset like a solution brochure
  • Fill in a traditional “Contact Us” type form

9. Evaluate the Appropriate Technologies

Many technology options exist for websites, web forms, landing pages, and nurture email campaigns. Some are reasonably priced and do not represent a significant cost for most small and mid-size businesses.

Depending on business requirements, an inbound marketing consultant will recommend a specific blend of technologies.

10. Develop a Plan For Measuring Progress and Success

Combining website analytics data, marketing automation system information, and CRM data will indicate which efforts have worked best.

Marketing revenue attribution can be tracked by creating technical connections along the Awareness to Order path. Proof of the value of marketing efforts can be reported to management.

Awareness to Order Path