To stay ahead of the competition, inbound marketing – using marketing to bring potential customers to you – is an essential strategy. Using techniques such as content marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization can help your business thrive, but first you’ll need a plan. Here are 5 steps to follow to create a 2017 inbound marketing plan:
1. Learn from the past. Make a list of your marketing campaigns from the past year. Identify the key goals of these campaigns and determine whether they were met. From there, you can inform future strategies based on what did or didn’t work in the past.
2. Learn from the competition. Research your competitors, study which strategies they are using, and which audiences they are reaching. Adjust your strategies according to what seems to have worked for them. This task may be time consuming based on the number of your competitors, but it is worth the investment.
3. Bring people together. Sales and marketing are integrated in the inbound marketing process. If you have separate sales and marketing departments, bring them together to discuss how they can meet each other’s needs. You should also build relationships with clients by asking them what their needs are and how you can meet them. You can use this information to build customer personas.
4. List major goals. A new year brings new goals for your business to meet. Determine what these overall goals are and how you can meet them. Even if you think your goals aren’t related to your marketing strategy, remember that inbound marketing is all about being connected. Once you’ve created overall business goals, you can decide what your marketing goals for the year will be. Be sure that these goals support your overall business goals. Remember that marketing is only one piece of your business.
5. Outline marketing campaign plans. For the next year, plan marketing campaigns that you would like to implement to meet your goals. These plans do not have to be specific as they can change at any time to meet your needs. The goal here is to give your team focus.
With these steps in mind, you can create a 2017 inbound marketing plan to help you best meet your goals. As you integrate inbound marketing into your overall strategy, you can adapt your plan to your needs.