To stay on top of current B2B marketing trends, inbound marketing is an essential strategy. Like any other strategy, planning ahead makes it more effective by keeping you and your staff on track to reach your goals for the year. Even if inbound marketing is already part of your overall marketing strategy, it is never too late to make a plan.
Here are 6 steps to follow to create an inbound marketing plan for 2016:
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 or not they were met. From there, you can inform future strategies based on what did or didn’t work in the past.
Learn from the competition. Research your competitors, study what strategies they are using, and which audiences that they are reaching. Depending how effective your competitors’ strategies are, you can adjust your own accordingly. This task may be time consuming based on the number of competitors you have but it is worth the investment.
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. 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.
List major business 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.
List major marketing goals. Once you’ve created overall business goals, you can now 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 as a whole.
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 an inbound marketing plan to help you best meet your goals. As you integrate inbound marketing into your overall marketing strategy, you can adapt your plan to your needs.