What to Expect Your First Year of Inbound Marketing
Marketing doesn’t work as a one-time event, or even a once a month set-it-and-forget-it approach. It’s an ongoing approach with many pieces moving and working in unison at the same time, with the same end goal – driving revenue and leads for your company. As with anything worthwhile in business, a marketing plan takes proper research, planning, strategy sessions and more to build enough momentum to be fruitful.
Patience is a virtue and this is even more applicable to inbound marketing. As many companies move away from traditional marketing to a customer focused inbound approach, the results are less likely to come overnight, but are greater in the long term. With many moving parts working alongside each other, going into an inbound strategy with a finely tuned plan and an understanding of the process is highly recommended.
Marketing Expectations in the First 3 Months
Consider these first few weeks and months the build-up of what is to come, with a lot of scratching out ideas and resisting the urge to overhaul everything. Creating your buyer personas and beginning to target those personas will be beneficial to your company in the short and long term. By reaching out to your ideal customers, you’re putting yourself out there and into the minds of people who may not have previously considered your business.
Making an editorial calendar will give everyone on your team an idea of what to prioritize and what will need to be finished by a certain date. It’s also a great time to review your targeted metrics and make any adjustments if necessary. Sure everybody wants to see a 50 percent increase in leads, conversions, and sales in a matter of months but refer back to that patience thing we mentioned earlier. On a positive note, you will begin to see results from citations and search engine optimization efforts by the end of your first three months. Such as increased traffic, leads, and eventually sales from lead nurturing.
Natalie Sisson’s YouTube channel The Suitcase Entrepreneur has some tips on what to include in your editorial calendar.
Marketing Expectation in the First 6 Months
This is the point on the timeline when both on-site and off-site results will become apparent. Results from search engine optimization should really begin to ping back along with blogging efforts ranking on a national scale if done correctly. Then there is the matter of your social media presence. By the six month mark, you’ll have a good idea and feel for what has worked in terms of most engagement. Maybe it’s your weekly motivational mini poster or the short behind-the-scenes at the office video. Whatever is working, keep it up. Whatever is not working, needs to be modified or adjusted to test results.
If you have a healthy list of email subscribers, now is the time to start breaking them from one massive list into several, smaller, segmented groups for further targeting. Your segments can be anything from a specific geographic location to age ranges, with subsequent content sent to them with a more personal touch. By creating segments, you also widen yet narrow your content creation strategies going forward; widening by having a specific audience to target, but narrowing because the content will need to be specific to those demographics.
Marketing Expectations in the First Year
At the end of the first year, your blogging efforts should begin to hold their own on a national scale. SEO efforts will need to continue, and competitors will have taken notice and put you on their radar. It’s also time to start planning for a new cycle of marketing.
As you begin to look back on the last year, remember that return-on-investment goes beyond monetary returns. A shortened sales cycle with inbound marketing can cut down on internal expenses. Establishing yourself in your industry and area as a thought leader will help create a lasting impression and presence in the search engine result pages.
You’ve made it through your first year, but now is the time to re-evaluate what worked and what didn’t work before beginning to plan for year two. One thing to look at is what medium worked best for your brand and business. It might have been Facebook, weekly email marketing, or your website itself. The best way to judge this is through the pages of analytics gleaned from tracking mechanisms.
Look around at what your competition is doing and improve upon it. While the old adage is that imitation is the best form of flattery, it’s much better to improve an idea then keep following someone else. Double check that your content is appropriate for the audience you’re targeting. No, we don’t mean things that need to come with an NSFW warning, but that it’s relevant to your business. A great way to refresh this content is by following the trending information from your industry.
Have You Picked out a Marketing Agency Yet?
Success takes time, especially when it comes to putting together a winning marketing strategy. Mad Mouse Creative works with businesses to remove a headache and hassle. Instead, we deliver powerful results through inbound marketing tactics. From reaching your customers, new and old, through weekly blog posts to increasing your company’s presence in search engine results pages with search engine optimization, we work with you from initial idea launches to profound success. Using a 24/7 focus built around your brand and vision, Mad Mouse Creative can get you through the first year of a marketing plan and beyond.
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