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Aug

13

2014

Grow Your Leads: Plan

Inbound Marketing

A website is the “soil” where all your marketing “seeds” are planted, to grow into delicious marketing offers that will feed your audience, and turn them into customers.

Our e-book “Grow Your Leads Like A Garden” shows the 3 steps for growing a marketing platform inside your website, as you would grow plants in a garden.

In this blog series, we will go over each step in greater detail.

Step 1: Plan Your Marketing Garden

Just as a smart gardener plans his crop according to the type of soil, season, and climate: a web marketer develops his marketing platform inside a well developed website, during the right time, for a hot target market.

Define Your Marketing Goals

Marketing goals should B-SMART.

Most people have heard of “SMART” goals, the acronym used by businesses to go beyond the realm of fuzzy goal-setting into an actionable plan for results.

B-SMART includes the 5 traditional steps of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based goals, plus one very important addition: Budget.

Specific: Each one of your marketing objectives need to have a unique goal and marketing plan to be effective.

For example, if a widget manufacturer wants to introduce a new widget line and then expand its product coverage out to a new target demographic, then there would be one plan for the product release and a separate one for the audience expansion.

Ideally, the website design will be developed with those future plans in mind.

Measurable: Milestones will determine the success of a marketing plan.

Put concrete numbers in your goals to know if you’re on track (number of customers, total sales revenue generated or total profit realized).

Plugging in those goals into an intelligent marketing software (such as Hubspot), then incorporating the software into your website development, will keep track of the results you want to obtain.

Attainable: When you are creating a marketing plan, use achievable goals. If your historic profit growth from year to year is 20 percent, then setting a marketing goal of 40 percent growth, when there is no data to back up the increased growth, is not efficient planning.

Realistic: Setting realistic objectives is all about resource planning. For example, you may have the product momentum to realize a significant jump in sales, but you may not have the manpower in place to make it happen.

Based your company’s schedule, workload, and knowledge base, can you can attain the objective you set?

Timely: Create a timeline for each marketing goal that includes regular dates for monitoring progress and potentially adjusting the plan. For example, if you have a marketing campaign that is scheduled to last six months, then schedule time each month to analyze the results, and see if adjustments need to be made to achieve the overall goal of the plan.

Budget: Determine the amount of disposable income available for your company, divide up the money based on your overall business goals to determine how much will go into your total marketing budget, then decide where you will allocate those marketing funds.

As a rule of thumb, putting aside at least 2% of your total annual revenue for effective inbound marketing is ideal whenever possible. Of course, the more you invest in inbound marketing, the better the results you’ll see from a campaign.

Create a Buyer Persona

Don’t waste precious marketing dollars throwing it around to anyone who will see it.

Write down a detailed description of who your target customers are, then research everything about them. Some of the things to research:

  • Their industry, company size, job roles, titles, skills, a typical day in their job.
  • What they are responsible for, their challenges, how they learn new information (publications, blogs, social media, associations)
  • Their personal demographics, educational background, career path.
  • How they prefer to interact and research vendors (email, phone, in person, internet)

After proper R&D, you can create unique, compelling, educational, engaging, and fun materials. The research alone typically takes many days, but is critical if you expect to see an ROI.

Creating useful, helpful marketing will get your ideal visitor to see your site and convert into a qualified lead.

Plan the work, work the plan

After your B-SMART goals and your Buyer Personas are defined, you can break down the goals into daily actions, and put them on a project management calendar.

Now you know you know exactly what materials you need, how much time you’ll use, and how you will maintain your web “garden”.

Developing your website around your marketing goals will give you the right “soil” to start growing your marketing, and you can now begin collecting the rest of the materials.

Our next blog post: “Gather Your Marketing Garden Materials” will detail what what they are, and how to choose them!

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