By now, you may have already considered taking the inbound marketing approach to bring in more business leads, convert them into sales and grow your business. If you have not yet considered inbound marketing, you should read our blog to understand why this is the best marketing approach to grow your business.

In order to make your inbound marketing successful, you should follow certain fundamental practices. Here we list seven best practices for inbound marketing you should follow in order to grow your website visitors, leads, and sales.

Identify your buyer personas

Developing a user persona is fundamental to the success of inbound marketing. A buyer persona gives you an idea of your target audience and helps you tailor your offerings and campaigns accordingly. Do some research about your target customer’s background, their general lifestyle, goals and pain points, and create a person around this. In case you have multiple types of potential customers, create multiple user personas. it is also a good practice to identify who drives the most revenues and profits for your organization and create your personas and campaigns accordingly.

Identify your buyer’s journey

Identifying where a customer is in the buyer’s journey is another fundamental practice for the success of inbound marketing. Most prospects today don’t like to have prospected. They try to look for additional information about a problem or solution that can’t be found anywhere else. They may be at different stages of their journey - becoming aware that they have a challenge or a need, looking or comparing possible solutions, or about to make a decision about the solution or solution provider. Understanding this helps in tailoring information and your sales process to the buyer’s context.

Create and publish valuable content

Content is another cornerstone of a successful inbound process. This should not be just any content but should be educative, of high quality and add value to the prospective buyer. It should also be contextual and relevant to the buyer persona and the buyer’s journey. Depending on the type of customer and the stage in their journey, you can offer content in various formats such as blogs, emails, research papers, videos, thought leadership articles, whitepapers and much more. One thing you should keep in mind is to refrain from blowing your own trumpet or hard sell your services as much as possible.

Ensure visibility

Once you have created high-value content, it is essential to distribute it across various digital platforms so that it is visible to the maximum number of prospective customers. However, content distribution is not a random and disorganized process. Content needs to be marketed in an organized and strategic manner. The right timing, platform, context and the right audience are crucial to successful content marketing.

Besides marketing your content, you should also ensure that your website is visible to people on search engines. Following the best practices of digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website and content rank higher on search results.

Build effective CTAs and landing pages

The ultimate goal of your organization is not just attracting visitors but also converting them into leads and sales. Effective call-to-action (CTA) and landing pages play a huge role in doing this. A simple and attention-grabbing CTA placed strategically along with a valuable content offering in return such as an eBook or case study, compels visitors to take action while enabling you to make them willingly give you their contact information.  

Landing pages play an equally important role in the conversion process. Having a minimum of 15 high-quality landing pages helps you in improving your lead conversion rates. A landing page should consider the stage of the buyer’s journey, clearly communicate what is on offer and should have a form length that mirrors the perceived value of what is being offered.

Nurture your leads

Most leads you get on a regular basis are not sales-ready at a given point of time. However, this does not mean that you ignore them. Nurturing your leads is one of the things you should do regularly so that you can have a steady pipeline of leads you can close to sales when the timing is right. An effective lead-nurturing program using rich content and email helps your leads remember you when it is time for them to make a purchase. As per Forrester Research, organizations that excel at nurturing leads produce 50 percent more sales-ready leads at 33 percent lesser cost per lead.

Align your marketing and sales teams

Lastly, the alignment of the two key functions of marketing and sales is critical to your inbound marketing success. Alignment promotes better understanding, cooperation, developing better definitions, share common goals and streamline processes. Research shows that higher return on investment (ROI) is achieved through a marketing-sales service level agreements.

Inbound marketing is not a random process but is something that requires discipline and following the best practices so that you can see success. If you follow these practices, you can be sure that your organization will witness seamless sales and business growth.

Originally published , updated March 15 2018