The Core Competencies of Inbound Marketing

Ready to launch an inbound marketing campaign for your small business? There are several skills – or core competencies – that you need to have in order to be successful. Take a moment to evaluate the items on this list and decide whether you possess these yourself or whether you will hire outsource partners to cover the core competencies.

Attract qualified buyers (or personas) to your website

Traffic is everything when launching an inbound marketing campaign. It’s all about the numbers. You need to attract enough interested visitors to your site to begin filling the top of your sales funnel. Make sure your website and blog are optimized for SEO, and also dial in your ideal customer, or your Buyer persona. Choose your distribution channels and automate your posting procedures.

Develop custom content

You will need to create several offers for each stage of your customer’s lifecycle, or their buyer’s journey. These will include ebooks or checklists at the top of the funnel, and will move toward consultations, whitepapers and free trial demos toward the end of your lead nurturing. In addition, you will need to develop the CTA’s, landing pages and thank you pages that support these offers and capture the data for your analytics.

Create follow-up campaigns that turns leads into customers

In order to capture the leads you have created, you need to turn them into customers with custom workflows that nurture them and provide additional resources to them. Create a drip email campaign that “drips” further knowledge into the hands of your leads and gives them the information they need to confidently become a customer. Map your content to each stage that a likely user of your product or service would go through as they approach the point of purchase.

Delight and engage customers and turn them into influencers for your brand

Closing your lead into a customer feels like the end of the cycle, but it isn’t. Naturally you will want to be remarkable at your job, and delight the customer. In addition, continue to supply your new customer with information they may find useful or interesting after the sale is completed. Go above and beyond to solve problems for your customer — ease the pain points she is dealing with day after day. This will result in a customer who becomes your brand ambassador and refers you to others.

Measure the results and focus on the analytics so you can repeat the process

Take the time to study the analytics of your campaign and learn what worked and what did not. Print out the reports that illustrate the ROI on your inbound marketing efforts and share them with the decision-makers in your company who need that kind of detailed information. Look to see if there are surprises in your sales cycle that may lead to refining your buyer persona or adapting your techniques.

We will be exploring each of these core competencies in more detail in the days to come, but for now take an inventory of each competency and decide whether you have the resources to fulfill them in-house or whether you need to outsource some of them. If you are strong on strategy but weak in content creation, find an agency to help you create consistent, high-quality content. If analytics aren’t your thing, find someone to implement a data-capturing system such as HubSpot or Google Analytics and provide you with weekly, monthly and quarterly reports. Outsourcing some or all of the inbound marketing tasks will add hours back to your work week, multiplying your productivity.

Ready to launch? Use this checklist to help organize all the elements of your campaign!

inbound marketing checklist