Planning and Executing Your Inbound Marketing Strategy in 2017

Posted by Sunday Ely Mar 1, 2017 6:00:00 AM

So you're planning your Inbound Marketing Strategy for 2017. Are you looking to refresh, revamp and revitalize your approach to executing a dynamic strategy? Well look no further as we’ve got the answers you’ve been searching for.

Not looking to revamp your entire marketing strategy and just looking to wrap your hands around a key component to your overall outreach? We’ve got that too. Check out the topics we'll cover below. 

Key Topics:

  • Social Media Strategy
  • Video for Inbound
  • Website Strategy
  • Email Marketing Strategy

Now that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into let’s jump in.

Executing Your Inbound Marketing Strategy in 2017

Ready. Set. Goals!

It all begins with goal setting. What are your specific business goals for 2017? How do your marketing goals support your business goals? In order to build an exceptional marketing strategy, it’s recommended that your entire team know what you are aiming to achieve.

One way to tackle this is to review your marketing strategy for 2016. What was successful and what needed a little more love? What worked and what do you need to wrap your hands around? Where did you see the greatest areas of growth? Why? In order to build a well-rounded campaign, it’s important to know what you do, and don't do well. Having a good understanding of your 2016 review will help you better goal set for 2017.

Here’s a tip. Take a few of the areas you can improve on and set them as goals to tackle in your 2017 marketing strategy.

Checkout these featured blogs to help kick start you in the right direction:

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Improve Your Bottom Line w/ Inbound

Okay, you’ve done your review and know your target areas for 2017. But what if you're just starting and this will be your first time goal setting? Either way, here are some tips to get you started cutting through the clutter and setting clear concise goals for Q1 through Q4.

Let's Get SMART

After all we know you’re an intelligent person. Why else would you be taking the time to gather the information you need to equip yourself to build a strong Inbound Marketing Strategy? So let’s get SMART.

  • S (specific)you want to get really clear on one goal. You can develop multiple SMART statements but each one should only tackle one specific aspect of your collective strategy.
  • M (measurable)you need concrete data you can assess allowing you to know exactly where you are and where you are headed.
  • A (attainable)create a tangible goal; something sizable for you and your team to obtain.
  • R (relevant)this goal should help you take a step closer to your overall marketing and brand goals.
  • T (timely)select a realistic date that you and your team can work towards and meet.

Example:

Direct Images Interactive will increase blog page views by 10% from 71% of all visitors to 81% of all visitors by creating more relevant content that is dynamic and answer viewer questions through engaging language by the end of Q3.

The above is a specific, measureable goal that your whole team can post, say as a mantra and rally behind to help you achieve this goal. Set your specific goals and physically write them down. Take your goals from the intangible to the tangible and set yourself on a path to celebrate your success.

Tackling a Social Media Strategy

Well, now this may seem simple to many businesses, but that is where you may be cutting yourself at the knees. Putting together a thoughtful and purposeful social media strategy takes time, thought, and key goals. This is not the space to push products on prospects not yet ready for that aspect of your business.

Most of your prospects are visiting your social profiles to gather the following information:

  • Who you are?
  • What you do?
  • Why should I care?

Now there are fun creative ways for your company to share the above information on your social accounts. Social media is a great place to bring out your brand's personality and really listen to and engage a community. But wait, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. We’ll talk more about engaging your community a little further down. For now, if anyone is still not convinced about using social media marketing for business, check out our previous blog post Does Social Media Marketing Work?

It’s more about how we impact our community and less about filling our wallets.Brian Halligan CEO HubSpot

Value. Value. Value.

It’s all about value. Your company must focus on two anchors of building a strong inbound social media strategy:

a)  Value

b)  Excellent Customer Service

Your prospects will likely convert to followers and subscribe to your email lists if you provide excellent customer service and value. Keep the prospect in mind at all times even on your social media pages. Value and great service does not start when someone purchases your product or service—it starts when someone steps foot on your property or within your store. In this case your property or store is your digital footprint. As soon as prospects step on your site, visit your social media profiles, email you or review your company on Yelp they should be treated with excellent service and given value.

Even if a prospect doesn't purchase today, if they enjoyed visiting your social profiles or your website, trust that they will be back. That’s what you want.

In alignment with value there are a few rules to proper social media etiquette. One thing you can do today to help execute a sound marketing strategy for 2017 is use the “one rule” method.

What is the “one rule” method?

Posting one unique upload per platform. Though it saves time and effort to come up with one dynamic text and image and then post it on all your active profiles please resist this temptation. Outside of looking spam-ish to viewers the shortcut shows a lack of passion and commitment for your business. If you are not passionate about your business why will anyone else be? 

The “one rule” method also goes hand in hand with reusing content. It is okay to reuse previously posted content but do so with purpose. For example, you can recall a post to point viewers to your “most popular” blog post or place a fresh twist on a previously touched on topic.

But reusing content just to keep up with your content schedule can have a negative impact on viewers. You want to retain prospects as much as possible and the best way to do that is to keep viewers engaged. Re-posting previously posted content loses steam and the original punch it packed is lost on the second or third wave. There is a lifecycle to content and it is wise to keep that in mind when tempted to reuse any content.

Social Listening

Implement the 80/20 rule in your social media marketing strategy. Listen 80% of the time when it comes to interacting with viewers and spend 20% of your time pitching to them. The key to creating dynamic content is actually creating content that your viewers want to see. The best way to do this is to have marketing personas, listen to viewer feedback/comments and create content that is helpfulc—content that answers their questions.

Listening to your viewers and producing content that is tailored to their pain points will allow you to deliver value and excellent customer service. See any keywords and trends within the terms we are using? Yes. We started off this section talking about value and customer service. Your social profiles are an extension of your brand and business. Have fun, create community, and build brand trust through consistency, fresh content, customer service and value.

The last addition to the social media revamp has to do with mixed media versus static posts.

This has everything to do with creating the most dynamic user experience. Would you rather watch a video explaining how to increase your prospect conversion to customers? Or would you rather read an e-book on the same topic? I’m guessing you would rather watch the video, especially if the video was entertaining and engaging.

The same goes for your prospects that are surfing the web and your social media profiles for your business. Go ahead and begin investing in mixed media (video, gifs, images, audio, etc.). Incorporating multimedia in your social media marketing campaign will drastically increase your user experience.

No matter your budget, you can invest in multimedia. You can even outsource an agency to support you in your social media efforts. Checkout our blog post on Better User Experiences with Interactive Images for more details on how you can build a well-rounded interactive campaign.

Checkout these other posts that take you deeper into key areas in developing a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy for 2017:

Video for Inbound
Website Strategy
Email Marketing Strategy

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Content Strategy

Direct Images Interactive is an inbound marketing agency specializing in high-impact video production and online graphic design. We are centrally located between Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. Come see us at The Gate in San Leandro, a thriving tech-hub of innovators. What can we do for you?

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