For millennials who are just learning about marketing or are already well versed in it, newer concepts such as “Inbound Marketing” can be intimidating. But they don’t have to be. Millennials, this is your “How-To Guide” for everything related to inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing is a way to attract your customers to your website, company and products more naturally through publishing relevant content and educational materials. People looking up specific key terms that you have used in your content will organically land on your site. This way they are attracted and pulled into your site rather than being advertised to explicitly and only selecting your site to when they are interested in making a purchase.
Millennials know the power of digital media and online advertising. HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales software platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads and close customers (HubSpot). Learning how to better market yourself or your brand online has never been easier. Hubspot offers different certification and includes instructional videos to teach you everything you need to know about inbound marketing.
HubSpot How-To Guide:
This is the first step and it isn’t quite a breeze. Millennials, be ready to spend anywhere from 4.5 hours to 8 hours to get certified. You have to watch instructional videos, quiz yourself and take the final certification exam. To get certified is absolutely FREE, which is a welcome sigh of relief for millennials. Just don’t try to do the certification all at once. Unless, you want to drive yourself crazy… I promise it gets easier after this!
Build Your Own Team
In the beginning you may be the only one on your team. Especially if you are new to marketing and have budgetary restraints. Eventually, you do want to build a whole team of professionals such as Content Writer, Web Designer and Marketing Strategist etc.
Current Marketing Analysis
Millennials, don’t be intimidated! This part is actually very simple. Just take into account your current marketing situation and budget. What are you doing right now that is good or bad?
Set Marketing Goals
Next step is to set SMART goals. This means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Here is an example of one: We want to increase awareness of our brand by 30 % among our target market (main customer group) in the first 6 months of launching this new campaign. Also know what you are trying to achieve with your business. Make sure your marketing goals align with your business goals.
Define Buyer Personas and Journeys
Buyer Personas are your ideal customers. You want to define these as accurately as possible. Include things such as: demographics, psychographics, main challenges, employment information, goals, interests, how your company helps them, where they spend the most of their online time and how do they prefer to absorb information. The Buyer Journey is the process the Buyer Persona goes through to become aware of your products/services, compare and consider them and finally decide to buy. Click here to download an example of a Buyer Persona.
Create a Marketing Plan
Start with the basics. It’s all about content so start with your content strategy. What is your content going to be and what is the value to your intended customers? How often will you blog and what key words will you use?
Then comes the conversion path. How will you convert leads into customers? Things like landing pages and calls-to-action you will use. Does this sound like rocket science? Click here for a quick video on calls-to-action.
The last piece is the technology you need to bring your ideas to life. An example is using WordPress to create a company website and manage content. Click here to become more familiar with the free online tool WordPress.
Build Your Website
For all of my entrepreneurial millennials this is the part when you create your website to better market your products, services and/or brand. Millennials who aren’t expert computer programmers.. which is most of us, don’t bother learning HTML! Even though a general understanding is useful. Instead use Content Management Systems such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. My strong suggestion is to use WordPress as it is the most commonly used out of the three today.
Publish Your Content
Easy and self-explanatory. Millennials, start to publish your content and begin to get found on search engines! Publish content by blogging, blast it all over your social media, link to other relevant websites and participate in content outside of your website such as guest blogging.
Promote Your Content
Use social media! Reach out to and mention influencers. Send an e-mail to your existing database such as existing subscribers and contacts. Also consider paid advertising such as Google Adwords and banner ads. For more information on Google Adwords click here.
Evaluate Your Progress.
A key step in every marketing initiative is to assess your performance and see what you are doing well and what you are doing badly. This will help you set future goals and make improvements on an ongoing basis. Take into consideration metrics like click-through rates and website traffic. Google Analytics is a popular tool in use today and it’s free! Click here to learn about Google Analytics.
I hope after reading this, all of you millennials get familiar with and use these new, free marketing tools to your advantage. Try something new and see what a difference it can make in your business. Even if you just want to build your own personal brand and market yourself. Get ahead of your competitors by being smart about your marketing.
HubSpot. 5 FREE BLOG POST TEMPLATES. 2017. 20 February 2017. <https://offers.hubspot.com/blog-post-templates?__hstc=20629287.798ff9ee61fae77c30416bd78f9e578b.1485887143237.1490118047297.1490121433359.8&__hssc=20629287.1.1491332441484&__hsfp=2891901548&hsCtaTracking=74b4a6f1-e2d6-4311-92a5-7ab4ec901e4f%7C745ef96e-3f7>.
Vaughan, Pamela. How Inbound Marketing Works, From Start to Finish [INFOGRAPHIC]. 20 February 2012. 10 February 2017. <https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31271/how-inbound-marketing-works-from-start-to-finish-infographic.aspx#sm.00001wy2si1bqrf6myk7kfz753qm7>.