Inbound Marketing Managers:
Your first 100 days on the new job!
First 100 days: How to succeed in your new marketing job
You’ve just started your new job as an Inbound Marketing Manager – congratulations, welcome to the team.
But as the euphoria begins to wear off, you realise that your knowledge of the Inbound Marketing methodology is patchy at best. Despite this, you want your first 100 days at the business to be a success – and you want to get some early wins right away.
So, you want to get up to speed with the essentials of Inbound Marketing and the individual components which need to be addressed each month. The importance of setting things up correctly from the start cannot be understated. Ensuring your Inbound Marketing activities are built on a solid foundation, including buyer personas, keyword research, high-quality content and SMART goals, are crucial to your success!
In this blog post, we’ll share a straightforward, three-month framework which new Inbound Marketing Managers should follow, if they want to achieve success.
Get some guidance from HubSpot!
If you have just started as an Inbound Marketing Manager, you’ll want to expand your knowledge of the Inbound methodology - and the HubSpot Academy is an excellent place to start (whether you are using their software tools or not!). It has a plethora of free, high-quality marketing resources, including templates, tips, and hours of educational videos, which can help you in constructing your campaigns. Also, the Inbound Marketing certification is free – and open to everyone!
Work out who your audience are and build buyer personas
Before you begin your Inbound activities, define your buyer personas. These buyer personas are semi-fictional projections of your ‘ideal’ customer, based on real data you have accumulated. They help you to understand your customers’ problems, pain points and business objectives, allowing you to more effectively market your services and solutions to them.
Think about the buyer’s journey
The buyer’s journey is essentially three stages through which your potential prospects go before enlisting your services or choosing your solutions. The stages are: Awareness, Consideration and Decision. In the Awareness stage, buyers are experiencing a problem and are trying to understand what it is. In the Consideration stage, they have clearly defined the problem and are looking for solutions. In the Decision stage, buyers know exactly what options are available and are trying to weigh up the most suitable solution or supplier. With these stages in mind, think about how you might market your business’ services and solutions!
Content auditing & planning
Content is how you attract people to your website and generate quality leads. It’s how you get your business’ solutions and services in front of potential prospects!
So, it’s time to see what content the business has – and determine its value. With this in mind, you need to conduct a content audit, as this will enable you to identify content gaps in the business, develop a plan for new content assets and their distribution, and align your content marketing with your buyer personas.
You need to make it easy for searchers to find your business online and for Google to understand your website - and therefore, you need to conduct thorough keyword research. Focus on specific keyword phrases relevant to your business, as this will enable you to drive a stream of targeted traffic to your web pages. Avoid short, generic keyword terms – as these are highly competitive and hard to rank for. Think about phrases or even questions that your prospects might ask!
WEEKS THREE & FOUR
Now you have established your buyer personas, decided on your keyword strategy and created high-quality content, you need to identify which social media channels you would like to use to engage with your audience and use to amplify your business’ content assets and messaging. Platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ offer an excellent way to expand your Inbound Marketing activities and reach more interested parties.
In addition, you need to construct an email marketing programme to reach your most valuable leads. Ensure you segment your lists, personalise your emails and use action-orientated language and subject lines to get recipients to click through!
Landing pages & thank you pages
After developing and optimising your content assets, you need to host them on landing pages and ‘gate’ them behind submission forms. This means that website visitors need to provide their details to download the content, allowing you to generate leads that are interested in what you offer. Then, you need to include thank you pages, which thank your prospect for their time, then offer social sharing options and additional content to help move them further into the buyer’s journey.
Calls-to-action (CTAs) are fundamental in the lead generation process – they are the key in encouraging website visitors to engage further with your business and potentially convert. Ideally, you should create compelling custom CTAs of your own. If you have an in-house designer, utilise them. If not, you can create great CTAs regardless using any imagery, shapes and so on.
Inbound Marketing campaign planning
The fundamental components of your Inbound Marketing strategy are coming into place; you have built the framework, but now you need to think about how you will implement the plan.
Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, break down your activities into individual stages and focus on one of them at a time until launch. Build a timeline planner and invest in task management software to help you manage activities, delegate responsibilities and assign deadlines to each campaign deliverable.
Establishing SMART goals
You’re nearing campaign launch, but now you need to think about the goals of your campaign. We would suggest using a SMART goal framework to form a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Learn more about establishing SMART goals.
Next, you need to think about your lead qualification and management process. A clear qualification process will make it easier for your marketing department to assess leads and ensure the hand off to sales is smooth and in line with the business’ requirements. Leads passed over to sales must undergo, at the very least, a basic level of lead qualification to make sure that they are in fact interested in the business’ services and solutions. Bring your marketing and sales teams together and decide on lead stage definitions and handover!
Having established your lead management process and how they transition over to sales, you need to address lead tracking. Your business may already have a CRM in place, but you need to ensure it’s capturing the information your marketing and sales departments need to qualify leads and engage further. Make sure you map out the lead management process, align your marketing and sales teams, and review data captured to maintain accuracy.
Reporting and review
Lastly, reporting and review. How will you demonstrate the ROI of your marketing and sales activities? At this point, you need to work together with your department to agree on a reporting process, as well as the metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that the campaigns will focus on. Also, document the reporting process and, if possible, save a custom filter in the analytics software you are using, as this will enable anyone in the business to pull the information they need, as and when they need to.
And that concludes your first 100 days as an Inbound Marketing Manager. Did you make it? The steps outlined above form part of our tried-and-tested approach to Inbound Marketing, one that continues to deliver incredible results for us and our clients. If you want to learn more about constructing your first Inbound Marketing campaign, why not check out our eBook?
Alternatively, if you want to expand your skills as an Inbound Marketing Manager, check out our playbook, written by our own Inbound Marketing Managers.