Building an inbound marketing strategy takes more than a basic level of knowledge in certain areas. Instead, it takes expertise and mastery of dozens of specific skills: content writing, search engine optimization, social media interaction and monitoring, website design, conversion rate optimization, pay-per-click, email marketing, and much more.

Whether you’re launching a new company or looking for ways to polish your current marketing activities, a solid strategy can make the difference between treading water and rapid growth.

This guide will help you put the proper inbound marketing plan in action to start working for you. Beginning with prioritizing, each aspect of your strategy should focus on driving results. Remember: spending too much time planning means you won’t have enough to implement or change the plan. Good luck!

Define Your Audience

Drilled down into more specific buyer personas, your audience is everything. It’s a concept most people overlook when marketing. But a simple one nonetheless: it’s incredibly important to know with whom you’re speaking to. You need to what type of information they are interested in and how they consume it.

More importantly, you have to be able to create and distribute quality content – meaning provide them pertinent information. The different types of buyers you have all hold very different interests, priorities and goals. Marketing to those distinctions will help you focus your content on topics that attract your different ideal customers.

Keyword Research

The next step is to define the pain points that cause potential customers to search for information about your product, service or company. Once you understand who is searching and what they are looking for, it’s time to figure out what specific words your buyer personas use to enter into search engines.

Keyword research provides you the search volume per query and illustrates how difficult it is to rank for certain keywords. The goal is to choose long-tail phrases that result in not only a relatively high monthly search volume, but also a low difficulty rating. Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool to quickly find a list of relevant keywords and to identify terms that are in your sweet spot.

Good keyword research will go a long way in helping you attract your warm leads and ideal customers through your conversion funnel.

Set SMART Marketing Goals

In order to be successful, inbound marketing relies on tracking progress and making adjustments based off data. Setting goals is the first step in measuring the return on investment of your inbound marketing activity.

As outlined in the SMART Goal Framework, your goals should be: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based. Begin by assessing your website’s current analytics through these KPIs (key performance indicators).

  • Unique website visitors / month
  • Number of inbound leads / month
  • Sources of traffic  (SEO, Blogging, Social Media, Email)

Tip: For a quick analysis, put your website and your key competitors into Marketing Grader. This will give you the heads up (pun intended) on how your website stacks up.


Making the switch from outbound dominated strategies to inbound dominated investments can seem like a leap of faith at first, but the results will speak for themselves.  The sooner you start getting your plan into action, the faster you will receive dividends on your investment.

Read Part 2 of How to Get Started Creating Your Own Inbound Marketing Strategy here.