Inbound Marketing Playbook 6 Steps To Success

Lifestyle Asset Group (LAG) provides a unique, collective asset ownership model in the luxury, vacation home real estate market. They came to us specifically looking to generate qualified leads from online marketing.

In the past, LAG had found success with print ads and other traditional marketing, but no longer. With the internet and search engines came a sea change in how people buy — especially high-investment purchases. Through research, LAG came to learn that an inbound marketing strategy with online, self-paced, educational touchpoints would be a better selling experience for their target prospects.

With LAG’s gracious approval, here is the inbound marketing process One Tribe implemented for them:

1. Baseline Analysis – What are we starting with?

The first phase of any inbound marketing project begins with a detailed audit and analysis of initial conditions. This includes looking at items like:

  • Website analytics (monthly visitation, new/repeat visitors, page flow, mobile usage, etc)
  • Monthly lead generation stats, specifically conversion rates for:
    • website visitation » new contacts
    • existing contacts » new customers
  • Content audit of all existing marketing/sales collateral
  • Email plan – past email content, open/click rates, and automated follow-up strategies
  • Blog content and engagement stats
  • Internal sales processes

2. Goal Setting – What do we want out of this work?

From our baseline analyses, we then had an educated discussion with LAG about the desired impacts of our marketing efforts and importantly, given where we are starting from, what the likely timeline is for reaching those goals. The impacts of a properly deployed inbound marketing strategy yield long-term success, but it is not an overnight fix. It is smart at this step to have a client check-in about setting realistic expectations. We evaluate where the clients’ pain points are, and prioritize those efforts that will yield their most important “wins” in the quickest timeframe. As the final step in this stage, we get client buy-in on our specific, realistic plan for the coming months. In addition, if it makes sense, other marketing efforts (like PPC) can be employed to help bolster initial impacts.

In Lifestyle Asset Group’s case, we determined that we wanted to focus our efforts in the first two stages of the inbound marketing spectrum, Attract and Convert. Specifically we would focus on those marketing tasks that would:

  • Increase website visitation from highly-qualified, highly-interested visitors
  • Increase the online engagement opportunities (marketing offers) for those visitors
  • Increase visitor to lead conversion rates and, thus, the number of new leads per month

3. Buyer Personas – Who are we trying to market to?

In inbound marketing, we undertake specific marketing tasks (SEO, PPC, Blogging) to help bring our website to the attention of our target customers. It may seem obvious, but we want to focus our limited resources and efforts on only attracting those people that could potentially want our service to our website. We aren’t just trying to increase overall website visitation.

How do we figure out who our target customers are and what they may be searching for? We first conduct a buyer persona exercise with our clients (see link for more about buyer personas). By doing your due diligence up front, the rest of the marketing and sales strategy is much more straight-forward.

An example of a buyer persona we developed with Lifestyle Asset Group is Retired Randy. He is looking for a way to spend time with his family without extensive planning. As an experienced investor, he likes to read the details and then disucss his questions and concerns in person or over the phone. Based on these details (and many others outlined in Randy’s buyer persona), we are able to write focused content that highlights the ease of traveling with family through LAG’s model. It’s also important to this target customer that we provide easy access to written documents until “Randy” is ready to speak to a LAG sales representative.

4. Content Development – How can we best help?

Inbound marketing is not about coercion of a uninterested customer. Instead the focus is “How can we best help you ascertain if we’re a good fit to your needs?” We help potential customers educate themselves by providing targeted content that answers their most-likely questions. This content can take the form of website page content, blog posts, social media posts, or offers (eBooks, Top 10 lists, Webinars, Videos, etc).

This is where the buyer persona pre-work really pays off. By imagining ourselves in a given “role” it is much easier to brainstorm questions, information, concerns and pain points that a given target customer may have.

We structure these topic areas and plan our content months in advance through an editorial calendar. The editorial calendar is essential as it ensures that we :

  • Anticipate and fully leverage new and upcoming client news/events/promotions
  • Allocate sufficient time to get full client review cycles and approval of our work
  • Plan and rotate through all the topics that our buyer personas are interested in
  • Make smart use of internal agency resources
  • Keep track of to-do tasks by both us and the client to stay on course

In Lifestyle Asset Group’s editorial calendar we included blog posts, social media posts, email send dates, weekly meetings, etc. to make sure we stay on track and are accomplishing our monthly goals. We also included the specific topics to focus our content on each month.

5. Monthly Planning – How do we get it done?

While there is ample room for creativity in the content and offers we develop, with inbound marketing the monthly planning is remarkably straight-forward (and basic math) to plan.

From our baseline analysis and goal setting discussions we know exactly what areas of our clients’ marketing we need to focus on. For example, in LAG’s case, this was driving additional website traffic, increasing the online lead conversion opportunities, and communicating new opportunities to their existing contact lists. These areas have associated marketing activities that we can work on to affect change:

Increase targeted website traffic

  • On-Page SEO
  • SEM — PPC, Retargeting, Online Advertising
  • Blogging
  • Social Media
  • Improved website design, navigation, page content
  • Increase website visitor » lead conversions
  • Call-to-Action Buttons
  • Landing Pages
  • Offers
  • Thank you Pages
  • Smart Content
  • Increase lead » customer conversions
  • Email marketing

The monthly plan (& retainer cost) is then simply determined by the frequency of the tasks we undertake each month, and the complexity of each task. Industry-based and inbound marketing-based best practices guide us to help yield specific outcomes.

In LAG’s case, we initially redesigned their website with inbound marketing in mind and fully set up and integrated HubSpot ( a leading inbound software) into their email, social, blog and landing pages. Templates were created for these pages so that we aren’t “reinventing the wheel” every time.

In addition, LAG’s monthly retainer included the writing/design of 4 new blog posts, 8 social media posts, 2 new content offers (with associated call-to-action buttons, online forms and landing pages), and the send of 2 designed emails to their customer list. In addition, we managed their monthly Google & Bing/Yahoo AdWords accounts for them.

6. Monthly Analyses & Reporting – Is it working?

The main reason that One Tribe Creative believes in the power of inbound marketing is the ability to determine if what we are doing is making meaningful impacts for you. You are trying to do good in the world, and thus it is even more essential that the resources you allocate to us are working hard for you.

As part of our monthly marketing retainer, we set weekly and monthly meetings. The weekly meetings are opportunities to review content, emails, and blogs prior to posting and to check progress on the month’s plan. Once a month we have a more comprehensive meeting where One Tribe shares analysis, time tracking and reporting on the key goal metrics. Importantly, we also ask for feedback on the quality of the leads that we are driving. If a specific offer or blog is driving just “ideal customer” inquiries, this gives us an opportunity to analyze that offer, and potentially plan similar types of offers in the future.

Since all of the marketing analysis and activities are managed in one online platform, the analyses are all integrated. When you send an email, you can not only tell open and click-rates, but also what specific website pages got a boost in traffic, which offers had increased lead conversion, how that affected social media engagement, and innumerous other engagement metrics… including detailed tracking about the specific marketing activities a person engaged in prior to becoming a new customer!

Lifestyle Asset Group also allowed us to to share some rolled-up metrics showcasing the impressive impacts of inbound marketing 6 months after it was implemented:

  • Monthly Website Visitation — Increased 198%
  • Organic Search — Increased 75%
  • New Leads — Increased 462%
  • Leads from Organic Search — Increased 233%
  • Lead Conversion Rates — Increased 89%
  • Organic Conversion Rates — Increased 100%

So is inbound marketing right for you?

While there are components of inbound marketing that are valid for all businesses and non-profit organizations, namely knowing your target customers and helping them, we know that inbound marketing and/or the implementation of a fully-integrated platform is not the best fit for all our clients. That’s why we are not a one-size-fits-all agency — we create a custom marketing strategy for each of our clients.