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How to Create a Foundational Inbound Digital Marketing Strategy

by Mike Midgley, on Dec 14, 2020 10:30:00 AM

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How to Create a Foundational Inbound Digital Marketing Strategy

As an entrepreneur, you naturally strive to create plans that have a low risk of failure and a high probability of success.

But the truth is that it’s remarkably challenging - if not impossible - to achieve this without having a strong foundation on which to build. 

A mistake that is made time and time again in business is those ambitious entrepreneurs eager to see results dive straight into the final stage of execution, without giving much thought to the strategic elements that support the plan. 

With no clear vision for what an inbound digital marketing strategy will look like. Or how it will achieve what it sets out to achieve, it becomes increasingly difficult further down the line to bring marketing, sales, and client services together, working as one to drive the business towards success. 

Think about a good chef. Chefs don’t just jump straight into creating mouth-watering cuisine.

They study culinary science, they learn about flavour combinations, and they master the basics before building upon this foundation and bringing all of their knowledge together to create gastronomic masterpieces. 

Your digital marketing strategy is the foundation of your success. 

But to get to this point, you first need to venture more in-depth. Start to explore the foundations of your digital marketing strategy, an essential factor for anyone who appreciates certainty and assurance after wasting both time and financial investments on tactics that have previously failed to deliver.

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The Growth Engine

But where and how do you begin creating a foundational inbound digital marketing strategy?

What do you do?

The four compulsory modules of the Growth Engine Strategy are an excellent place to start.

This precise and targeted approach works to segment what could be an overwhelming amount of thinking and planning into a quartet of focused workshops, giving you a detailed, targeted strategy with none of the stress or confusion.

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1. Audit Analysis

To create a foundational inbound marketing strategy suitable for your high growth service business looking to scale, you need to start right at the very beginning. 

A thorough audit allows you to do just that. While you may think you have a broad picture of where your sales, marketing, and client services are at right now, an audit formalises and records this knowledge. 

Looking at all relevant activities and systems in depth also means you can establish a baseline, identify what’s working and what’s not, and pinpoint aspects that could be missing to avoid issues down the line.

If you’ve found that 

  • You’ve been struggling to recruit the best talent
  • Or that your revenue hasn’t been rising as quickly as you anticipated 
  • Or that there’s a skills gap in key growth areas

Then there may be a disconnect between where you are now, and where you need to be. 

An audit makes it easy to identify these vulnerabilities and weak spots and, most importantly, to address them effectively. 

If you’ve found that your departments are all siloed, you’ve struggled to bring teams together on the same page; this audit can set you on the path to achieving connectivity.

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2. Fast Track

One of the reasons you will have been tempted to skip the strategy stage before is that you know that while the planning process is taking place, revenue isn’t increasing. 

To counteract this, a fast track lead generation campaign, is designed to run as the strategy is developed, can be the shot in the arm your sales process needs.

To keep investment costs down as your strategy work continues, this could make use of some of the content identified as being strong and useful through the initial audit analysis. 

You already have complete confidence that what you’ve achieved so far works, so while you’re trying to handle time shortages at this critical stage of development, it makes sense to squeeze the most value out of what you already have. 

By repurposing content rather than investing in new techniques, you’re able to provide something now to build loyalty later. 

Of course, a fast track approach isn’t sustainable in the long term and should only be used for 2 or 3 months to provide you with an initial boost that you can then develop into a long term digital marketing strategy.

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3. Entrepreneur Focus

Your business is your baby, and it’s completely normal to want to maintain control over every aspect of operations, and to wear multiple hats across the organisation. 

However, the dilution of focus can mean that there are limits to what can be achieved in any one area. 

So ask yourself this question:

“Is it better to see average results being delivered across many key areas, or is it better to double down in one critical area to deliver exceptional results which can form the foundation for new developments?”

If you’re keen to implement a digital marketing strategy that drives all aspects of your business forward, then niche thinking can be beneficial. 

By setting highly precise ‘SMART’ goals - goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound - rather than trying to navigate broader aims, it becomes increasingly easier to design a plan that works for you and your clients.

Areas to consider to support your SMART goals are:

  • Doubling down on your ideal client/persona
  • Understanding your buyer’s journey
  • Creating a content and lead generation strategy
  • Aligning your brand message
  • Creating / or revamping your vision, mission and core values

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Focusing on one particular area doesn’t mean that other key areas need to be overlooked; delegating to those one or two confidants in your business that you trust to deliver can ensure ongoing continuity.

4. Power of Alignment

Now is the time to pull together your renewed entrepreneur focus, your fast track strategy, and the valuable information generated from your audit to build the foundations of your digital marketing plan. 

Bringing all aspects of marketing together is the first step towards later creating a seamless network of marketing, sales, and client services, all working in unison, all working towards the same goals, and all taking the business in the same direction without each department fighting and tugging down its own pathway. 

A foundational digital marketing strategy which helps you to understand not only the primary values of your business but also the best ways to promote and communicate these values to clients is key to creating and maintaining consistency - and clear and consistent message - across all aspects of operations. 

The result from this foundational strategy should be the creation of a completely seamless buyer journey which attracts, engages, and guides your audience from discovery to sale, increasing ROI, boosting profitability, improving reputation, and ultimately driving success.

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Understand Your Needs, Grow Your Business

If you’ve ever looked at your competitors and wondered what their ‘secret sauce’ is, this is it.

It’s a foundation that forms the backbone of a robust digital marketing strategy which guides the business in the right direction, which makes an impact, and which instils confidence in investors. 

As you’ll already know, lenders focus on risk. 

By having a clear plan for success, you can help investors to see your business through your eyes. 

Like many, you may have dabbled in digital marketing before; you may have recruited marketers or worked with freelancers, but felt that they didn’t really ‘get it’.

But the truth is that your team won’t understand your needs unless you do.

Taking the time to create a foundational digital marketing strategy which outlines your needs and aligns them with your business goals clears the fog, and paves the way towards a future filled success. 

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Ready To Start Your Inbound Growth Engine?

Suppose you’re ready to scale profitably, using a plan that has a low risk of failure and high probability of success, we’re here to help you make the most of every opportunity, grow your leads and skyrocket your revenue.

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Welcome to 6teen30 Digital

What’s more, our limited-time special offer will also save you up to £14,748 from day one with our retainer offer. Find out more now on this welcome to 6teen30 Digital incentive
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Topics:Inbound MarketingDigital Marketing Strategy

About The Author

Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and franchised his businesses 68 times.

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