The following is guest post by Paul Roetzer, founder and president of PR 20/20, an inbound marketing agency and PR firm specializing in search marketing, social media, content marketing and public relations. You can find Paul on Twitter @ paulroetzer , and the PR 20/20 blog .
Conventional marketing pays for interruption and impressions , which means you buy everything, including: ad space, mailing lists, air time, printing and postage, in addition to agency costs (i.e. commissions, retainers and hourly fees). The basic theory is, “outspend your competition to gain market share.” This is an archaic and faulty process .
Inbound marketing, which is powered by content and community, gives underdogs and innovators the ability to grow faster and smarter by outthinking, not outspending, the competition , and by investing their marketing dollars in production, participation and performance .
But first you need a plan...
Enter the Inbound Marketing GamePlan
The Inbound Marketing GamePlan was first introduced by PR 20/20 in January 2010 as a free eBook download . In essence, the GamePlan is a more flexible version of a traditional strategic marketing plan, with a focus on shifting resources to more measurable and effective inbound marketing strategies.
The GamePlan is designed to adapt and evolve to changing market factors and business needs, and fully integrate brand marketing, website development, search marketing, social media, content marketing and public relations. To achieve maximum success and ROI with inbound marketing, these once separate disciplines must be planned and executed in unison .
When building your Inbound Marketing GamePlan , the general philosophy is, “less time planning, more time doing.” The goal is to set clear benchmarks and objectives, arrive at a consensus for the 12-month approach, approve budgets and allocations for first quarter activities, and then take action.
The best inbound marketers will always be testing and evolving , so don’t be afraid to take some chances and start learning through experience.
The GamePlan in Action
Our hope is that the Inbound Marketing GamePlan eBook serves as a resource for organizations of all sizes to take a more strategic approach, and tap into the full potential of inbound marketing to connect with all relevant audiences, generate leads and build loyalty .
Following is a recommended eight-step system to build and execute your Inbound Marketing GamePlan:
- STEP 1: Clearly define and differentiate your brand .
- STEP 2: Design and deploy a content-driven website .
- STEP 3: Go beyond prospects, and consider the impact of your inbound marketing efforts on all audiences (e.g. peers, competitors, employees, job candidates, vendors, media, prospects and customers).
- STEP 4: Establish measurable and meaningful campaign objectives designed to achieve the primary goals of generating leads and building loyalty.
- STEP 5: Build an integrated campaign fueled by core inbound marketing strategies of search marketing, social media, content marketing and public relations. The success of each strategy creates momentum that drives your organization forward.
- STEP 6: Establish dynamic budgets that can be easily shifted based on campaign performance and analytics.
- STEP 7: Define campaign timelines with milestones, tasks and responsibilities.
- STEP 8: Measure everything, and be willing to adapt and evolve.
The GamePlan Elements
Whether developed by your internal team, or outsourced to an inbound marketing agency, here are some key foundation elements to create as part of the Inbound Marketing GamePlan:
- 12-month strategy outlook in brand, web, search, social, content and PR.
- First quarter activity chart with a detailed plan that includes: tactics, task lists and timelines, as well as resource allocations of both time and money.
- Buyer persona profiles.
- Keyword analysis to identify and prioritize search terms.
- Quarterly content marketing calendar , including: prioritization, budgets, abstracts and timelines for blog posts, case studies, videos, white papers, eBooks, webinars, articles and more.
- Media and blogger database as the foundation of your media relations and blogger outreach efforts.
- Internal publicity calendar , highlighting planned press releases, feature story pitches, editorial opportunities and associated events.
- Social media dashboard of priority forums, groups, networks and blogs for target industries and buyer personas.
- Speaking opportunity database for company leaders highlighting potential engagements throughout the year.
Inbound marketing is driving the convergence of traditionally separate disciplines , specifically brand marketing, website development, search marketing, social media, content marketing and public relations.
Organizations have the opportunity to achieve new levels of efficiency and effectiveness by integrating these areas into a single strategic plan, and running dynamic campaigns that continually re-allocate resources based on performance.