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Back to the Basics: The 5 Rules of Inbound

342H.jpgYep. There's a lot of overlap in the land of inbound. We've loaded you with details about the buyer's journery, marketing funnels, buyer personas, and the inbound methodology. And now we're handing out rules, too! 

Have no fear.

These rules are here for when all the details become a little bit too much. Think of these rules as the common demoninator to all the knowledge you've gained so far. Inbound marketing is constantly evolving, but these rules aren't likely to change.

1. Know your consumer 
Have one to three buyer personas that represent your customer base and make them as detailed as possible. You can gain valuable information for your buyer personas by surveying or interviewing your current customers, but if your business is new or rebranding, this is a great exercise that will put you in the shoes of your target audience. Think beyond basic demographics and give them a story with challenges and goals. Then give them names. Keep these personas in your workspace so you don’t forget. 

2. Know where they are in the buying process 
You don’t want to offer them an in depth comparison between your service and a competitor’s when they’re in the awareness stage. And on the same note, you don’t want to offer someone whose ready to make a decision information they already know. One is overwhelming and the other is redundant, both are undesirable. Knowing the buyer’s journey and marketing funnel well is crucial to doing inbound marketing well: offering your leads what they need, when they need it. 

3. Produce great content 
Great content establishes thought leadership and should tell a story that resonates with your consumer on some level. It could be written, drawn as an infographic, or be a video. It’s easy to find, visually appealing and provides good user experience. It also offers an original perspective while addressing a problem faced by your audience. Great content should be a resource to your customers. If you offer them a solution to their problem that’s with one of your competitors, it will add to your credibility and they won’t soon forget it. 

4. Promote it 
Great content is only as good as its distribution. The professors at HubSpot Academy say that you should put just as much time into promoting your content as you do into creating it. That means sharing your content on the social media channels your audience uses, promoting it through an email campaign, linking to it internally from other places on your website and more. You put a lot of work into creating great content. Amplify it with a spot on social media strategy and a solid plan. 

5. Repeat 
Analytics play a huge role in inbound marketing. Learn the key performance indicators of your strategy, analyze the results, and respond accordingly. Did that recent blog post boost your conversion rate for email subscribers after you improved your SEO strategy? Or did that podcast not perform as well as you’d hoped? Think about why, tweak your approach and then go again.

With a grasp on these five rules, you'll hold steady while the marketing landscape continues evolve. Remember, at the center of inbound is a give first mentality. None of these rules will really matter if adding value to your customers' experience isn't your number one priority. 

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