A while back we covered the marketing basics for startups. If you’re jumping into this checklist without first having defined your marketing fundamentals, we highly urge you to read the other post first. If you are already caught up, or just want to head straight to the digital marketing checklist then keep on reading. Here’s the guide on how to plan your Inbound Marketing Strategy:

Before you market, prepare to market

It’s incredibly important to have all your ducks in a row before you start marketing your brand or product. Things to consider are:

  • Build and allocate your marketing budget: how much can you spend, in terms of time, money and human capital resources.
  • Identify and Define KPIs: You need to define where you will look to draw customer insight.
  • Define customer segments: Pick your cohorts and what you will test.
  • Create a attribution model: What user actions will result to your desired outcome.
  • Build an end-to-end marketing plan: Even if it’s a 10-slide deck, it’s good to have your thoughts, plans and strategies down on paper.
  • Set up your marketing experiments: What are you going to test?
  • Track customer behavior: Run your experiments and execute your marketing plan.


Deploy & learn from your marketing activities

Deriving insight from data is incredibly important to understanding the efficacy of our marketing activities and optimizing them to drive any of our objectives and goals. When you start learning and optimizing, you should be mindful of the following:

  • Test, analyze and optimize user flow patterns:

    • How do your users move through your site or app. where are the entry points and exit points? Design and optimize this to achieve certain outcomes.
  • Test and optimize landing pages:

    • Landing pages are the gateways to your product and convey to the visitor the unique value your product brings. If you focus on more than one vertical, or have a product that is usable by many verticals then build vertical specific pages and see which work best.
  • Identify and rectify common design flaws:

    • In the event you didn’t do you IA (information architecture) right, or obtusely made your go button red, this is the time to fix that. You should always be on the lookout for design flaws that negatively impact your user experience and goals.
  • Define activation and retention processes & build metrics:

    • Create flows that users take along with triggers and value adds that will activate then retain them.
  • Identify processes to improve activations and retentions:

    • Chances are your initial assumptions may be off; you should consistently seek to optimize your activation and retentions.
  • Develop brand content strategy:

    • Good content is great, and likely a low friction way to share your url and associated product. Good content can be a great on-boarding tool and passively introduce your product to a wide range of interested folks.
  • Deploy key UX techniques to force congestion with goal exits:

    • Imagine congestion being the closed highway that has one way to exit. If you lead people to a certain action, chances are they’ll probably take it. UX can be a great way to do this.
  • Deploy an email marketing strategy & determine metrics to track campaign performance:

    • Your email marketing strategy should be timed, automated and meticulously executed without being annoying. There is still no better way to get in front of someone digitally than email, but it’s all about how you do it. You should figure this out with A/B email tests.
  • Analyze SEO:

    • If you offer something people search for, you should do your damnedest to be as close as possible to page 1 on Google as possible.
  • Create SEM if makes sense:

    • On the other hand, if you’re in a very crowded space (aside from asking yourself why?), it might make sense for you to invest into Search Engine Marketing.
  • Identify SM channels and see if influencer marketing makes sense:

    • There are a number of great ways to expose your brand on social media, be it through Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat. Again, going about your SM is about proving content people want to see/read and want to share, and remember, Social Media Management does not have to take a lot of time. You can automate most of the low level stuff.

With that, you should be able to set a good marketing trajectory for your product and start reaping the rewards of your hard work. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments, and while this is brief, it’s meant to be an overview.