Boo! It's that time of year again. And no I don't mean Halloween. It's time to look ahead to your inbound marketing efforts in 2015 and commit to making it a better year than 2014. To that end, the cowboys and cowgirls here at LyntonWeb are proud to present our Ultimate 2015 Inbound Marketing Template.
What is the Ultimate 2015 Inbound Marketing Template?
At its most basic level, it's a spreadsheet and a guide to your 2015 inbound marketing efforts and activities. It may be perfect for you, you may want to modify it, or maybe you'll use it as a jumping off point to create your own 2015 template. Whichever way you see fit to use it (or not use it) is A-OK. Let's talk about how we structured it and begin with the end in mind: sales.
Our sample template has a section that includes a typical sales funnel. Your department or organization may track things differently but the basic idea is that all this inbound marketing is done to sell your good stuff. If you're not focused on that - why are you coming to work? You may want to segment leads into marketing and sales qualified leads or inbound or other leads. The point is to visually show your marketing efforts as they align to sales. You'll also see that our 2015 template starts in 2014 - to help show progress (or lack of it) in 2015.
Key Inbound Activities and Content Themes
You'll see a list of common activities along the left and the frequency of these activities by month on the right. The intent here is to give your team a macro level view of your 2015 effort as compared to your work in 2014. You may want to add a budget or resources column to the far right. Ideally, you would use this macro template to build out smaller project plans for each activity. A content calendar would drill down on blog topics monthly, for example. A more detailed social media plan would identify social channels of focus each month.
Content themes speak to the rhythm of your business. Most businesses are cyclical. May is a busy month for landscapers, January - not so much. A background screening company might have a series of posts dealing with criminal record checks of new college grads in May. Your themes should drive your content and be aligned with the ebb and flow of your business.
Gasp! We've Included PPC in Our Template
It's sort of a forbidden topic in inbound circles but here's the rub. Your boss or your client will totally be on board with the notion that "inbound takes time." It will be an understood mantra during the sales process. Once your inbound project starts - all is forgotten. Results will be expected not in 6 months but 6 days. It's just life in the big city. Expect it. But remember (and remind your boss) that effective paid digital media can drive results quickly. A sponsored ad or placed article on Inc. will get you 6 months worth of traditional inbound results in one month. Just be willing to pay for it. C.R.E.A.M. Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Dolla' billz ya'll.
You Won't Follow The Ultimate 2015 Inbound Marketing Template Exactly
Unless you work for a woman named Helga who favors wienerschnitzel for breakfast and a shot of bourbon for dinner, you will likely stray from the marketing plan. That's OK. You need to be agile. You also need a plan you can update and tweak throughout the year. You need a single point of truth for marketing activities and metrics, and maybe this template will be the start of it.
That's it. Our first gift for 2015 for you, our rockstar inbounders. Take a download and let us know what you think.
I need to go. Helga is paging me on the intercom.