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Strategy, Inbound Marketing

Written by Josh Unfried

New year, new slate, new goals.

2017 IS here, and we’re willing to bet that alongside your personal resolutions, you may be making some professional ones too. When it comes to your marketing strategy, whether you’ve recently adopted inbound marketing for your business, or have been executing it for years – inbound success should be among your top marketing goals. Why? For starters, inbound organizations are four times as likely to be effective.

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That said, inbound marketing is here to stay, plain and simple. So let’s seize the new year, the opportunities it brings to reflect and make adjustments, and talk about how to set some legit and specific new marketing goals for your inbound marketing strategy.

Let’s do this!

Step #1: Document Your Benchmarks

First things first, let’s look at your benchmarks. It’s important to assess where you currently stand. How much traffic are you generating to your website? How many leads are you generating? How many sales or customers? What are your conversion rates for visitor-to-lead and lead-to-customer? In order to set realistic, attainable goals, you have to know what your baseline is for these metrics in order to accurately measure the future success of your inbound efforts. For some additional tips on benchmarking, click here.

Step #2: Assess Your Business Goals

What are your business goals for 2017? This is an important step, so don’t rush this process! For example, your goal for 2017 may be to increase sales by 10%.  To accomplish this goal you could increase the number of leads your sales team receives.  You could also work to increase the conversion percentage for lead-to-customer.  Both inbound strategies will help your company achieve it’s goal of a 10% increase in sales.  Developing your inbound strategy around defined business goals ensures that your marketing efforts are directly contributing to the overall business plan.

Step #3: Develop Your Inbound Marketing Goals

Once you have successfully assessed your benchmarks, and determined your business goals, now it’s time to set your inbound marketing goals. Based on where your business is headed this year, your marketing team can decide what your top priorities are for your inbound marketing strategy.

Not sure where to start? Here are some examples to kick off your brainstorming session:

Example 1: Grow organic website traffic by 20% over 2016

Example 2: Increase traffic to lead conversion by 1%

Example 3: Generate 10% more customers

If you are looking to increase website traffic, then you’ll need to conduct keyword research and build remarkable content around those terms. If you are looking to increase the number of leads your site is generating, then you’ll need to take a look at your current lead generation opportunities on your site. Can you send more traffic to those pages? And, if you are looking to increase your customer conversion rate, do you need to create something new?

Your inbound marketing strategy may include very similar goals, or you may have entirely different needs. No matter where you stand, once you’ve identified your goals, you can build out your tactics to achieve your defined objectives. Just remember: having a clear direction is key. Once you have that, you have essentially created a roadmap to success!

And now we want to hear from you! What inbound marketing goals are you setting for 2017? How do you think those goals will help build upon your successes from 2016? We love a new year and new goals! Comment below, and let’s discuss!


Josh is the founder and CEO of WindFarm. Josh enjoys helping brands navigate the transition from traditional to new media and preparing their organization for digital-social marketing lead generation and success. A lively and entertaining speaker, Josh is often asked to speak to large groups looking for clarity in the realm of digital, social and inbound marketing. Associations, companies, franchises, trade groups and local chambers have all benefited from his passion for breaking complex things down into simple terms and helping people grow their business online.