In a recent blog entry about the three inbound marketing truths no one told you about, we shared with you some of the most common obstacles we have helped companies face while we support them in their quest to leverage inbound marketing efforts for their business growth. The thing about us here in Nytro is that we seldom focus on the negative, and really like to find solutions where others can’t seem to find them. If the issues we listed in the aforementioned blog resonated with you and you are unsure about how you will navigate them in your business, we have good news: we’re here to talk about the ways in which you can resolve three of the most prevalent yet least expected hurdles when investing in inbound marketing.
The first major key of doing inbound right, is to do it with the right partners. Do your research! Remember, we already talked through why it won’t be effective to use your existing in-house marketing experts – as good as they are – to produce and execute a new inbound strategy. Once you know you are working hand in hand with specialists – implement your inbound marketing campaign as soon as possible. Let’s go over some suggestions to make this process smoother:
Consider Inbound Marketing as a new way of looking at the world: after so many years designing and executing strategies for big companies, we can share that the demand generation with Inbound Marketing is forcing us to change the outlook towards how we have done marketing thus far, and how we should do it moving forward. This isn’t about following a trend, but rather how clients have changed the way that they do business, where they spend their money, and what helps them decide on it. You need to consider how they investigate, how they purchase, and even how they negotiate. By not implementing inbound to your strategy, you’re bound to be out of the game. We’re constantly thinking about how to create value content, that is not new, but carefully planting it in social platforms and blogs that have been selected for the meticulously described target at an exact time is a game most people simply haven’t played.
Trust the science: demographic profiles, buyer personas, psychographic data… oh, you thought this was just social media? There’s a lot to inbound that most agencies and companies haven’t figured out how to use. Through inbound, you can analyze and define a target’s lifestyle and from there arrive to, for example, what kind of products they tend to acquire. Then you’ll understand where they’re online-shopping, and based on this, you’ll determine the theme of your next blog post and where you will insert your clues so that the Google results will lead them to you. Finally, you’ll know when they downloaded your ebook, which search engine they used to find you, etc., all while you capture their information that will end up in an Opt-In database (yes, voluntarily). In that moment, the CRM will send you an alert letting you know that you have a new SQL awaiting you. All of this seems otherworldly, at least for people like us who lived through the pre-internet era while we took our first steps in this wonderful world of marketing and communications. This is just one way in which inbound marketing has changed the rules. When you start working with this methodology, the results will start trickling in at roughly six months and the sales team will begin to look at you differently. Then and only then will you realize that everything changed; buying a database and cold-calling the contacts or sending an e-mail to a list you gained by sponsoring an event, is something you’ll never do again.
Integrate Inbound Marketing to your existing marketing plan (and define realistic expectations): remember, inbound doesn’t work overnight. You must first add it to your current plan as one of the strategies in play. This way, you will not leave it off completely like its own separate initiative that is disconnected from your strategy, and you also won’t give it the superstar treatment until you’ve tried it and seen it work for yourself. Including it in the plan won’t only guarantee a commitment of support to the initiative, but it will also protect you from being completely exposed in front of the Board by betting it all on this one methodology, without first knowing if the company is ready to receive it with open arms. If your current marketing strategy is business-oriented, with lead generation objectives and concrete sales opportunities you need to deliver, then inbound marketing is for you. We’re not telling you to throw away everything you’ve worked on thus far, as inbound will crank it up to unimaginable levels, but just keep in mind all elements in motion, including time.
Inbound Marketing isn’t magical; it requires a lot of effort, time, and dedication. Because of this, creating a temporary line with what you can expect from the methodology in the first six months can be a very good idea so that the pressure coming from the Board isn’t too overwhelming. In this sense, understanding that you’re navigating unchartered territory, letting the data guide you, and building a combination between inbound and your usual marketing execution will be a good idea during the transition. With this, you will be able to remove pressure from inbound marketing, and from your already stress-filled plate. Remember, building a strong foundation and letting it mature in its own time is not only a smart approach, but the right one.