We’ve seen some clients very successful at inbound marketing. Others have struggled. While much of the burden for success falls on the marketing firm or internal team you use, you must have access to these three resources before you try to launch inbound marketing.
On the surface, everyone thinks inbound marketing is a great idea. You write some amazing content, and it drives traffic to your website. Then you provide some solid offer to capture lead information, which you nurture until that lead becomes a sale.
It sounds easy, and for many clients I’ve met, it seems like something they can’t wait to do. There’s a ton of enthusiasm about getting on social media and publishing that first blog post.
However, if a company is lacking in one of the following three resources, that initial excitement can nosedive into despair.
The three critical resources for inbound marketing
Ok, sounds like a no brainer. You need money to either build your own internal team, or hire someone out. That’s a given.
When I refer to money, however, I’m talking about how starved you are for sales. If you need leads and sales tomorrow, this might not be for you.
This is a long-term play, and it will take some trial and error to create a winning formula. It’s futile to predict how long that will take.
A sales force will read that statement and shake their heads. “The old marketing dodge,” they’ll tsk.
What they don’t understand is that you’re not playing for singles and doubles, as direct sales teams often do. When you unlock a formula for a successful inbound campaign — when you’ve got traffic coming in, ideal offers generating leads, and the right incentives to convert those leads to calls — then you’ve got a scalable machine.
That doesn’t happen overnight, however, which is why enough money to play this out over the long haul is critical.
The crazy-busy entrepreneur, the besieged marketing director, the elusive product manager — all these people find it difficult to provide input for content, and then take the time to review the content.
I get it. I run a business, too. It’s difficult in the short term to devote attention to long-term marketing programs. You’re legitimately busy doing other productive work that builds the bottom line. Good for you, good for your business.
But the most effective inbound marketing we’ve seen is a direct result of business leaders and specialists actively feeding the content marketing team with expert information, then helping the team refine both the messaging and the strategy.
If you can’t commit to doing that, your inbound marketing ship is sunk before it even sets sail.
Set aside time for these tasks. It doesn’t have to be a ton — but it has to be consistent and ongoing.
I was asked a very legitimate question by a client: “How long do I give this stuff before I know if it’s working?”
My answer was I didn’t have an answer. Because there is no answer.
There is only belief. Do you believe that, over time, your company can offer useful, relevant information that your target audiences will respond to?
Do you believe you can offer them enough incentive to opt-in to your blog, social media, and special offers? Do you believe your website — and ultimately your products — can convert these leads into sales?
If you believe these things, you’re more likely to try differing approaches, surveying your customers, and responding to metrics so you can pivot in the right direction. And if you do this, and devote the necessary time and money to the process, you’ve done what you need to succeed.
Money. Time. Belief. We’ve seen this triumvirate work again and again.
If you commit to all three, the onus is then on us — the marketing team — to execute the right strategies and produce the quality content that will help you strike gold.
Find out how your content and conversion ranks with our interactive version of the Content Scorecard you can fill in yourself – no email required for download.