Today's marketing truths are pretty simple. If you want to attract leads and improve your SEO, publish remarkable content. If you need a broader online audience, leverage a content-rich and engaging social media presence. If you want to stay engaged with your leads, leverage automated lead nurturing. These aren't hard concepts, but they do require effort.
Inbound Marketing Requires a Commitment to Learning
Those who start down the road of inbound marketing know that blogging alone is a big commitment. Often, after getting through blogging, it's hard for businesses to imagine ever having the time to create video content, produce eBooks, or run a daily social media presence. A risk for every company is that reorienting their marketing becomes a slow, lethargic process, and that's almost worse than not doing anything. Nobody wants marketing to be a downer.
Companies that do well, go into it with a lot of energy. They have fired up people ready to explore and ready to work. Often, they're optimistic professionals, young future leaders, and the most open-minded staffers a company has.
But the key real key to an inbound marketing adopter is that he/she is a learner. That's why no matter how big or small a company is, every business looking to improve their marketing by adopting inbound principles should hire an intern.
Why Hire an Intern?
Yes, interns are young. Yes, they have very little professional experience. But often, they have something to prove and are used to answering questions with their hands raised, which translates into a potential hard worker that knows how to learn. That's all you need to have company marketing potential. Plus, they don't have to cost very much and even without experience, interns bring new skills to the table.
Students today are digital natives; they grew up hearing the words "You've got mail!" and listening to the Windows start-up chime. They know their way around a computer, and many are avid bloggers and social media naturals themselves. In other words, they are digital marketers in the making. If companies utilize their knack for content building and social media while teaching them the industry, suddenly your intern will be the next person you want to hire as part of your inbound team.
To get started, I recommend looking at colleges and universities nearby that emphasize strong writing skills. As the world turns to content marketing, you don't want an intern who isn't a competent writer. But don't stop at writing either. Many college graduates not only know how to put together a blog and social media posts; they're also able to create videos, produce websites, and do graphic design. If you capitalize on all of these skills, your company will likely be making a low-risk investment with the possibility of high gains.
Treat Them Right, and You'll Benefit
Above all, make it worth their time. If you're hiring an intern during the school year, the key is to offer flexibility along with expectations. You'll get them to invest more in you as you gain from their readiness to learn. Also, more likely than not, the trust that you build will encourage the student to invest more energy into what they do. More energy means more action, and with more action, your leads grow quickly.