It’s a simple concept: inbound marketing is about attracting strangers to your website as new prospects, converting them to qualified leads, closing those leads into customers and, ultimately, delighting those customers once all is said and done.
But the cadence of attracting, converting, closing and delighting doesn’t just happen on its own. There’s a lot that goes into it: creating valuable pieces of gated content that will pique the interest of your prospects, crafting social media messages that will reach them in their spaces, planning out a nurturing sequence that will keep them interested and engaged, and so on.
How are you going to make it all happen? Here are five important things to do before you transition to inbound marketing to help ensure your inbound program will be a success!
1. Invest in Marketing Automation Software
Do you have to use marketing automation in conjunction with inbound marketing? No. Will it make your life a lot easier? Most definitely. Having access to the right marketing automation software provides the ability to automate some of the important components of your inbound marketing program such as social media, blogs and emails. That means that you can rest assured knowing that, no matter the time of day, your content is being published and your prospects are being nurtured as they move through the sales funnel.
Bonus tip: spend some quality time really getting to know your marketing automation software. If you’re a HubSpot user, take advantage of their many helpful training videos in the HubSpot Academy and take their certification courses. You’ll be amazed at all there is to learn, and you’ll be on the fast-path toward becoming a master user!
2. Know Your Priorities
A lot goes into starting an inbound marketing program, from getting your marketing automation software set up to figuring out your plans for creating content and making sure your website is on par to support your inbound marketing efforts. You can avoid feeling overwhelmed by making a list of priorities for your organization. Is your website pretty outdated and in need of a refresh? Do you already have a solid understanding of your target personas? Have you identified the keyword opportunities that will aid your SEO? Make a list of your unique priorities and start working through each.
3. Never Underestimate the Power of a Content Kickstart Campaign!
You might be tempted to hold off on any type of content creation until your website is perfect and your marketing automation software is set up, but we like to encourage our clients to use that time to work on creating the first batch of content. Write a few blog posts that answer the questions your prospects are searching for and start creating your first piece of gated content that will entice those prospects to fill out a form to download it. Kickstarting your content creation efforts will help save some time once you’re ready to go live with your inbound program!
4. Think Outside the Box
Don’t limit your marketing team to only those with “marketing” in their job titles. Instead, start seeing each and every member of your organization as the experts they are. Pick the brains of those on the frontline who are dealing with your customers, answering questions or fielding new requests. Glean all you can from the sales team to get a true understanding of the buyer's journey that your customers go through before making a purchase decision, and capitalize on those questions to ensure that you’re giving your prospects exactly what they’re looking for.
5. Don’t Go it Alone
Transitioning to an inbound marketing approach can be daunting, especially for an established organization that’s become comfortable with a more traditional approach to marketing. Take advantage of partnering with an inbound marketing agency that can provide strategy, help and inbound expertise to get your program off the ground—and to get your content found by your prospects!
Posted by Laura Sheptoski Laura is a detail-oriented consultant and project manager, with a background in public relations, social media engagement, and client content creation. Prior to her time at Weidert Group, Laura managed PR for an industrial services company, and maintains a strong focus on earned media within our inbound marketing programs.