It’s no secret that creating, planning, implementing and optimizing an inbound marketing program designed for lead generation is complex.
It’s also no secret as to what goes into this marketing approach.
Blogging, content, an inbound marketing website, solid search efforts and social media are a few of the tactics included in our inbound marketing engagements.
But everyone knows that. So, what differentiates an inbound marketing program that doesn’t deliver from one that exceeds your website traffic and lead goals? Finally, the answer is revealed.
It sounds obvious. Yet, you'd be surprised to know how many people think that marketing strategy is the same as persona creation. Yes, understanding, documenting and illustrating, in detail, the people you want your marketing to attract is critical. But the strategy I’m talking about is much richer. You need to be intimate with the pains your personas deal with day in and day out.
You need to be connecting your solutions, product, service, process or feature directly to those pains. Most important, you need to be crystal clear about how you deliver value that is remarkable as compared to all of your competitors, obvious and substitute. This is, of course, where most people fail in terms of creating their marketing strategy. It’s not okay to be good, or even very good. Don’t tell your prospects about your people, your history, your experience or your software. You’re either remarkable or you’re not.
You can’t “wing” an inbound marketing campaign. You have to connect multiple pieces in multiple ways, multiple times a day. It’s complicated. Plan out at least three months in advance. Better yet, plan for the entire year, writing it out on paper with goals and expectations. Keep your content plans and editorial calendars to three months so you’re able to adjust your content efforts based on performance.
If you wanted to bake a chocolate cake but had never done it before, you could try to do it on your own, but your chances of success would be limited. Instead, you get a recipe and follow the directions. Sometimes, it comes out good. Other times, well, not so good. That’s because even though you have the recipe, you're missing the little secrets that experts have learned over time. After all, they’ve baked thousands of cakes, and this is just the third time you’ve tried to do it.
Inbound marketing is the same way. You need a recipe, and if you want to do it right, you need someone who has experience getting hundreds of inbound marketing programs to work – an executive chef, if you will. Take the time to learn as an apprentice under their guidance. Learn what they do and when they do it so that you're able to do it one day, too.
Yes, the sequence of your inbound tactics and the rhythms of your communication are important. We are all human beings, and you are marketing to human beings. You have to align your timing to match those of your prospects. Over-market your business, and you turn them off. Under-market, and you leave the door open to your competitors. Finding the right sequence has a lot to do with data, analytics and optimization of your program over time.
If you’re a business owner or CEO, you can’t run an inbound program for your company on your own. Besides the fact that you should be working on other priorities, it’s just too complicated. There is too much to be done to NOT have someone working on this full time. Hire an internal person, reassign an employee or hire an outside agency to get the resources you need to do this right.
Make sure you have all of these other facets covered before you move forward with any investment in the tactics associated with your inbound marketing effort.
Start Today Tip – If you haven’t started on your journey, take half a step back and ensure that you’ve covered the elements discussed here. If you’re working with an inbound marketing agency, make sure they share your perspective on the importance of these components. If you’re handling it yourself, take the time to work out the details associated with planning and implementation that make the difference between moderate and monster results.
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