Ten Tips for Successful Inbound Marketing

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I will kick off this blog post with one simple question: “Who doesn’t want a buyer to seek you out, find you – and then walk into your store?”

That’s inbound marketing. Sounds great, right? I love talking about inbound marketing. So I’ve put together this Top Tips list hoping to stimulate a little conversation.

Just like everyone else, I want to get better at inbound so Tip #1 is: Keep learning. I try to listen and read as much as I can on the topic. Inbound marketing is an ever-evolving discipline and there’s a lot to learn from others. Speaking of which, along with this blog post I have personally invited some of my favorite experts to come and talk about inbound marketing on an online panel. Join me Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 11 am – noon, PT (2 pm – 3 pm, ET with Steve Gershik, Brian Vellmure, and Eric Wittlake.We will talk tips and have some fun.

Here are my other nine tips (and I’d love to hear about yours, so please feel free to comment):

  1. Develop buyer personas – Understand your buyer so you can build your entire strategy based on what they care about.
  2. Create content for that buyer persona, not your product – this is so hard for everyone. Great example: Monster.com; they have created communities for all of their personas where the content helps their buyer do their job.
  3. Mobilize and organize to be consistent and constant – You know that saying “marketers need to act like publishers?” Well, publishers produce content for the same time, same day, year-round. I am not saying you have to do something every day, but you need to stay within your means (see next tip).
  4. Understand your resources – If you can’t keep up with the content needed, don’t start. Create a realistic plan based on the resources you have. I know a blog post/day sounds awesome but it’s worse to be a “fits-and-starts” content machine because you need to be consistent and constant.
  5. Create one time, publish many – This also called the Ardath Albee “Rule of 5.” For every idea, try to create as many pieces of content you can. For example: One idea can create a white paper, ebook, webinar, blog post(s), and article.
  6. Use video – I personally hate video but everyone likes it, especially Google (hint-hint). Just try to not make it an infomercial. Tip #3 above still applies.
  7. Have a post-“hand-raise” strategy – Inbound marketing does NOT eliminate the need for lead nurturing, lead qualification, etc. As a matter of fact, you worked hard to get that buyer to raise their hand, so continue to work them.
  8. Be patient – It takes a long-time to get the kind of results that can fuel your business. It’s worth it. Don’t worry…
  9. Don’t abandon other lead generation tactics –This can take time (see #9), and even when you are fully functional with inbound marketing, you are not likely to satiate sales’ need for leads on inbound alone. Keep a variety of demand generation channels and tactics to feed the funnel.

Again, please join us for an awesome online panel on Thursday so we can share more ideas and have some fun talking about inbound marketing. And, I hope these tips help!

 


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  • http://www.iGrafx.com Guedo Fanony

    Wow, I really like these tips. Its easy to lose track of everything and forget things that are most important to your marketing strategy. I specifically like number 5. Why create more work for yourself than you need to? Plan ahead and develop a strategy that is going to work out for you in several ways. If you do it right, you can get great results with minimal effort. Then you will have time left over for things like video and lead nurturing.

  • http://www.mybusinessintegrated.com Chris Kiersch

    I agree with Guedo, and I will add one more time, make the time to confirm how people are buying from you. Most organizations go straight to the selling process, I like to explore the buying process, the selling process is easy if you understand the buying process:)
    Cheers, Chris

  • Craig Rosenberg

    Thanks for the comments Chris and Guedo.

    Guedo: Create once, publish many is a life-saver in the world of content marketing

    Chris: Great addition. Part of the buyer persona process to understand the buyer journey.

  • Tim

    I’ll add to #5. Webinar and Ebooks/whitepapers take a lot of effort, but that effort can easily be re-purposed for other content like blog articles. I gotten as many as 20 blog posts from one webinar. Treat each slide/page as a different idea for the blog article. This will also help with SEO because it gives you very specific keywords and topics to attract inbound prospects.

    I’ll add to #7. Sometimes there is no nurturing required. Folks just want to talk to sales, get a quote, etc. They have done their research and are ready to move forward with a conversation. We make that easy for our prospects with a “Get a Quote” button located in our header on every page. I wish we got a 1,000 of those requests, but it clearly speaks to those at the button of the sales funnel and the rule of content marketing is to have CTAs/content that speaks to folks at all levels of the sales funnel.

  • http://www.lumina.com Nick Kretz

    I agree, so much material can be generated from a single webinar! Repurposing content is the holy grail for small businesses with limited resources. Be resourceful and turn the webinar presentation into: videos, whitepapers, blog postings, etc. Many of your ideal customers do not have the opportunity to attend a webinar. If you focus on repurposing the content, your prospects have a greater chance of finding you while they browse the web.

  • http://twitter.com/JacobkCurtis Jacob Curtis

    I am very happy you included video as one of your effective strategies.

    Not only does Google love video, but YouTube is the second most popular search engine.

    Not to mention that today’s consumers attention span is so limited that unless your writing captures your readers attention within the first paragraph, no one is reading anymore.

    Video presents a great way to tell a story, present your product as a solution, and show why someone should choose you. Also, videos tend to get more social interaction like shares which help a lot for word of mouth referrals online.

    It’s the combination of audio and visual that makes videos so appealing (if the are well produced)

  • Nuala

    I think #5 & #6 are great points. You can repurpose your content in many ways. Keeping video short and interesting is a great way to engage your lead.

  • Jeff

    Video is a huge one. Everything is turning to video these days. Like Jacob said, people’s attention spans are shorten than ever now. Its much easier and quicker to watch a quick tip then to have to read a full article, blog post, etc. Video also keeps it entertaining if done correctly. I personally don’t see nearlt as many articles or blog posts being shared as videos. Not saying that stuff isn’t important, it definitely is, probably more so in regards to google searches, seo, etc. Video is just a format that a lot of people haven’t caught onto yet that can be really beneficial.

  • Dani

    These are great tips – I think that creating buyer personas is essential. Buyers come in many different shapes and sizes, and material should be structured towards the different types. Integrating and maintaining lead generation tactics is essential – those are the basics that inbound marketing should revolve around.

  • http://www.taos.com Dave

    I also like the video suggestion and maintaining the other lead generating tactics while adopting or trying new ones is essential to see what works for you.
    We are currently going through the growth mode period of our use of these tools and some people are leaping at the chance to do more while others hold on to the tried and true, so I let those people work it into their repertoire in their own time. Once the group has decided to adopt something full scale,m then there are no choices but forward and onward.

  • http://overnitecbt.com thomas craft

    Good sound tips, I would add Data review, always follow the data. It is the soundest method for adjusting some of the above tips.

  • Bobby Holt

    Using video is an excellent point. For whatever reason, customers like to watch a video on the topic they are interested in buying on. If sort of gives them a sense of security that validates their opinion on the product