Your very first inbound campaign has hit the ground running, and you are excited to see leads start flowing through the funnel. We admire your optimism! However, with any new process, snags are to be expected. Here are a few things you need to know/do to get you through any growing pains while you transition to inbound.
Explaining the Value of Inbound to Others
Think of why you trade in your car. Your family is growing, and you currently own an aging two-door sedan. No one can fit in the vehicle comfortably, and the repairs are costing you more than the value of the car. So, it only makes sense to upgrade to a newer vehicle that serves your needs.
What does this have to do with inbound marketing? It’s simple – when what you know it’s no longer working, it’s time to find a better alternative. In this case, when your traditional marketing efforts are no longer paying the bills, it’s time to assess alternatives.
You saw the value in inbound, but that does not mean everyone in your company will be on the same page. Change can be scary and oftentimes is met with hesitation. Skepticism can create tension and misunderstanding within an organization, so be prepared to sell them on the whole concept of inbound marketing. Here are a few key points to mention:
- Outbound marketing (also known as interruptive marketing) tactics are indirect and expensive. Outbound marketing costs 61% more per lead than inbound marketing.
- 93% of buyers start the process with an online search.
- ROI is much more difficult to calculate when there is no way to directly target your audience. Inbound allows you to capture valuable information about your prospects in order to nurture them into
leads ,and allows you to calculate costper qualified lead with easily documented data.
Maintain & Nurture Relationships
The foundation for a successful inbound campaign hinges on two things: messaging and relationships. A solid strategy is
You spent all of that time developing your buyer personas – researching their buying habits and knowing who they are outside of their buying habits. This is where having content for each stage of the buyer’s journey will be important for driving prospects to act.
Strategy Before Tactics Wins Every Time
You need to answer the “why” before you start working on “how.” One of the most common and costly first-time inbound mistakes is to dive into tactics before solidifying a strategy first.
Becoming the #1 dentist in Charlotte is not a strategy – it’s an objective. To provide unprecedented, quality dental care is not a strategy – it’s a mission statement. Want to increase your patient base by 20%? Great, but that’s not a strategy, either – that’s a goal.
So what the heck is the difference between strategy and tactics? Simply put,
Tactics are the execution of the strategic plan when it comes to how to generate leads with blogging, media placement, offers, landing pages, etc..
This is where understanding the importance of SMART goals will be imperative. If you aren’t already implementing SMART goals, you need to be. This is a big part of strategy before tactics. Let’s recap how they work:
Specific – Your goal should be conclusive and be able to communicate what is expected, why it is important, who needs to be involved, and which processes need to be in place
Measurable – Your goal should have concrete criteria for measuring progress and reaching the goal
Attainable – Be sure your goal is realistic for your team to reach under the terms you’ve defined
Relevant - Your goal should be reflective of our business objectives
Timely – Preferred date of goal achievement
Results Will Not Happen Overnight
You know how when you want to be a healthier weight you often hear “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change?” Well, that also applies to your inbound campaigns. Inbound is not just a campaign – it’s a commitment. As wonderful as it would be, your business will not appear on the first page of Google search results after one campaign and a few blogs.
So, when can you expect results? I wish I had a magic number, but I can tell you this – the time it takes to generate results solely relies on your team’s ability to stay focused on the goals.