The CMO Guide to Inbound Marketing
- How inbound marketing is different from traditional efforts: 1) Inbound marketing is the process of helping potential customers find your company before they are ready to buy through content marketing, social, and search presence.
The goal is to turn that early awareness into brand awareness into brand preferences, and ultimately convert leads into revenue; 2) This approach is different from traditional marketing in several key ways: 1) Traditional marketing:
The marketer actively finds new leads: The marketer rents the attention of an existing audience; The marketer does this through display ads on websites. A booth at a tradeshow, emails sent to a third-party list, etc; 2) Inbound
marketing: The marketer makes it easy for leads to find you; The marketer builds their own audience and attracts their own attention; The marketer does this by creating relevant and compelling content to attract and convert leads
through search and social channels.
- Why inbound marketing matters to your company: 1) Inbound marketing is about applying more brains, not more budget, to drive revenue. Without a significant financial risk, the process can deliver: 1) Increased brand awareness. Up
to 93 percent of buying cycles start with a search online. If your company shows up high in the search results, or is active on a searcher's social networks, you'll get "free" brand awareness; 2) Better brand preference. By helping,
entertaining, and interacting with potential customers before they are thinking about making a purchase, you build trust and increase the likelihood that they will choose you when they are ready to buy; 3) More leads for less investment.
Inbound marketing is a long-term investment that builds on itself over time. Your results will multiply many times over as you create more and more great content.
- Staffing and budgeting for inbound marketing. If your company is dedicated to inbound marketing, short bursts of activity won't cut it. These are the resources you as a CMO should invest in on a sustainable basis: 1) Pick a theme
to anchor your efforts every month. This theme should focus on a customer interest or concern, not a product of yours; 2) Create two or three minor pieces of content around the theme. Support the theme with smaller pieces of
content, such as infographics, webinars, presentations, podcasts, and so on; 3) Post regular social media updates. Build your reach, engage with potential buyers, and get the word out about new content; 4) Produce at least
one major piece of content to support the theme. This can be a whitepaper/ebook, video, survey, buying guide, webinar, and so on; 5) Write three thought leadership blog posts per week. regularly share ideas, tips, best
practices, news commentary, etc., with your audience via SEO optimized blog posts. Some but not all of these posts should relate to the monthly theme; 6) Dedicate time to analyzing and optimizing results. Have a staff member
dedicate at least 2 hours a week to this process; 7) When in-house staff members can complete many of these tasks, it also makes sense to hire an inbound marketing manager and a content marketing manager to facilitate the process.
These individuals would be responsible for: Developing the strategy; Managing content creation and curation; Monitoring and managing the company social media presence; Owning the company blog; Engaging with influencers;
Managing online conversation and search engine optimization efforts.
- Where inbound marketing falls short. As powerful as inbound marketing is, it's certainly not without its limitations. The following are the three most common challenges organizations face with inbound marketing: 1) It's hard to
target specific audiences with inbound marketing. To accomplish this, you will need to implement out other outbound tactics; 2) Inbound marketing doesn't drive people to action. Inbound marketing waits for buyers to take action when
they feel ready, and does not capitalize on inertia, nor does it push people to become customers/subscribers; 3) Inbound marketing requires some level of automation. Of course, since you will be curating new content each week,
the entire process cannot be set on autopilot, but blog calendars and analytic reports should be automated to maintain a responsible overview of your campaigns.