Easing Into An Inbound Strategy

Inbound marketing seeks to earn the attention of prospects by providing interesting and relevant content. With an inbound strategy, your prospects are in control of what information they receive. This is in contrast to the more traditional outbound marketing that broadcasts your message to prospects through paid media and other traditional platforms. With outbound marketing, you are searching for prospects instead of them searching for you.

While inbound marketing continues to prove successful as both an effective and efficient form of marketing, some companies are still reluctant to re-examine their current, more traditional methods and incorporate inbound marketing. Why?

The answer often lies within their current marketing method. Trying something different often means the current method is no longer effective. This can be damaging for an ego to come to terms with. However, successful change implementers recognize that by continually re-examining efforts, they develop innovative strategies, streamline processes, and continually refine the focus to be closer in alignment with their customers.

All of that is easily said from an outside perspective but how do you start the process of change from within an organization? Below are some ideas that can help bring others to your side.

1. Get over the buzz words and tools. Instead frame the conversation around your organization’s goals.  ‘Inbound marketing’ as a term can sound complicated. When in reality, inbound marketing is directly in line with most organizational objectives. Ask the following goal-oriented questions:

• Do we want to attract more traffic?
• Do we need to convert more visitors to leads?
• Do we need to increase our leads to sales conversion rate?
• How can we turn customers into repeat customers and gain their referrals?

Once people recognize that the end goal is the same, you can begin to address the different the methods to get there. Focus on keeping it simple.

2. Examine the differences between your current process and a future inbound process. Begin by taking inventory of all your different forms of content. You are likely already doing some form of inbound marketing without realizing it. Social channels, for example. Determine how you can use some of your current content in an inbound strategy.

3. Start slowly. Use your existing content and begin with strategy, not tools. Start by testing a couple of different methods of inbound marketing. For example, develop a blogging strategy or a social strategy. Do not tackle everything at once! Another suggestion is to implement inbound marketing within a specific division of your organization.

Bottom line: don’t let fear of change hold your organization back from a strategy you know can be immensely successful. If you determine your end goals, repurpose existing content, and gain traction within distinct inbound marketing channels and/or certain divisions of your organization, you will prove just how successful an inbound marketing strategy can be.

For a fun infographic on the difference between inbound and outbound marketing see here.

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