3 Habits of Highly Effective Inbound Marketers (Revisited)
Three habits that will shift your inbound marketing into high gear.
Nearly 2 years ago I was introduced to the term “inbound marketing” and have been working with it ever since. I’d been exposed to it’s principles before, and have even watched myself go through an inbound marketing style sales funnel and purchase. That was my biggest driver to become involved in the inbound marketing game. I’d convinced myself of my own needs. In my mind I hadn’t been sold to, I hadn’t been marketed to, I’d been helped. That’s a huge difference in interpretation compared to a sales person calling me up and trying to sell me something I don’t need. Even if I did need it, I didn’t know I needed yet.
All that said, inbound marketing is no walk in the park. It takes dedication and potentially a new perspective on what marketing is. But once you have the basics under control and can see the process, it’s only a matter of time before you have a solid lead generating process.
Here’s 3 habits to get you on the right track to becoming a successful inbound marketer:
1. Plan and Schedule
The backbone to any successful inbound marketing strategy is content. Blogs, eBooks, eGuides, infographics, social media, and more, content brings interested prospects to your website. I won’t sugarcoat it and tell you that creating all those different pieces of content is easy (just look the last time I personally wrote a blog!). That’s why planning and scheduling when you are going to release new content is a necessity.
Using a content schedule gives you the opportunity to stay a step ahead. Most times, coming up with an idea and an outline is the most difficult part to creating any piece of content. If you can have that part done weeks before you actually need the content, you’ll always be ahead of the game.
Developing a flow to your content is essential as well. Having an incredible blog is great. But that doesn’t always translate into more business. Particularly for businesses with a longer sales cycle, you’ll need to plan next steps. How are you going to get your prospect to engage and commit a little bit more, and a little bit more, then finally spend some money. We can’t expect a blog to sell a six-figure product or service. But we can expect someone who may spend that much to find us through a blog.
2. Time Block
One of the biggest challenges for anyone looking to take on inbound marketing is time. Like anything in your day that requires your attention, you need to schedule uninterrupted time to do it. When you choose to deploy an inbound marketing strategy, you need to commit to it. A half-hearted effort, like anything else, will rarely give you the results you need and expect.
Don’t be afraid to share the responsibility. Some of our most successful clients have an entire team contributing to their inbound marketing efforts. This way it takes up minimal amounts of everyone’s time but generates enough content to satisfy a strong inbound marketing effort.
3. Research Outside of Your Industry
This has been the biggest help to me and our clients. It is no longer enough to simply have a prettier website than your competitors. Commercial activities online are evolving all the time and to be remarkable within your industry it’s time to look beyond it. Search for online success stories, inbound marketing success stories, content marketing success stories from all different industries. You’d be surprised at how many great ideas you’ll get from a seemingly unrelated industry.
For a better understanding of what it takes to be found online, we’ve written the 21 new rules for content marketing in our Findability eBook.