Becoming “Remarkable”: Good Enough is Not Enough for Inbound Marketing in 2016

Inbound marketing involves a commitment from the business owner.

The amount of content marketing needed to get leads is usually substantial. The higher your lead goals, the more content you need. Content comes in a variety of formats, so if you want to take this on, understand that you’ll be writing 600 to 2,000 word blog articles at least two or three times a week. Ideally, you’ll also be creating whitepapers, e-books and tip sheets monthly with the compiled content from your blogs organized around a common theme. You might also need to produce videos, slide shows, info graphics and webinars on a monthly basis.

Inbound marketing is the most powerful tactic for achieving results online, but it requires a commitment. There are no short cuts to real success.

Each of these pieces of content must be written for response, meaning that people take action as a result of it. Each one needs to be written with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind so that new people find the content online and then visit your site. And each one needs to be socialized, packaged, or ready to be shared on a variety of social networking sites.

If Your Inbound Marketing Is Missing Anything, You’re Missing Out On Leads.

Perhaps most importantly, this content needs to be written from the perspective of your client or customer. We don’t want you and your company to be the hero; we want your customer to be the hero. That’s how we get other prospects engaged with your business, and this shift is not always easy to accomplish.

It is common for business owners to offer to create the content and say: “You just get us the leads.”

If this is something you want to take on, fantastic. But, understand exactly what you’re agreeing to and make sure you can keep up with the pace associated with publishing enough content to move the needle.

“We don’t need to be remarkable. We’ve been fine for the past 20 years.”

Quite simply, if you’re business is not remarkable, you’re invisible.

Good enough will not be enough in 2016 to improve anyone’s marketing. If you’re satisfied with fine, or you think looking just like your competitors is ok, then don’t invest any money in any type of marketing. It’s simply going to be a waste. If you don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t say anything at all.

“We have a social media and SEO company, so they’ll handle that aspect. You do the rest.”

In the old days, individual marketing silos were fine. The SEO firm, website company, or social media provider could work independently from any other facet of your marketing. The same old practices simply do not work the same way they used to.

Software integration is vitally important to accurately track and allocate your online traffic.

At Flawless Inbound, the way we help you get found is by creating compelling content that answers questions and includes keywords. We build pages on your website that support these keywords. We cultivate social media best practices when we publish this content. We leverage email marketing to remind your existing leads that you’re still here to help with this new content offer. And we continually work to improve the website weekly to turn up the conversion rate and drive more leads.

There is always room for improvement.

Most important, you will need to be delivering the same remarkable messaging across every channel in an orchestrated way. The entire effort needs to be quarterbacked and synchronized. It needs to be strategically planned, monitored on a daily basis and then optimized over time to improve performance. There is no way to split it up. Well, I guess you could split it up, but not without impacting the results. A holistic approach to business marketing is best.

"We have aggressive revenue goals, but our budget is only so big."

Your budget is your budget. But, if that's the case, you may need to lower your expectations around revenue. There is no way around it. You can’t invest $2,000 /month and expect to go from $5M in revenue to $10M in revenue in 12 months. It’s mathematically impossible.

Think about the reverse: Would you spend $20K a month just to go from $5M in revenue to $5.1M? Likely not. Bigger goals require a bigger investment. If you can’t invest more, we understand – but stay realistic about your revenue goals and your expectations around leads generated. There is no magic-bullet solution to sales leads.

Smaller budgets still produce leads, but because there is less being done to drive them, they take longer to be realized. I know this isn’t what people want to hear, but it’s the truth, and it's based on over ten years of doing inbound for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

We’d rather give you the no-fluff advice than have you be surprised down the road.

Not only are the business owners, CEOs and VPs of Marketing disappointed: but so are we. We want to generate leads for our clients just as much as our clients want us to generate leads for them. Our missions are perfectly aligned. No hidden agendas or ulterior motives. We want the program to work, and we know how to make it work. But inbound marketing does require a commitment from both parties to work towards common goals.

The smartest business people take advice from the people they hire to help them.

If you’re considering moving to inbound marketing or you're already running an inbound program, consider getting some guidance from people who have proven they know the guidelines for making an inbound effort work. Then, adhere to their advice.