If you are looking to adopt the content marketing model or develop an inbound marketing team, you may have a bit of hesitation around hiring new talent, paying for new services, or taking on what seems like (but isn’t) increased overhead. Never fear, there are ways to adapt to content marketing and the inbound marketing methodology without tapping out all of the marketing budget. Let’s Explore.
Time management and inbound marketing.
Utilize the team you have instead of hiring an entirely new marketing team. It is important to allow your current employees time to adjust to the content marketing way of thinking.
Develop, or have a creative agency, as an extension of your team, develop and orchestrate a creative and engaging inbound marketing strategy to jump-start lead generation, community building, and brand awareness.
Many medium-to-large sized business fail to utilize the talent they have within the walls of their current organization, and leave revenue behind because of it.
Right now, there is a big push for businesses to adopt content marketing. More and more brands are knocking it out of the park with high-impact video production, interactive media, and the newly emerging forms of broadcasting, and newcomers may feel intimidated.
Imagine if within six months of onboarding HubSpot and a creative agency (at the same cost as hiring one content marketing manager) your company could generate more leads, track each lead through the sales cycle, and nurture them into customers and eventually brand evangelists. Sounds cool, right?
The power of the content development process is, in fact, within your organization already. A bit of training, research, development and organization will go an extremely long way.
Let's get a head-start on the content marketing adaptation process.
Develop (or have an agency develop) an inbound marketing buy-in workshop for all of your employees to attend. In the workshop, your employees should learn about the ways to attract, convert, close, and delight customers. They will begin to see how their small contribution to content marketing can play a huge role in the day-to-day success of your company. Get everyone on board right out of the gate.
The buy-in is very important with the inbound marketing methodology and content marketing in general. Some of the best content comes from individuals who are working directly with the client -- customer service needs are heard loud and clear for each client or customer-facing employee. This means they may be better equipped to address the real pain points your clients are facing.
Post-workshop, allow individuals to volunteer for particular content roles to their likings. Those who are left can fill the responsibilities that require less time and are more user-friendly.
Once you have assigned all of the necessary content marketing roles unique to your organization, distribution tactics, and campaign strategies for the next 12 - 18 months you are ready to begin your content production process. You may or may not have a full campaign schedule planned out at this point. That is okay. You don't have to have a concrete plan, in fact, it will most likely change before the launch dates of your campaigns anyway.
After you’ve established roles within your company, you can begin to tackle the planning of your first successful inbound marketing campaign. Establish goals for each campaign. Be sure that your goals are attainable but not too easily attainable, and ensure your marketing KPIs and goals are aligned with those of your business plan.
After all, if you are seeking growth or recognition, but your marketing goals don't further your overall business goals, there will be little chance that content marketing will perform for your business the way it should.
You have now held a workshop, earned your team’s support for your new inbound marketing plan, assigned content production responsibilities evenly amongst the current members of your team, now what?
Now it is time to begin creating high-impact, informative, and captivating content around the needs of your target market, buyer personas, and current and past customers.
A great way to gather content ideas is to head straight to the source. As difficult as it may seem to dig deeper into your content, it is far more engaging than expanding your range of topics. Developing a niche topic to base all content around is important when you are trying to build brand recognition. It is better to dig down within one topic and uncover all of the details that it would be to cover 100 topics at surface level.
Ideally, members of your content community will have aspirations to become a subject matter expert on your content topic. Your challenge is to provide them with all of the most in-depth and accurate research available within your niche topic.
Let’s jump ahead about a week. Your content development team (comprised of current employees) has produced all of the necessary content to launch your first inbound marketing campaign.
The goals of this campaign are to increase lead generation by 10% from last quarter. You know you had a big flop in the past because you didn’t have established processes in place before making content marketing as your main marketing strategy.
You also haven’t tried your hand with content distribution before, so you have set the bar a bit lower than you would like because you are not sure how it will all pan out. That is fine, just be sure your goals are aligned with the metrics required to hit your overall business goals.
More often than not, content is not the problem for businesses who have just made the switch to inbound marketing. It’s the methods of distribution and the following actions that tend to weigh down most companies that are new to content marketing.
Selecting the proper distribution channels is imperative to making the brand statement you have spent time developing. If you have content to distribute to individuals who are not using Twitter but your only method of distribution is Twitter, how can you expect to find your content niche?
The bottom line is, you have devoted time and funds to content marketing and the inbound marketing methodology. Why not hit a grand slam by delivering it in the prefered format of your target content consumer?
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