So you're ready to make the transition from outbound to inbound marketing? Smart move! Inbound marketing generates qualified leads, works around the clock, drives sales, and helps you build better relationships with current and future customers. If you want customers to be able to find you in the digital age, inbound is a necessity. Let's look at a few ways you can ease the transition from outbound to inbound marketing.
Integrate the Old and New
Embracing inbound doesn't mean you have to scrap all the marketing you do through traditional channels. Instead, find ways to integrate your new inbound plan with the best of your outbound marketing. Doing so will ease the transition, and help you wring the most value out of every dollar in your marketing budget.
Your outbound marketing campaigns can actually lead people straight to your inbound marketing. When you produce a print, television, or radio ad, make sure to include information about where people can find you online. Your web address should be present in all of your outbound materials, and you can also include familiar social media logo icons on print materials to encourage engagement.
What do your customers need, and what solutions do you offer to address those needs? The answers to these core questions will guide your inbound marketing plan, just like they've guided your outbound tactics for years.
Tune Up Your Content Marketing Machine
The content you produce is like fuel for every element of your inbound marketing machine. If you want to keep a Ferrari running, you better feed it premium gasoline. Great content gets the attention of customers and plants the seed for trusting relationships. Get content right, and your whole inbound process will thrive as a result. How do you get it right? Simple. Think like an editor.
Look at your industry and brand through the eyes of the reader. Your readers don't find your site by accident. They have a question, try to find the answer online, and are led to your site.
What questions would lead them to you? What sort of helpful, industry-specific tips can you offer? Answer these questions to start producing content that will make you a trusted adviser to readers.
Don't be afraid to create content that's got a bit of personality. You don't want to offend people, but you don't want bland content, either. So drop in the occasional bit of humor, and use a strong voice. Your competitors are using content marketing too, and showing personality helps you stand out from the pack.
Use Inbound Marketing Software
You don't have to make the transition alone, you know. Inbound marketing software will help you optimize your entire inbound process, and save time across the board. Don't be scared off if the word “automation” pops up, either. Automation doesn't mean that the relationships you build are automated. It just helps streamline the more tedious parts of the process, and allows you to deliver the content your customers wants to see, when they want to see it.
Think of your inbound marketing software as a framework for the powerful inbound process you're creating. The template is already there, and you just need to adapt it to your way of doing business. Your software will help to manage the details of your inbound plan, so you'll be free to focus on the big picture.
Inbound software will remain useful long after the initial transition period is over. In fact, it actually becomes more valuable the longer you have it. All the data you input over time adds up to help you better understand your customers and your sales process.
Put your marketing data to work by using analytics to constantly improve your process. Analytics help you to understand which parts of your marketing process are delivering positive ROI, which aren't, and what you should focus on in the future. If you want to smooth the transition from outbound to inbound, analytics are your ally.
It's not just about uncovering the negatives. Analytics will also tell you what you're doing well! Understanding which marketing tactics to keep using is just as important as knowing when it's time to cut bait.
Trends change quickly in the digital world, and analytics help you stay ahead of the curve. You don't need a statistics degree, either. Most inbound marketing software will produce analytic reports in a clear, easy to digest package.
Your transition from outbound to inbound doesn't need to be difficult, as long as your willing to use the tools at your disposal. Just be sure to remember that it's not an either-or situation. Integrating your old marketing tools with your new ones isn't just smart business; along with software, it's the key to a smooth transition from outbound to inbound marketing.