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Why Process Should Drive Your Inbound Marketing

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Posted by John Beveridge on Sep 17, 2015 10:43:14 AM

Why Process Should Drive Your Inbound Marketing

I'm a huge fan of developing and using process in my business. My love of process came to me as most things do - the hard way. I finally realized that scrambling to figure out a way to deal with situations as they came up wasn't a smart way to do things, particularly when it wasn't the first time I had dealt with that situation.

Inbound marketing itself is a process. Blogging and social media drives traffic to your website. Premium content and lead generation tools generate sales leads. Lead nurturing and bottom-of-the-funnel content help you close deals. While there is some art to the inbound marketing process, science is really what makes things happen.

Creating repeatable processes for your inbound marketing is the difference between hit-or-miss results and a scalable lead generation machine.

"Creating repeatable inbound processes is the difference between hit or miss results and a lead generation machine"        Creating repeatable inbound marketing processes gets results  

 Inbound marketing processes create efficiencies

A few years back, my brother and I endeavored to change the brake pads and rotors on my 2001 BMW 325xi. The first wheel took an hour and a half to complete. The last three wheels took a total of 45 minutes to do all of them.

The reason why the last three wheels went so fast is because we created a repeatable process on the first one. By actually doing the job, we learned the pitfalls to avoid and the easiest ways to complete the steps of the process. The result in efficiency is that we reduced the time per wheel from 90 minutes to 15 minutes.

The same principle holds true for inbound marketing processes. Take this blog post, for instance. Writing the post is just one part of the process. Here's what we do when we post a blog post:

  • Write the post
  • Source images to be used in the post
  • Create Click-to-Tweet functionality
  • Choose appropriate CTAs and content offers
  • Format post in HubSpot
  • Publish post and email to subscribers
  • Create social media image to promote post
  • Schedule social media promotions
  • Analyze post performance

We've learned over time that taking those steps gives us the best return on our investment in time and resources for blogging. All of the steps in the process took considerably longer when we first did them. Now that we've repeated the process hundreds of times, we're pretty efficient with creating blog posts.

Inbound marketing processes are scalable

The dirty secret of inbound marketing is that it takes a lot of time and effort. Creating content and promoting lead generation offers consistently requires significant effort to do properly, not to mention the other inbound marketing elements necessary to drive revenue to the bottom line.

Having efficient inbound marketing processes allows you to scale your efforts sufficiently to generate results. Take the example of our blogging process described above. The first time we did all of those things, it took us about 4 hours. We can now complete all the steps in our blog publication process in 2 hours.

The net effect is that we can now produce twice the amount of blog posts in the same time. Research shows that the more frequently you blog, the more website traffic you will generate. So not only are we more efficient in performing the blog publication task, our efficiency is driving more traffic to our website.

By optimizing each step of the process, we're more effective in generating leads. In addition to generating more website traffic, our processes help us generate more leads.

Inbound marketing processes create continuity

Inbound marketing is a team sport. One person can't do everything necessary to get results with inbound marketing. And most of us have much more to do than manage our inbound marketing initiatives.

When we create and document our inbound marketing processes, we create a means by which everyone on the team can complete tasks the same way. If done properly, the outside world won't know if the CEO wrote the blog post or if a young, talented writer with social media skills did. 

Having documented processes lets business leaders serve as managers, not doers. They also create continuity when team members come and go, which is an inevitable part of running a business.

Inbound marketing processes allow for experimentation

Inbound marketing is different than other forms of marketing in that everything you do can be measured and connected to bottom line revenue. This marketplace feedback creates the perfect environment for experimentation and optimization.

Take our blog publication process as an example. If we can vary one of the steps in the process, we can see how the variation impacts results. For example, we can vary where the call-to-action is placed in the blog post and see which variation generates more leads.

Having documented processes in place creates the framework to iterate and optimize your inbound marketing efforts.

"Having documented processes in place creates the framework to iterate and optimize your inbound marketing efforts"   Documented inbound marketing processes create the framework for optimization. 

Topics: Inbound Marketing

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