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I need help with inbound marketing — what do I do? [Interview]

I need help with inbound marketing — what do I do? [Interview] Blog Feature

John Becker

Revenue & Features Editor, Co-host of Content Lab, 15+ Years of Writing and Teaching Experience

June 1st, 2020 min read

The world of inbound marketing can feel like a secret garden. For the longest time, you might never have even known it existed.

But once you learn about inbound, it’s easy to be dazzled and overwhelmed by the broad world that has been opened up to you. 

If you’re new on the journey, you might not know where to turn or whom to trust. What are the resources and institutions you should seek out? What should you expect in terms of budgetary and personnel needs?

David Little, account executive at IMPACT, tells us what your business should do if it’s just getting started with inbound marketing and needs some help. 

Who's looking to start with inbound?

John: So first off, who's asking this question? What company is in the position of asking for help with inbound marketing?

David: I think of somebody that has grown a healthy business over the last two to ten years and they have started to plateau — or maybe their businesses decreased a little bit over time and their networks are no longer providing sustainable growth.

And now they're looking at digital. They want to know how they can start doing inbound marketing, how they can start having leads come in, rather than always be out searching. 

🔎 Related: How to align your company on inbound as a way of doing business

Or, I think of somebody starting a brand new company. They're trying to figure out how they can market and get their mission and vision in front of the right people at the right time.

In either case, the mindset is always growth: How do I take my million dollars in revenue and turn it to 2 million? How do I take my 10 clients to 30 clients? 

Do you need to be all-in?

John: Is inbound something that is all or nothing? Can dabble in inbound, or do you need to fully invest in in order to see results?

David: I think you should be all-in on inbound, but I also think you should be doing other marketing as well. 

As much people want to say traditional marketing no longer works, I think there is a time and a place for traditional marketing. The mailer, the cold call, the billboard, the magazine ad.

I would say you have to be all-in with inbound because, just like anything else in life, if you only give it 20% of your effort, you're only going to get it 20% of the results.

If you're only going to put a minimum into it, expect to get a minimum out of it, but if you put maximum into it, expect to get a maximum amount back.

Inbound isn't free

John: There is a common misconception that traditional marketing costs money, but inbound is free. What kind of budget should you devote to inbound, and where does that money go?

David: We've all heard that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Well, there is no such thing as a free lead. 

When I think of an inbound marketing budget, I would focus on having the right team — and the right technology.

In order to have the best inbound team, I would suggest having at least a content manager and somebody who can do video. And through those two people, you're going to be able to start building your team.

And let's say each of those positions come with a $40,000 a year salary. So, that’s $80,000  — and then you have other marketing tech expenses on top. 

So, in order to do inbound well, I would say you're investing a minimum of $100,000 per year. 

Now, other people have the philosophy that advertising should be 10% of your business. So, if you're doing $1 million, you should be investing $100,000. If you're doing $10 million, you’re investing $1 million. 

Inbound isn't effortless

John: Another misconception about inbound marketing is that it's easy. How do you set yourself up for success? 

David: Remember, you didn't build your business overnight. You put in a lot of long nights and early mornings, and you need to expect the same with inbound marketing. It's going to take time and it's gonna take resources and it's going to take patience. 

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With that being said, we can see inbound is an immediate solution in the sense of we can create articles and content for our ideal buyers and for sales — but it's also a long term solution. 

Being seen as an expert in your field takes time, and it takes dedication. 

🔎 Related: 10 reasons why your website and content aren't ranking well

The timeline you should expect

John: What kind of timeline should you expect in terms of seeing results?

David: That's a very tough question. I think the timeline for everybody is different, but you're really not going to start seeing results for six, eight, 12 months. 

The truth is, people don't find your content overnight. In some cases they do, but Google has reasons why they give searchers the answers they do. Sites need to build their authority with Google so they can get their answers in front of people. 

I would say the first priority is to make sure you have a roadmap and that you don't grow weary of doing the good things like writing articles and making videos.

You will see an increase in ranking and traffic if you’re making good content and following SEO best practices. 

Helpful resources

John: What resources are out there that you would recommend for people starting this journey? 

David: HubSpot has a really awesome starter suite. This gives you all the tools that you need in order to start launching a full inbound marketing campaign. 

When it comes to the educational side, our resources through IMPACT+ are a great place to start.

🔎 Related IMPACT+ courses:

Every company who starts this journey, usually begins with the same three questions:

  • How do we start writing content?
  • How do we start doing videos?
  • How do we make the sales process better?

The good news is that, at IMPACT, we have content that answers every question you can imagine that our ideal buyers might have about getting started with content and inbound marketing — and we’re always producing new content and updating older pieces to make sure they’re current.

Of course, we're not the only ones. Digital Marketer has great resources for people that are getting into marketing. You should also start following HubSpot's blogs and their articles on a daily basis is a great place to continue to get educated on the digital marketing world. 

Why digital sales and marketing coaching might be your best option

John: IMPACT offers digital sales and marketing coaching. Why is that better than the self-education resources you mentioned?

David: I think going into inbound marketing we get shiny things syndrome. It's like, oooh, something new came out. We should get it! We should get one of those!

Basically, we hear about something new and immediately think it’s right for us.

But the truth is there are reasons for the things that work and don't work. And to be honest with you, as somebody that's very passionate and entrepreneurially driven, I get shiny things syndrome, but I ask people in my life to keep me accountable, to keep me on the track of where I eventually want to go. 

Our digital sales and marketing coaching offering is designed to make sure that you don't get shiny things syndrome and you stay focused on the goal. 

We put a plan together and make sure step-by-step you’re doing the things necessary to be hitting your goals.

Just getting started? Here's what to do this week, this month, this quarter...

John: If you are a business just starting out, what should you do within a week, what should you do within a month, and what should you do within a quarter? 

David: If I was starting inbound marketing right now, this is what I do first...

I would get Google Analytics on my website. I would also purchase HubSpot and get that on my website. That's going to start giving me some really good data of who's coming to my website and what they're checking out. That's going to start laying the foundation for every move we make in the future.

🔎 Related reading:

I would also begin talking to my sales team and finding out what are the most common questions they get asked on sales calls. This is going to become the start of your content library. 

Lastly, I would develop a quarterly roadmap of everything you want to accomplish with inbound. 

Within the first month, I would write an article or produce a video to address each question that the sales team hears over and over. That’s going to be relevant content that starts bringing people to your site.

I'm also going to hire a content manager or a videographer. And that writer can start producing three to six articles per week in order to build up your educational library.

🔎 Related reading:

Within the first quarter, I would check back at my priorities to see if I have hit my targets. Every quarter, you should be tweaking your strategy, and determining what topics you want to go after. 

And then, by the end of the year, you hopefully have that team built out — your content manager and your videographer — and you can really take stock. You can start looking at updating your website, updating your offers, and continuing to build and enhance your content library in smart, strategic ways. 

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