January 9, 2014 at 7:30 am

The Difficult Thing About Inbound

The Difficult Thing About Inbound

difficult thing about inboundAs a marketer, your job has always been fun. You get to conceptualize design collateral, launch campaigns, post to social media, become a published author – the perks are endless. Why work a traditional 9-5 when you can do things that change the world? You’re impacting people. It’s a powerful thing. YOU are a powerful thing. You’ve been empowered with delivering a message to your audience. You are empowered to change people’s lives. Marketing is romantic, isn’t it? Hasn’t it always been? That Mad Men style: smoke-in-the-office (ew), skinny tie, curvy receptionist, scotch at noon, the romance of being “in marketing”. Then the technology age arrived. Analytics, ROI: Budgets started to get cut and those lofty print ads yielded no traffic and you had to get smart with your budget. The difficult thing about inbound is everything is 100% transparent. You know exactly how your campaigns perform, which blogs flopped, and “funny, creative” campaigns are now ride or die. The life of an Inbound Marketer can be stressful, but it’s all about perspective. Here we’ll uncover the “difficult” part of going inbound and how you can turn it to your advantage.

Accountability Fear #1: Plateaued Traffic.
You want traffic to increase every single month. Organic, referral, social media – it all needs to go up. You NEED it go up. That’s how you know its working. More people visiting your website, right? One of the most dreaded aspects of Inbound is preparing your traffic reports every month. What if traffic didn’t increase? What if the holidays impacted it? First things, first: relax. Traffic may not always increase every single month. Some industries are seasonal, if traffic doesn’t increase every month, it’s okay. The important thing is to delve more deeply into your insights and statistics and discover which types of blogs and social media posts actually engage your audience.

Accountability Fear #2: Crappy E-mail Open Rates
Knowing that your e-mail campaigns are being delivered, opened, clicked through and engaged with is crucial. If your open rate is better one month than another month, you can’t be afraid to report it. Analytics are all about improvement. Consider what message you’re delivering to which audience. With marketing automation software and inbound you’re lucky enough to have lead nurturing, which means you’re segmenting your e-mails according to customer and prospect interest rather than sending generic “newsletters” to your audience. E-mails are about more than open rates. Deliver quality information to the people who need it, and you’ll never worry about interrupting the lives of your prospects and customers.

difficult thing about inboundAccountability Fear #3: Sales
The company growth goals are lofty. Before it was enough just to be out there. It’s called branding, right? Now your analytics are tied to your conversion rates for prospect to lead to customer – and what if you don’t meet their goals? Accountability from a sales perspective is less about volume and more about lead quality. The magic of closing the loop between your sales and marketing efforts mean you can determine what an ideal customer profile looks like and gear your efforts towards marketing to that ideal persona. Knowing more about your ideal buyer will have your marketing team developing higher quality content geared towards the interests of the ideal prospect and provides better leads to the sales team. In turn, the sales cycle shortens and everybody wins, including the company.

So, maybe you’ve been a little scared of the accountability associated with robust analytics software. Maybe you weren’t sure inbound could cut it. Maybe you weren’t sure you could cut it. Going Inbound isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do; I’m not going to lie. It’s just not for everyone. It’s not easy. It’s not simple. It’s comprehensive. It forces you to take control over your marketing process, become accountable for your budget, and make the most of the time you spend marketing online. If you’re looking for the easy way out, Inbound isn’t for you. If you play the blame game, Inbound isn’t for you. But if you want to unite sales and marketing, if you want to ignite passion in your team, and if you want to really make the most of your efforts – Inbound is for you. Seeing it all can be difficult, but once it is all out there, you can improve. Bill Cosby said, “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” It’s time to look past your fears and find success in Inbound.

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