A train to sustained marketing success is leaving the station soon. Are you on it?
The Inbound Marketing engine is picking up steam, and soon it will be well beyond the boarding platform. In a short time you’ll either be on it enjoying lunch in the dining car, participating in the expensive and exhausting race to catch up on foot or left behind and forgotten entirely.
If your inbound marketing efforts aren’t in full swing yet, you’re already behind. But there’s still time to buy your ticket and get on board—if you act quickly.
The Rise of Inbound
The way people are interacting with media, especially online, is changing drastically. With more channels to choose from, increasing ad blindness and shorter attention spans, you’ve never had to fight harder to avoid being ignored.
If you can’t provide immediate value, consumers will click away, change the channel, turn the page, and tune you out. TWEET THIS
After all, why would a consumer spend a second longer looking at your uninteresting, unattractive, low-value, sales-centric messages when they have a thousand other entertaining, educational, valuable media competing for their attention at any given moment?
Effectively executed inbound strategies put you in a position where people willingly come to you, rather than you assaulting them with expensive messages most people consider a nuisance. It’s no wonder interest and adoption of advanced content marketing techniques have grown steadily since the discipline was first being developed. Especially as extremely sophisticated inbound marketing tools have enabled marketers to both execute advanced content marketing strategies and prove their value.
Trending interest on Google for inbound (red) and content (blue) marketing:
Missing the Train Will Be Costly (Or Even Fatal) for Your Business
As more and more firms realize the importance of inbound marketing, you can expect your market to get oversaturated with content of all kinds. Once your target channels reach this point, it will be incredibly difficult to make your voice heard over all the noise.
That’s why it’s absolutely essential that you invest into building a base of quality content NOW.
Build up a reputation for producing valuable NOW so people will come to you first in the future with similar needs.
Nurture a strong social community NOW so when users get social fatigue and stop adding new friends and connections, you’ve already got your place in their network.
Climb the search engine rankings NOW so as the flood of blog posts and SEO’d pages rises and sites fight for a trickle of clicks, you’ve already established a comfortable spot on the front page.
Think about how much harder it is to do these things than it was even just a year ago, let alone five. It’s only going to get more and more difficult to differentiate yourself from the crowd—at least without having to pay high ad rates to get your content in front of your audience..
“well-made content can generate leads indefinitely”
Furthermore, content marketing provides you with enduring, sustainable value. An ad you pay to place might sway a customer or generate a sale once, but well-made content can generate leads indefinitely. Until the information or messages within your content become obsolete months or years down the road, it will remain informative or entertaining. And once you develop a library of content assets, you can repurpose, reorganize, and reassemble your content to cheaply create even more!
Look Before You Leap
If you haven’t reserved your spot on the Inbound Train, you shouldn’t haphazardly try to hop on. Chasing down a train as it’s pulling away from the station and hopping on at the last moment only works in the movies.
Bad content marketing is even worse than none at all. And consumers can be unforgiving when it comes to being unsatisfied with your message. If you consistently fail to deliver useful content, they’ll quickly assume anything else attached to your brand as useless. On the other hand, consistently impressing and “delighting” (as the inbound pioneers at Hubspot like to say) your audience will have them not only coming back for more but sharing with their own networks.
Here’s a great explanation of how poor content or an incomplete inbound strategy can backfire (and funnily enough, a good example of content marketing in action).
Video from 3rdplanetmedia.com/
When you’re ready to get onboard with inbound, make sure you have the right inbound marketing recruiting process in place to assemble a team that will secure your brand’s place at the front of the industry.
Finding Great Inbound Marketers
Inbound is still a young discipline, and there are relatively few proven experts. There’s so much more to effective inbound marketing recruiting than finding someone who can make fancy infographics or automate email campaigns. As interest in the field has increased, demand for inbound talent and exceptional content generators has far outstripped supply.
But that doesn’t mean you can afford to hold off on your inbound efforts. With every day that passes, your competition is likely generating content of its own and building up the infrastructure to promote it. Wait too long and there won’t be any room for you in your crowded space.
Adjust Your Content Strategy
If you already have access to creative talent—writers, designers, web developers, and the like—you can start shifting their focus to operating under content marketing best practices right away. It’s never too early to start building up your content library—remember, it has Long-Term Value.
With a strong selection of user friendly and comprehensive inbound tools available online, the barrier to entry to basic inbound execution has never been lower. This isn’t a replacement for an veteran inbound marketer or content generator, but it help you start building the foundation of your inbound strategy while you look for an expert to take the wheel in a more direct and effective manner.
Inbound Marketing Recruiting
With the scarcity of proven inbound talent, you’ll probably have a hard time finding the people you need with an internal inbound marketing recruiting process. If you don’t already have an inbound expert in-house, how will your HR team and hiring managers be able to identify a good one?
Instead, consider working with someone who has lots experience hiring inbound experts—like an inbound marketing recruitment agency—to find the talent you need. Depending on your situation, you may even find it more effective to use inbound marketing staffing on a contract basis.