The fact that Inbound Marketing is taking over traditional marketing methods is not news. It seems that every eBook, blog post, and webinar is now touting content marketing and inbound marketing as the go-to strategies for the new marketers. Marketing is evolving, there is no denying that.
But for those out there in the trenches, trying to follow all the advice and get their marketing engines running it is not that simple. Sometimes, despite your best efforts you can’t seem to move the marketing needle enough.
Why Your Inbound Program Isn’t Working
Marketo‘s new whitepaper, “Amplify Your Impact: How to Multiply the Effects of Your Inbound Marketing Program“, takes a different route from others out there. I was pleasantly surprised when they decided to attack the core of the problem by saying “It can be common for organizations that implement an inbound marketing strategy to see an early lift. However, while early results are strong, the leads can dwindle to a trickle“. That’s not your typical Inbound Marketing whitepaper!
The reasons, according to Marketo, are many:
- Your aim is too wide
- Some prospects may find you, but many don’t know you exist
- Others may know your exist, but don’t understand what you do
- You aren’t reaching the decision makers
- Sometimes you can’t break through the noise
- Sometimes there isn’t any noise
- Inbound marketing has a diminishing return
Content developed for inbound marketing should be more focused on your prospects’ problems and concerns than on your product or solution – Marketo
For each problem listed above, you can find good examples that might reflect exactly what you are facing at your company. In some cases, a few tweaks may get you back on track but in other cases you should re-evaluate your strategy. They also list a few things other companies are doing that you should think about, such as:
- Have a staff dedicated to inbound programs
- Combine inbound AND outbound programs
- Ensure you have nurturing programs too
The Right Marketing Program Mix
“Increased output is not directly linked to a greater number of leads or customers or higher profit. You need to strategically determine where to spend your time – especially if you have a limited amount of resources”
The quote above, from Marketo, is the key for your inbound marketing troubles. The combination of the right programs based on their effectiveness for your particular situation is what will generate the best results. And, according to Marketo, outbound programs have their place in your marketing arsenal. They explain that while inbound marketing supports your newly created content by sharing it on social channels, making it faster and easier for your content to be found, outbound marketing (paid sponsorships, banner ads, etc.)can help you further spread the word about the content and multiply the number of new views you generate (and thus the number of shares, likes, etc.).
The mixing of both Inbound and Outbound Marketing programs helps with:
- Brand recognition
- Making prospects speak your language
- Capture your target
The last part of the paper touts the benefits of marketing automation (expected, since Marketo is one of the players in this space) to help with your nurturing campaigns. As Marketo puts it:
“The leads you’ve generated via inbound marketing are often still conducting research and evaluating their solution options. That’s where lead nurturing comes in — you need to invest in the process of building relationships with qualified prospects, with the goal of earning their business when they are ready to buy. Marketing automation helps you deliver relevant information over time to keep leads interested, engaged, and educated until they’ve made that decision”
Besides, marketing automation also helps to:
- Raise open and click rates
- Enables A/B testing beyond landing pages
- Creates new landing pages easily
- Shorten sales cycle
- Lets sale show when their prospects are engaging online
- Automates repetitive tasks
- Delivers sophisticated reporting and analytics
The free whitepaper is worth a read. The part where they talk about inbound marketing campaigns gone wrong can give you some interesting food for thought and help you rethink how your own campaigns are being setup.