How to Cultivate an Inbound Marketing Mindset

The following is a guest post from Greg Elwell, owner of B2B Inbound , an inbound marketing agency for B2B companies.

Are you less than 100% satisfied with what you’re getting out of your Web site in terms of business value? Perhaps you’re thinking of re-designing, migrating or re-building your site to a new, more powerful platform? Or, maybe you’ve come up with a brand new business or product idea and you can’t wait to get started, hire a design firm and begin generating brand awareness?

But before you start evaluating technologies, service providers, design or re-design firms be sure you put first things first. And that means getting into an inbound marketing mindset.

What’s an inbound marketing mindset and how do you cultivate it? Here are 3 dimensions of cultivating an inbound marketing mindset that will put you on the track to success:

1. Develop a solid understanding of who you’re trying to attract.

If you’re going to attract rather than annoy your target buyers, you need to get inside their heads. Too often, marketers jump headfirst and begin designing and creating content based on their understanding of what they think their buyers want. Inbound marketing works best when the information, tone and features of your Web site appeals to what they (ideal buyers) want – not what you think they want. 

How do you know what your users want? Take some time to discover the goals, behaviors and attitudes of your buyer personas.  An excellent resource on this is Steve Mulder’s book, The User Is Always Right – A Practical Guide to Creating and Using Personas for the Web .  He also has an overview presentation on the key concepts and methodologies of creating and using personas which you can view or download here called, Making Personas Work for Your Site.

2. Calculate how much traffic and leads you need to achieve your revenue goal.

Once you have a clear understanding of who you’re trying to reach and how you might create and present content to them, it’s now time to crunch some numbers. If you’re going to approach inbound marketing from a business mindset, you’ve got to start with a revenue goal and know how it ties into key performance metrics like traffic, leads and sales. After all, you’re in this to grow the business and that means generating a positive ROI. So don’t crank up that design or content creation machine just yet. Take a walk on the calculating side.

This web-based inbound marketing calculator tool will help you see how much traffic and leads you need to support your revenue goal. Having these targets clearly in mind will keep you focused and on a clear path to continually improve and succeed.

3. Start drawing traffic and capturing leads by executing an inbound marketing plan.

With the needs of your buyer personas and your inbound marketing goals defined, it’s time to start generating traffic.  Your plan will also include tools and a process for converting visitors to leads and leads to customers. And of course, you’ll measure results and make improvements over time – doing the things that will yield the best return. No doubt you’ve heard this before, as a HubSpot blog reader!  

Having this mindset is one thing, being able to pull it off could be quite another matter. There’s a lot of moving parts and the competition is not standing still. There’s blogging and social media plus SEO and landing pages with lead nurturing campaigns, and so on. Achievement of goals that adds real value to the business is absolutely doable, but it takes unwavering dedication and skill to pull off.  If you’ve got the mindset but lack the necessary resources or skills, consider hiring an expert .

Marketing Takeaway

Yes, you can cultivate an inbound marketing mindset that will help guide your every move. The really great news is the tools and resources are at your disposal. And they seem to be getting better all the time. If you're serious about drawing business to you, now is probably the right time for you to:

  1. Do market research to identify what will attract your target buyer persona.
  2. Do the calculations to determine the inbound metrics you need to hit in order to hit your business goals.
  3. Start executing the plan. If you need help, don't be afraid to ask. Rome wasn't built in a day and it certainly was a team effort.