Many marketers starting down the path of
expect to find it sprinkled with magic pixie dust -- that they'll be able to sign up for Twitter and buy a software service, then see the leads come flooding in.
Guess what? It doesn't work like that.
Inbound marketing requires time and creativity. In fact, creativity has ALWAYS been a vital part of marketing and ultimately is the defining difference between a successful marketing team and an unsuccessful one.
Still, there are four recent changes that you need to understand before jumping into your creative happy place.
1. Different Tool Set
The tools needed to achieve marketing success today have changed a little. Am I saying that traditional channels are worthless? Absolutely not! These new tools are here to stay and are a requirement to understand and do right.
-> The 24/7 access is unparalleled and has replaced things like catalogs, phone support, etc.
-> Replacing what we used to get in our home mailboxes (cheaper and easier to measure)
-> It’s so important to remember that it’s not about what you call it. It’s about what your audience calls it.
-> Slowly replacing certain uses for TV (cheaper and easier to measure)
-> It’s still simply word of mouth—except in a one-to-many format
2. You Need to Target Niche Audiences
The shotgun approach of blasting everyone is a thing of the past. Not only is it extremely expensive, but it’s practically impossible to measure. Many of the tools listed above can help you find a target audience, but once again you are still required to be creative in approaching that target audience.
3. More Chances to Strike Gold
Everyone knows that the more you practice something the better you are at it. It makes complete sense that if you throw 100 darts you are much more likely to hit the bullseye than if you throw just one.
We believe that unique content creation (blogging, video content, research, etc.) is a fundamental pillar of inbound marketing and there are so many reasons for this.
Blogging helps SEO.
Larger website footprint, targeting of long-tail keywords, new content for Google to crawl, and hopefully people will link to interesting blog posts.
New content means increased traffic.
Why is a visitor going to come back if they have already read your whole website?
Visitors can leave comments, subscribe, and share through social media.
The point is you aren’t going to be great at this the first time you do it, but you don’t have to be.
In HubSpot's case content creation IS the marketing strategy.
The more value we can produce and the more channels we can fit into, the more likely we are to be found. Therefore, the more brand awareness and authority we can build with more audiences.
Keep throwing those creative darts and some will succeed, and then again, some won’t. Remember, because of the analytics of these tools we can learn what is successful and do more of that and less of the unsuccessful.
You didn’t ride like Lance Armstrong the first time you got on a bike, did you? Of course not! You probably never will be Lance, but you can and will get much better at content creation the more you do it.
In a Global Recession Budgets Are Smaller
It is this final point which has helped many of the reasons above be adopted at such rapid rates. The technology that we have today is light years above what we had even ten years ago. In today’s tough economic environment a small business faced with the option of paying its monthly lease or doing traditional marketing will always chose paying the lease.
Some of the leading indicators do show that things are getting better, but we are not out of this recession yet. If you have made it this far you definitely have proven to be smarter, more financially savvy, holding better brand awareness, and luckier than some of your competitors.
The internet isn’t some fad that will disappear as fast as it established this foothold. Young generations have adopted the internet at extremely high rates. Finally, with the ability to do things cheaper, more targeted, and better analyzed we know the internet is here to stay.
If you are a creative marketer and able to adapt to these straightforward changes, you can and will succeed.