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4 Hurdles Marketers Face Selling Inbound Internally (and How to Overcome Them)

hurdlesYou’ve finally sparked substantial interest within your organization on this thing called inbound marketing. Congrats! Now that you're the designated advocate for this radically different marketing structure, you'll most likely be faced with pushback from multiple directions.

But fear not! With some careful planning and a tactful approach, you'll be well on your way to transforming the way your company does marketing (and for the better!) We've outlined four common obstacles marketers run into when pitching inbound marketing and suggest tips on how to overcome them. Let's get started!

1) Lack of Understanding for Inbound Marketing

Why The Problem Exists: For some, inbound marketing is a new concept; especially for those who don’t dwell in the marketing world that we do. Others may have heard of inbound marketing but can’t quite grasp how all the gears work together to produce ROI. Don’t surprised if the only thing John from accounting can say about inbound marketing is…‘I heard something about that at a conference last year.’

What You Can Do About It: As marketers, we can get stuck in our own world and forget that not everyone is familiar with terms like search engine optimization and calls-to-action. Make sure your marketing and management teams understand exactly what inbound marketing is and how it will help them achieve their goals. By doing so, you’ll ensure they all see your value and worth. An overall understanding of how inbound marketing works in the ‘big picture’ is crucial to your success. Don’t hesitate to show examples and refer to case studies when showing them how it all works.

2) Framework For Inbound Marketing Is Not In Place

Why The Problem Exists: Because inbound is such a new practice to your organization, tools, support or budget to integrate inbound marketing may not be readily available. Plus, the concept of inbound marketing is likely foreign to your co-workers and a developed system for inbound is unlikely.

What You Can Do About It: An audit of what the company has accomplished online thus far is a great way to evaluate where you stand. Does the website have a blogging or content management system in place? What are the engagement levels within their social media profiles to date? What (if any) software has been utilized to track success? By asking questions like these, you’ll begin to paint a clearer picture for inbound marketing the company.

3) No Content To Work With

Why The Problem Exists: Before the awesomeness that is inbound marketing existed, a very different advertising model was used…one that was not centered around content. Now, consumers are looking for relatable and engaging content and if your company does not provide that, you’re in trouble.

What You Can Do About It: Content is to inbound marketing what gasoline is to cars. Once you’ve educated everyone at the company on inbound marketing and established a framework for it’s system, it’s time to get focused on content! What will your company’s online voice be? Is there a particular niche of your industry that you’d like to focus on? Answer specific questions like these and then decide who will develop, approve and publish the content.

4) Unsure How To Get It All Going

Why The Problem Exists: The phrase ‘it’s easier said than done’ is very applicable to this issue. We can sit here all day (and night) and talk about how inbound marketing will solve all of our problems. However, it’s an entirely different notion to actually ‘do’ inbound marketing!

What You Can Do About It: It can take weeks and even months to get to this point but once you’re ready to set the wheels in motion, it’s time to focus. Make sure you organize your efforts by creating a content calendar, develop an approval system, schedule your blog posts & social updates all while continually monitoring and tweaking your strategy.

The Bottom Line

While selling inbound marketing internally can be a struggle, I hope that identifying these four common hurdles and providing advice on how to overcome them has given you some food for thought. What other challenges do you face when trying to sell the idea of inbound marketing?

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