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For InBound Marketing, You Need Content Marketing

Inbound Marketing requires transparency, honesty  and authenticity.  To do this you also need Content Marketing.  You need to build trust with your prospects before they will purchase from your organization,  use your services or before prospective donors will donate to your organization.  You need to convey Thought Leadership.  You need to convince them that you are an expert.  To do this you need content, no matter if you are a law firm, a non-profit organization or a B2B technology company.

Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing are connected.  You can’t do Inbound Marketing without content and it does not make sense to do Content Marketing if you are not also doing Inbound Marketing.

Before you are embarking on a Content Marketing strategy here are some warnings:

  1. Implement a system for Inbound Marketing – It will take some time to implement a Marketing Automation solution like HubSpot (90 days minimum).  During Marketing Automation solution implementation you can also be getting your content engine going faster.  You need a system to organize your campaigns and the content that goes with those campaigns.  You need a system to time your content correctly and you do this with a campaign calendar.  You need a system to measure your results so that changes can be made in your campaigns and content.  It is very  difficult to manage and measure Content Marketing without a system in place.
  2. Will take longer than you thought – Creating a content engine that is producing consistent and informative content is not easy.  It will take time.  Could be months.  There are many variables to this including budget allocated to it, your time, your staff’s time and what else is going on in your company & industry.  Probably not the best time to implement Content Marketing if your largest marketing event is next month.
  3. Will cost more than you thought – You will need help in content creation.  Might be additional staff. If you don’t have enough, you will need to hire.  Other employees outside of marketing can be used but you might not be able to depend on their content production.  You need to evaluate the content you have currently and the staff you have to create content.  You definitely will need outside writers to assist.  They cost money.  Make sure that you put in the marketing budget some money for writing services.
  4. Your involvement will be greater than you 1st estimate – You know your organization and know what you want.  You have the passion.  You will need to be the project manager working with the Marketing Team members and outside vendors.  Others will need to have access to others in the company such as Sales and Product Management.  You will need to interface with these other individuals and fill them in on the goal and the content being worked on.  You will be the evangelist for the Content Marketing philosophy and that will take time.
  5. Constant tweeking will be necessary – Not all campaigns and not all content will work.  You will be getting real-time data.  Review this data such as which content is working and what content is not working.  Make sure that you make adjustments to the content that is not working.  It could be as simple as changing an image, or changing the title, or the description on the landing page describing the content.  Maybe it is too many questions on the form submission that is scaring folks away from the content.  Or maybe you don’t have the right target audience.  If doing paid LinkedIn sponsored updates you might need to increase the impression size so that more people see the update.  Consider A/B testing to see what title or subject line works in getting more people to download the content.
  6. Some non-successes will happen – You will have failures.  Don’t get frustrated.  Don’t give up.  Review the failures and adjust for the next content piece or modify the content that failed.  Make sure that the content creation team understands that there will be failure, that they won’t be punished for these failures and that the failures will be discussed and learned from.
  7. Continuation of other marketing activities will be necessary –  Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing is not the only marketing that will be occurring.  They are designed for lead generation or demand generation.  Marketing is also about branding and community.  Don’t forget to do the user conference for your clients.  Have webinars educating clients about new product releases.  Attend events that will generate contacts for future mailings that will contain content offers.  Also don’t forget the education to others in the company about maintaining the company branding.  Make sure that Content Marketing does not interfere with the equally important other marketing activities that must occur.
  8. You need to have something that is worth while to convey in your content – Last, but probably the most important is that you will need great content.  You will need case studies.  So you better have some happy clients that will take the time to be interviewed and approve the case study.  You will need testimonial videos so again you better have some happy clients that don’t mind being filmed and will say good things about your organization and your products/services.  You will need informative and interesting blog posts so make sure that your team can get the expertise necessary for these posts and that they know what topics to do posts on.  Every company looks good at the top of the funnel.  You need to show why your organization is different and better than the competitors to move down the funnel.  Hopefully you have something to say that will help do this.

When done right, Content Marketing shows expertise.  It gets people interested for more.  When the content engine is working right with Inbound Marketing, prospects will come to you and Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) will be generated.  Content Marketing is not easy.  It will take time.  It will take money.  But when used with Inbound Marketing it is the right thing to do.  Let me know your warnings and tips regarding Content Marketing.


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