Take the First Step in Your Shift with an Inbound Marketing Plan
If you’re considering a marketing strategy shift from traditional media to inbound, you may be concerned about the techniques and strategies needed to successfully transition. After all, you’ve probably been using traditional outlets for years. The idea that marketing your business through blog posts and content can replace your print, radio and TV spots can seem, well…crazy!
Fret not! The solution is simple. You need to let go. Let go of your past efforts and preconceived notions and embrace the change. Transitioning from traditional marketing to an inbound marketing plan needn’t be scary, or confusing. All it takes is a little of due diligence and a basic understanding of this new approach.
Paradigm Shift: Transitioning from Traditional Media To Inbound
Look at current demographic data for traditional media outlets, the writing is on the wall. Print readership is down. Cable advertising is becoming fragmented. In fact, print and radio consumption declined by 15.4% in 2012. Consumers are shifting their entertainment choices to online enabled devices like smartphones, and tablets.
As consumers become increasingly savvy, sales language and hard sell is giving way to research and informed buying decisions. Marketers who provide critical information are generating leads, sales and customer loyalty.
Review Your Data!
Start by reviewing your existing sales data. Examine your cost per lead, total numbers of leads and average sales cycle time. Is your current advertising reaching enough new consumers to justify the rising expense of your traditional media marketing? Your data will show you the facts.
There is a two-fold reason for this review. First, it will justify your decision for transitioning to an inbound marketing plan. And second, it will give you a strong baseline to compare to your inbound marketing analytics after you’ve made the transition.
Do you have a website that is inbound ready or is it an “online brochure?” In order for an inbound marketing plan to be effective, your website needs to be built or redesigned to incorporate conversion architecture. You need to be able to convert visitors into leads and direct them into your sales funnel. You’ll also need to have a social media component in place to drive traffic to your site.
You’ll need to have at least these two components in place before shifting your focus to digital. Also consider developing a blogging strategy and research other online advertising opportunities to increase traffic to your landing pages.
Assess Your Current Budget Allocations
While inbound marketing can cost up to 61% less per lead than traditional media, it still requires capital to get started. The key word is “transition.” Start by reviewing your current advertising budgets with an eye towards shifting a small portion to digital. For example, the cost of a single TV spot can often cover a month of inbound.
Set Editorial Calendars and Determine Process
Much like traditional media you’ll need a plan. Have an editorial calendar and blog topics in place before you start. Document all of your blogging and social media processes to create guidelines and standards. By creating a topics list and release calendar, you can pre-plan your marketing to coincide with new product releases or important peak sales times like holidays. Inbound marketing is driven by consistency and new unique content.
Taking the first steps into digital marketing can be difficult, so don’t take them alone. Download a copy of our Beginner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing to learn about online lead generation, SEO and content marketing. Did we mention, it’s free?
Marketing Matters Inbound is an inbound marketing firm specializing in online conversions, content strategy, PPC campaigns and traditional media placement. Our experience in B2B digital marketing and traditional media allows us to deliver results through a strategic media mix. We believe in aligning and merging marketing and sales/operations for optimal return on your marketing investment.