Congratulations! You’ve successfully secured the green light to pursue your inbound marketing campaign dreams. But the biggest challenge you’ll face as an inbound marketer is yet to come and it’s not at all what you might expect.
The First Hurdle:
The key to a successful inbound marketing campaign hinges on the creation of compelling content to attract, retain and delight your potential customers. Finding the right team members to support your inbound strategy and training your team appropriately to create content can be an unexpected hurdle in your campaign planning.
In fact, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2015 Report, respondents agreed that training their team was a big challenge and potential roadblock for inbound marketing growth. Moreover, the 2015 report showed an increasing number of content creators are from outside the walls of the organization, be it agency partners, freelance writers or third party writing platforms. So not only must you prioritize training your internal staff, you need a process in place that allows you to effectively utilize your agency partners and freelance writers to help build your content arsenal.
Inbound Training Tactics:
Certainly don’t let the prospect of training deter you from your inbound marketing goals. There are simple tactics you can use successfully to train your internal staff and processes you can implement with ease to build your external inbound support team. Take at look at the seven tactics that can kick-start your training prowess.
1. Harness the Power of Buyer Personas
Inbound marketing strategy success starts with a thorough understanding of your buyer personas. Clearly defining your buyer personas will help drive your marketing strategy, campaign focus and content messaging, but more importantly, having defined documentation on your personas will allow you to easily solicit external content writers.
Effectively defining your buyer personas and sharing that with your internal and external team creates a unified method to implement your inbound strategy. Following persona guidelines will help your inbound team create the right content to attract visitors, convert those visitor’s to leads and close those leads as customers. The creation of such guidelines will allow you to effectively train your team and ensure that your marketing strategy stays on course.
2. Identify a Process To Create Valuable Content
Now that you have a great inbound team and clearly defined personas, you can embark on the mission to create stellar content. But while the creation of content seems simple enough, the prospect of churning out quality content regularly can be daunting. Simplify your content creation process with an editorial content calendar. A content calendar will allow your internal and external inbound team to plan and assign content creation and distribution over a set period of time, including blogs, social media, website and PR content. A content calendar will allow your team to focus on key messages pertaining to your brand and hit the right chord with your buyer personas. Moreover, it will improve your ability to manage and train staffers and assign tasks appropriately.
3. Use Niche Marketing to Target your Buyer Personas
One of the key methods to see success in your inbound marketing strategy is to focus on niche advertising and marketing opportunities. If you can successfully identify what your personas read online, the sites they visit, the eNewsletters they read and where they like to ‘hang out’, you can effectively target them with your content. Train your team to research and identify appropriate communication channels, and more importantly, help them to understand how to create compelling content and messaging that will encourage engagement within each unique channel.
4. Combine Inbound and Outbound Marketing For Improved Results
Three out of four marketers prioritize inbound marketing strategies for one simple reason: proven ROI. According to HubSpot’s report, companies, regardless of size and budget allocation, are three times more likely to see a higher ROI with inbound marketing campaigns than traditional outbound campaigns. But don’t shortchange the benefits of using traditional outbound channels to promote your content and expand the reach and breadth of your messaging. Having a great blog post or eBook doesn’t mean it is going to get noticed and shared; sometimes you need a boost to help the sharing get started.
With this in mind, consider the use of simple content promotion channels, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now even, Instagram. If your audience ‘hangs out’ within these platforms, try targeted campaigns focusing on their identified interests. Using a niche marketing approach, you can target specified groups on social channels with your exceptional content for just dollars a day.
5. Connect Trends to Your Brand
There is no shortage of content available to your buyer personas, in fact, everyday, there are 2 million new blog posts published, 294 billion emails sent and 400 million posted tweets. So how can you find a sure-fire way to make your content stand out? Consider the importance of linking your content with what is new and relevant to your buyer personas.
Train your inbound team to leverage trending news in their content creation to capitalize on the momentum of a timely story or event. By connecting your brand to current trends, you can expand your reach and encourage sharing outside of your established networks.
6. Follow Industry Leaders
Encourage your team to read, follow and engage regularly with industry leaders and influencers. Following key influencers within your industry will not only allow your team to see trends and niche marketing opportunities for your brand, it will also provide a plethora of creative examples to explore and learn from as they create content.
7. Consider Inbound Training Programs
When your busy schedule prevents you from sitting and training each new member of your inbound team, consider using some established training programs to teach them the ins and outs of inbound. Hubspot Academy’s online training tools offer robust tutorials and videos that can help any inbound freshman quickly learn the ropes and successfully implement an inbound marketing strategy for your brand. Additionally, you should encourage your team to enhance their inbound understanding, methodology and latest industry know-how by following key industry-relevant blogs, forums and podcasts.
Armed with these tactics, you should feel confident not only in your ability to effectively train your inbound team, but also that your inbound strategy will include the latest and greatest inbound and ROI proven strategies to help your brand be successful.
Do you have any training recommendations you’ve used successfully with your inbound team?