If you know anything about inbound marketing, you know there are a lot of moving pieces. Maybe you know that inbound is right for your company, but you don’t have the time, money or resources to implement a full-on inbound campaign right now.
That’s okay! You have to walk before you can run, right? You can take baby steps to help transition your company to the inbound marketing methodology. There are things you can do today that will help set the foundation for a strong inbound presence down the line.
Before you take any steps toward implementing an inbound marketing strategy at your company, be sure to become Inbound Certified. HubSpot offers a free inbound certification program with classes that teach you how to plan and execute inbound campaigns.
Here are three baby steps you can take to transition your company to inbound marketing. They seem small—but they will have a huge impact on your marketing success.
1. Create Buyer Personas
Buyer personas are representations of your ideal customers. Most likely, your company has already identified them. Before you start to do inbound marketing, your buyer personas need to be defined and documented. Buyer personas will dictate the kind of content you create and the kinds of campaigns you run, so getting them right is critically important.
If you want to learn more about creating buyer personas, get all the info you need right here.
If you do already have buyer personas, reevaluate them to be sure they’re as accurate as possible before you start an inbound campaign.
How to take this step:
Know and love your personas. Once your buyer personas are finalized, make sure everyone in the company knows who they are intimately. Start building a company culture around solving problems for your personas. In meetings, you should act like your personas are sitting in the room. What can you do that will help them the most? This is an important step because it will get the ball rolling on a company-wide culture shift towards inbound.
2. Blog Consistently
As you probably know, one of the most important things you’ll need to run an inbound campaign is solid content. Helpful blog articles that are relevant to your buyer personas are critical for attracting and converting leads the inbound way.
That’s why one of the first steps toward becoming an inbound company needs to be creating a robust blog on your website. And your blog needs to be updated on a consistent basis in order for it to be most effective.
So, while you might think, “We already have a blog,” take an honest look at its performance. Are you posting helpful content regularly, or are your posts more likely to be intermittent company news? Before you try to launch full-fledged inbound marketing campaigns, focus on nailing your blogging rhythm.
How to take this step:
Mobilize your resources. The marketing department may not be able to write every post themselves, whether because they don’t have the time or they don’t have the knowledge. Start by getting all of your potential writers on board. This could include salespeople, customer service reps, or even outside copywriters.
Create a schedule and stick to it. Make blogging part of your week by adding it to your calendar, then actually do it. Hold other contributors accountable to their deadlines, too. How often should you blog? Companies that post 16+ blog posts per month see 5 times more website traffic than companies that only post once a month. They also see 4.5 times more leads. But that's a goal to work toward in the future. Just start by being consistent, even if that means posting once a week.
3. Implement Conversion Paths
Even if you’re not running full inbound campaigns, you can still implement conversion paths on your company’s website.
Conversion paths are the steps a website visitor takes to become a new contact for your company. In order for someone to convert on your website, you need to have some sort of offer, whether it’s a form for people to request a consultation, or a downloadable tip sheet that helps them answer their questions.
How to take this step:
Decide on your offers. What can you offer your website visitors (aka potential customers) right now that will help them with their decision-making process? Do you offer free consultations or product demos? Do you have any whitepapers, case studies or product literature? Use your current resources to create actionable offers your buyer personas will find valuable.
Implement calls to action. Add calls-to-action to relevant pages of your company’s website. Don’t have the bandwidth to build landing pages for your offers? That’s okay—get in the habit of creating calls-to-action anyway. You’ll start learning how to make effective conversion paths even if your entire inbound funnel isn’t quite ready yet.
Effective Inbound marketing takes a lot of moving parts, and your company may not be ready for a full-fledged inbound campaign right now. But if you take these baby steps, you can start transitioning the way you approach marketing.