I am an inbound marketer. I love everything about inbound – SEO, web optimization, content marketing, social media, I could go on and on. Right now, there’s a massive fistfight happening between the inbound and outbound marketing camps. Inbound marketing is winning the battle, and rightly so. ROI from inbound marketing is rising and outbound marketers are finding it harder and harder to keep pace.
We inbound marketers love to reference Guy Kawasaki’s nirvana inducing quote
If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.
However, I’m also a realist. Most enterprises have invested heavily in their outbound engines. In some large companies, there’s a 5:1 ratio of outbound marketers to inbound marketers. The outbound engine often gets the bulk of the people, resources and budget. Many executives in large companies rose their positions of grandeur by being very good outbound marketers.
Because of the amount of money and resources thrown at the outbound engine, some large companies can make their programs work reasonably well. Believe it or not, some companies actually do have more money than brains and, therefore, can succeed with outbound marketing. That does not mean they should continue the path, though.
If you’re an executive reading this, an inbound marketer trying to raise visibility of your craft in your organization, or a marketer trying to hang on to this digital marketing tsunami, here are some practical tips to start changing the balance of power.
1) Skunkworks Works
Most teams can get away with some inbound activities without anyone knowing. Inbound is not always as cheap as proponents purport, but, there are some things you can do very inexpensively and see immediate results. These results are what you want to present to your executive team to build support for additional programs. Some inexpensive options include:
- Dominate Google page rankings on one important topic of your choice.
- Invest in a small PPC pilot. PPC can be a powerful means of adding new contacts to your database.
- Redesign one web page to optimize for ____ (insert your target goal – higher response rates, more unique visitors, etc.)
- Redesign your web forms – reduce the number of fields on the form and optimize the asset description, including screenshots or visuals.
Here’s a collection of other inbound tactics from Mozcon 2013 – to help spark your creativity! Don’t forget, measure EVERYTHING. If you don’t measure it, it doesn’t matter.If you don't measure it, it doesn't matter .. Click To Tweet
2) Content Marketing is a Must
You can’t afford to delay deploying a content marketing strategy … even if it’s a basic one with limited scope. Content marketing will be one of the most powerful inbound strategies for connecting your audience with your message. Specific tactics include:
- Start a blog dedicated to a business area of focus.
- Find a talented graphic designer and persuade, convince or threaten them to help you create infographics that tell your story.
- Start using Slideshare for some of your best presentations. Then, promote those on your site.
Lee Odden of Top Rank Blog (@toprank) has some other great tactics for content marketing.
3) Education Empowers
There’s a ton of great information out there supporting the inbound marketing case. Here are some great resources to reference:
- Six case studies that prove content marketing ROI isn’t fictional
- Over 200 stats that prove content marketing is here to stay
- Is outbound marketing dead?
Put together an awesome infographic or Slideshare about this, share with execs, and you may be surprised at the results.
One of my favorite tools I use every day is feedly.com. I have all of my favorite blogs and news sites setup on feedly. Every day, I scan articles of interest – focusing on topics that hit my pain points. The thing about digital marketing is that there’s a wealth of information on the web available to help anyone get started.
Looking for more? Here’s more great content to generate that creative spark …