Ten Tips for Successful Inbound Marketing


I will kick off this blog post with one simple question: “Who doesn’t want a buyer to seek you out, find you – and then walk into your store?”

That’s inbound marketing. Sounds great, right? I love talking about inbound marketing. So I’ve put together this Top Tips list hoping to stimulate a little conversation.

Just like everyone else, I want to get better at inbound so Tip #1 is: Keep learning. I try to listen and read as much as I can on the topic. Inbound marketing is an ever-evolving discipline and there’s a lot to learn from others. Speaking of which, along with this blog post I have personally invited some of my favorite experts to come and talk about inbound marketing on an online panel. Join me Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 11 am – noon, PT (2 pm – 3 pm, ET with Steve Gershik, Brian Vellmure, and Eric Wittlake.We will talk tips and have some fun.

Here are my other nine tips (and I’d love to hear about yours, so please feel free to comment):

  1. Develop buyer personas – Understand your buyer so you can build your entire strategy based on what they care about.
  2. Create content for that buyer persona, not your product – this is so hard for everyone. Great example: Monster.com; they have created communities for all of their personas where the content helps their buyer do their job.
  3. Mobilize and organize to be consistent and constant – You know that saying “marketers need to act like publishers?” Well, publishers produce content for the same time, same day, year-round. I am not saying you have to do something every day, but you need to stay within your means (see next tip).
  4. Understand your resources – If you can’t keep up with the content needed, don’t start. Create a realistic plan based on the resources you have. I know a blog post/day sounds awesome but it’s worse to be a “fits-and-starts” content machine because you need to be consistent and constant.
  5. Create one time, publish many – This also called the Ardath Albee “Rule of 5.” For every idea, try to create as many pieces of content you can. For example: One idea can create a white paper, ebook, webinar, blog post(s), and article.
  6. Use video – I personally hate video but everyone likes it, especially Google (hint-hint). Just try to not make it an infomercial. Tip #3 above still applies.
  7. Have a post-“hand-raise” strategy – Inbound marketing does NOT eliminate the need for lead nurturing, lead qualification, etc. As a matter of fact, you worked hard to get that buyer to raise their hand, so continue to work them.
  8. Be patient – It takes a long-time to get the kind of results that can fuel your business. It’s worth it. Don’t worry…
  9. Don’t abandon other lead generation tactics –This can take time (see #9), and even when you are fully functional with inbound marketing, you are not likely to satiate sales’ need for leads on inbound alone. Keep a variety of demand generation channels and tactics to feed the funnel.

Again, please join us for an awesome online panel on Thursday so we can share more ideas and have some fun talking about inbound marketing. And, I hope these tips help!