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How To Get Started with Inbound Marketing

May 21, 2018
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According to HubSpot, inbound marketing is about "attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey."  These tactics are powerful, but just doing them won't deliver the results you need. 

Inbound marketing is more than just tactics and tools. It's a marketing philosophy that flips the focus from "interrupting" to "educating." In this video, I'll explain how to get started with inbound.


Ready to start with Inbound? Check out our campaign launch course!


Video Transcript

Hey, thanks for checking out this video. If this is your first time watching, or maybe been watching a while and haven't yet hit subscribe, please do so now. We publish new content each and every week and we would love to have you join our community.

So we're going to be talking about what it takes to build a solid, effective inbound marketing strategy. Now what we've talked about a lot on this channel, is inbound which is a style of marketing, or really more of a theory of marketing or belief about marketing, that says there are people who want to learn, that have certain pain points and want to be nurtured along the process but don't want to be interrupted. So traditional marketing is where you say, you know, "Buy now, here's my ad, check this out." You know where we really interrupt people while they're watching TV, radio, or direct mail.

Those will work at certain points, but inbound is a different philosophy. It's all about attracting people to us and saying, "Hey I have a solution for your problem. I'd love to share with you that. This is how we do it." Now there's a lot of companies that build software to help you do this. We are a HubSpot partner. I believe it's one of the best inbound software out there. It's really a software that can do everything from marketing and sales, to actually servicing now with some of their new offerings. It's a really great solution. 

But again, inbound is not a software. Inbound is a strategy, it's a theory, it's a practice. Now a lot of times, people start a content marketing strategy, a blogging strategy, an SEO strategy, maybe they start posting on social and they don't get the results they want right away. They get frustrated and then maybe a month in they go, "You know what? This doesn't work. Forget about it." They stop doing those things that they were doing to try to grow their business. Most of the time why it doesn't work, one it takes time. Two, they haven't built a solid foundation.

So, let's go to the whiteboard and talk a little bit about this. I'm going to use the analogy of a house. Because it's just one thing that we all should be familiar with. We all live in houses. So, if you've got a house and the first thing you do, you say, "I'm going to build a house." What's the first thing you do? Well, typically when we're talking about marketing strategies what people typically do is they go, "Okay cool, you know I'm going to start doing some social media. Maybe I'm going to try some SEO and then you know, I'm going to put my website there on top of it." They start with the walls, they started with the roof. They started with making things look pretty, you know maybe put some bushes in the front door and now they've built this profile, right? They've started to share what they do.

Now the problem is, they missed the most critical step. That's a foundation. Because if a storm comes, this house isn't going to make it. I mean as soon as the waves come and start pushing against this or as soon as resistance comes and you're not seeing the results you want, you know it's pushing, pushing, pushing, not going to work, boom. Now you have stuff knocked out. Maybe you still have your website going, but there's nothing here so it just hits flat. You get frustrated and you don't get results.

Building a solid foundation is the absolute 100% key to success. The reason a lot of people don't do it, is because it's hard and it takes time. Now a solid foundation is really built on this. You know first, you need to know who your buyers are. I know we talk about buyer personas and there's a lot of templates and resources about how to do buyer personas. But you really need to understand who you want to do business with. You really need to understand what they're pain points are, and if your product is actually going to solve their solution. Maybe even a solution that they don't realize they need. But you need to know who it is that you're targeting.

Secondly, you need to know who you are. What's your story? What's your business about? Who are you? How are you going to position yourself in a way that your buyers are even going to want to engage with you? How are you going to build that relationship? Then you've got to know the market. What's working, what's not working? Who's doing well in this space? Who's not doing well in this space? What can you learn from the people that are doing well?

And when you have this solid foundation, then you can start to understand, what are the types of things you need to build on that? So maybe you're in a market where social media isn't that big. Or maybe you're in a market where Facebook is not really your target demographic. Yes you should be on Facebook, there's a lot of people on Facebook. There's a lot of reasons to be on Facebook. But if that's not where your target audience is all the time, then your whole structure and your whole strategy shouldn't be around Facebook. And the only way you would know that would be by building this foundation.

Once you have this foundation, you can start to put a plan together. You're not just going to start throwing stuff up randomly. You know you're going to say, "Okay, you know we need to have some content marketing. We need to have some SEO involved here. We need to make sure that these are both tied together and the structure makes sense. Then we can put a roof on that. Then we can build a site around it. Now we have something to actually work off of." Building your foundation is the key to success, whether you're doing just digital strategy, inbound strategy, any kind of marketing strategy because it allows you understand your buyers, who you are, and who your market is. And how they all are connected. 

These aren't separate things that you could just figure out as you go along the way. Yeah you're going to learn more about them the more you get into the process and the deeper you dive into it, but if you don't start here you're not going to see success. Because once you have your buyers, then you can do your keyword research. Which is driving those anchors deeper. You can do content research. When you know who you are, you can start to develop your story. You can start to develop your brand identity. When you understand the market you can see what the competition's doing. You can begin to understand the channels that are most effective. Now you have this foundation, you're anchoring that foundation into the ground, and now you're able to build on that. So now you're able to, when people come to you, you know you're targeting the right area. You've got a good solid foundation.

Then you can tweak. Sure, things aren't going to be perfect along the way. But at least you have something to work off of. So this is something that's extremely crucial and it's extremely important. If you'd love to learn more about this, I actually put together a short course that teaches you how to do this. I'm giving you free templates that we have with video training. If you're interested, you can go ahead and click the link. It's in the description. Or the call to action, if you're watching this on our blog. This course is designed to help you do to make sure that you get yourself set up right so that then you can drive results in the long run.

It's not big strategy, it's not any of that. It's practical stuff that you can do, to start building out your buyer persona. To start getting your smart goals set up. How to do keyword research. How to build an inbound strategy the right way. How to build this foundation so that when you start doing content marketing, web design, blogging, search engine optimization, social media marketing, all of that, it actually gets you the results that you want.

So, before you start doing tactics, invest the time and energy to build a foundation. If you don't you're going to be frustrated, and you might even quit. Take the time, build a foundation and you will see results. But be persistent, keep doing the work, one foot in front of the other. The people that do the work, the people that build a foundation and then build on top of that are the ones that succeed. You can do it, just wake up and do what you need to do, each day for that specific day. If you've got any more questions again, comment below, we would love to continue the conversation. Until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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