You know what inbound marketing is, right? The idea that to attract prospects and convert them to customers, you’ve got to give them something of value first?
Which could be that useful blog about the importance of knowing your buyer persona. Or that treasure trove of money management tips and business insights. Or that lol-inducing social media channel that barely even talks about its own business.
Instead of interrupting people’s lives in the way that TV and magazine ads do, inbound marketing makes this useful content a more organic part of your life. Educational, entertaining and underpinned by best SEO practice, inbound marketing is there as a resource when you need it, not as an annoyance when you don’t.
So, why use an inbound agency?
Inbound marketing helps businesses engage more people, generate more leads and inspire greater customer retention. And an effective inbound marketing strategy can be done by a well-run and knowledgeable in-house marketing team.
But there a number of reasons why an inbound marketing agency is perfectly placed to plan and produce your inbound campaigns...
Inbound marketing requires a wide skillset
From writers to designers, videographers to VR technicians, creating engaging, educational content – the heart of inbound marketing – requires a lot of talented specialists.
This fabled Dollar Shave Club ad (below) might look rough ‘n’ ready, as if anyone could have made it, but the brilliantly written script and expertly shot video took a team of writers and videographers days of singular effort to nail.
And while most of us won’t work to such scale, producing any form of content generation takes a considerable amount of time. Nearly half of blogs take between two to four hours, with over a quarter taking even longer. And even short videos need a range of equipment (decent smartphones or cameras, gimbals, tripods, mics, editing software, lighting), an experienced videographer and plenty of time for writing scripts, shooting and post production.
With all that time and money invested, who’s to say that the end result will be any good? Can your in-house marketing team make use of experienced copywriters, designers and videographers to create eye-catching, scroll-stopping, lead-generating and on-brand content?
Inbound marketing takes planning
Content may be king, but it’s the time and effort that goes into planning that helps it sit on the throne. If it’s not underpinned by insight, strategy and planning, your content isn’t going to hit the mark and have the long-term effect to make the time and effort worthwhile.
Insights are crucial because they unlock the truths that connect customers to brands. They present the problems customers face so you can work out how best to present yourself as the solution. Insights also help you understand where your competitors lie so you can work out the messaging that sets you apart.
Once your insights have been uncovered, you can work on your strategy – which is planning the why, what, who, when and how of your campaign. This incorporates market research, brand positioning, competitor audits, building buyer personas and content mapping – and that’s all before you put your fingers to a keyboard to come up with content ideas.
Oh, and it’d be remiss not to mention the importance of SEO at this point. Let’s face it, there are a lot of voices out there and in order for yours to be heard, it needs SEO support. This means undertaking keyword research to optimise your on-page SEO, finding backlink opportunities to improve your domain authority and ensuring your technical SEO game (website speed, image optimisation and so on) is strong.
The right inbound agency will not only have a comprehensive team of creators, it’ll have experienced strategic planners and SEO experts that ensure the content hits the right audience on the right channels to deliver short- and long-term impact.
Inbound marketing takes time
Inbound marketing isn’t a quick fix. If that’s what you’re after, it might be time to book that pricey TV slot or A4 print ad. There’s nothing wrong with those formats, by the way. In fact, we highly recommend traditional marketing in conjunction with an ongoing inbound and digital marketing strategy.
It’s not that you can’t see immediate results with inbound campaigns – you really can. But all successful inbound approaches understand that it’s a longer-term approach, where content creation and an optimised digital presence is seen as an integral part of your ongoing work.
Depending on your starting point, internal teams should allow for between one and two years before seeing game-changing results. However, with a dedicated inbound agency on your side producing content that’ll resonate with your target audience, you should expect to see results within half the time.