How to Shift Your Marketing from Traditional to Inbound in 7 Steps

November 13, 2014 Mike Klevorn

93153534Working for an agency who does both traditional and inbound marketing, explaining the inbound movement can seem… well… a little crazy to some folks. For many companies, TV or radio has worked well for years, sometimes decades. And the idea that marketing through blogs and content can replace this trusted media is a hard sell.

In my opinion, the biggest hurdle in the move to inbound marketing is the act of letting go. Letting go of the past. And letting go of preconceived notions.

Once you or your client do this, you are ready to get to work and transition to inbound marketing. To help you along the way, here are 7 steps to make the switch.

1) Look at the Data

It's no secret that media companies still utilizing traditional marketing strategies are struggling. In fact, the average time spent consuming print and radio declined 15.4% in 2012. And where are those people going? To online devices.

Don’t take my word for it. Look at your sales data, cost per lead, total number of leads, and average time of sales cycle. If you are struggling with the loss of reach or rising costs of traditional media, your data will surely show what is going on.

The reason you need to do this is two-fold. First, this will allow to you take a big breath and embrace changes. And two, you will need to review these analytics to compare once your inbound marketing is in place.

2) Assess Your Digital Assets

One of the great things about traditional media is your partner usually has the capacity to produce your commercial. If you need a radio spot, no problem!

Now for inbound to work, you need to have a website built with conversion architecture in-mind. You need to have a social media presence and the people to create content. So, to make the jump to inbound successfully, these are the basic pieces that must be in place.

3) Review Budgets

It’s true, inbound marketing costs 61% less than outbound marketing. But, it still requires an investment. Before diving in, I suggest reviewing the budgets and making a portion of that budget available for inbound marketing.

For a company who has been traditional media reliant for years, going cold turkey for inbound probably isn’t going to happen. (Sometimes it’s not the solution either). Look at your marketing budget and look for areas to racket back to afford inbound marketing. In many cases, for the cost of one TV commercial, you could run an inbound marketing campaign for a month.

4) Choose a Marketing Automation System

There are many inbound marketing systems out there. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, which you will need to evaluate against the needs of your organization. All I will say is, my agency made a decision to become a HubSpot partner two years ago and it is a decision we are very happy with.

5) Get Buy-in With Sales and Leadership

For inbound to work, you need buy in internally. And you need to have realistic and tangible goals. (Here’s some additional reading about SMART goals in HubSpot)

The reason people do not trust others is an inability to predict behavior. Bringing inbound marketing to your sales staff is the same way. They can’t predict the outcome.

I recently had a client who introduced the inbound process to their large sales staff and how it will benefit them. The discussion was met with skepticism. But, once they understood the process and the level of leads they would be delivered, there was all around buy in.

6) Set Editorial Calendars and Process

In the past, you had flight weeks for radio and TV. Now you have inbound marketing campaigns which can last for days or even months.

Document all of your social media and blogging processes-- that way once they are put into practice, there are guidelines and standards.

7) Learn Before You Go

Before you set up your first workflows, learn away! HubSpot offers so many great resources to deepen your knowledge of inbound marketing. Instead of your radio rep, your HubSpot partner agency or HubSpot Channel Consultant is your contact on the inside. Learn everything you can… the next step is putting your planning into action.

There you have it, the step to take your marketing from traditional to inbound! But, what you have just read is only a piece of the puzzle. Take the next step and download our “Beginners Guide to Inbound Marketing” to learn more about conversion strategy, nurturing, and the basics of inbound marketing.

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How to Shift Your Marketing from Traditional to Inbound in 7 Steps
How to Shift Your Marketing from Traditional to Inbound in 7 Steps

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