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28 Sep

The Do-It-All Marketer: A Simple Guide To Integrating Inbound Marketing for the First Time

While many businesses have entire departments dedicated to marketing, others have one person. He or she may also have other big responsibilities, but marketing was something tacked on to his or her job description.

If you’re in this position, you’re not alone. The dynamics of different companies demand different marketing needs.

Our client Aqua-Chem, for example, directly markets its technical water equipment to very large clients (e.g., the U.S. military, cruise ships, and even Chinese pharmaceutical companies), but the company still needs inbound marketing to expand its client base into other industries and maintain authority among its competitors.

For our clients and everyone else, it’s essential to market your products or services across all relevant channels. It’s a hard job for one or two people, but it only takes a few essential elements to create material that people will come looking for online.

Focus Your Content

First step: decide what a potential customer will do to find your service or product. Will they search online only when they have a problem? When they’re curious? When they’re ready to upgrade equipment?

Experiment with types of content and digital media where they will look and when they’ll be seeing the content.

Here are a few examples of simple strategies for certain businesses:

  • Consulting Services: Write blogs often with useful information and promote the success of clients on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • Restaurants: Post regularly on social media, focusing on Facebook, Instagram, Groupon, and Snapchat to promote specials, unique dishes, and the culture of the staff.
  • Manufacturers: Invest in visual content (i.e., videos, photos) that showcase products and demonstrate the company’s commitment to quality and innovation.

Equip Yourself

Once you have a general idea of your strategy, it's time to learn some basic tools.

If social media becomes essential to your strategy, you’ll need to create a personal profile on all platforms, set up a business page (if there isn’t one already), and give yourself administrative access to it. A Facebook business page, for example, looks tricky, but there are plenty of resources to help you get the hang of it. Once you master it, the reach can be very powerful.

Social can be spontaneous, fun, and informal, but it’s essential to make a content calendar to map out consistent posting. Once you have the calendar, decide the time of day where the most people will see your post. This blog post from HubSpot will help you determine that.

If you plan on adopting a blog, make sure you plan at least 10 to 15 blog ideas and add more as you think of them. Having a topic, with choices, ready makes the writing much easier to coordinate with your schedule.

It’s also not a bad idea to take a few online tutorials. Lynda.com, by LinkedIn, has loads of resources. Start with branding, content marketing, and search engine optimization before moving on to other tutorials.

Don’t Sweat Technical Ability

There is a certain technical threshold that you need to reach for integrating content online, but focus on generating friendly and helpful content with well-written text and fancy graphics. That will give you an edge, but check out this blog article on an unlikely digital marketing gem that will help you develop great content.

Outsource When Necessary

If you decide that video content can add the best value, there’s a 99% chance that you won’t be able to do it on your own. You’ll find many videographers out there that specialize in making marketing videos for certain industries. Even written content can be produced by freelancers.

Pitch the value to your boss with research that demonstrates the success of content marketing. Getting a workable budget shouldn’t be a hard sell if you find quality creatives with proven success.

Adapt Always

Finally, make a habit of testing and recording everything you do. It’s easy to make a calendar, write down what you posted at what time, and see what does the best. Test different days of the week and subject manner. Adapt and modify your strategy if you’re not happy with the results.

Being consistent does not require that you be rigid. Be flexible, confident, and open to learning more.