Inbound marketing in 2015 will be defined by a single term: competition. We’ve seen the industry grow at a staggering pace, driven by an irrefutable business case and some seriously smart early adopters.
This year, we’re going to see more business and agencies adopt the inbound ethos. As a consumer, I’m ecstatic – but as an inbound marketer, I’m worried. Competition is growing, and to beat our growth targets and dominate our industry, we need to be at the cutting-edge of inbound marketing.
Thankfully, the last year of inbound marketing has taught me tons – and to help us both achieve our marketing goals, I’ve shared my 10 quick inbound marketing resolutions for 2015!
10. Become an organisational superhero
Inbound marketers have a difficult job. We have to keep track of new leads, nurtured prospects, MQLs and SQLs, and a whole ton of content. We blog all the time, create hundreds of emails, write epic eBooks and guides, and attempt to tie them all together with workflows and automation software.
The more organised we can be in 2015, the better. This means taking advantage of as many spreadsheets, plugins and organisational aids as possible. I’ve already started on this marketing resolution, and put together a few free marketing resources – and you can download my Editorial Calendar template below!
9. Put as much effort into promotion as creation
If you’re still rocking a Content is King bumper sticker, do yourself a favour – bin it. This outdated creed is causing too many marketers to ignore an essential part of inbound marketing.
Content promotion is vital to boosting the exposure of your killer content. Without social media, email, print and word-of-mouth promotion, no-one will ever see your super-smart blog or epic downloadable guide. In 2015, focus on promotion as much as creation!
8. Get more creative with content
The B2B space is already heaving with killer content, and in order for us to stand out from our competitors, we’ll need to deploy a more diverse stable of content. Epic guides, infographics, SlideShares, roundup posts, podcasts and video blogs can all be used to attract, engage, nurture and convert leads.
Effective inbound marketing will require more than killer copywriters. We’ll also need talented designers, smart developers and expert content strategists – to identify the right channels for reaching our audience, and developing the right strategies to engage them. Thankfully, this is the most fun of my inbound marketing resolutions to enact: just start experimenting with content ideas!
7. Be hungry for knowledge!
Knowledge is power, and the more we’re able to learn about our industry, the more successful we’ll be in 2015. Aim to check out the latest inbound marketing books and eBooks (Paul Roetzer’s The Marketing Performance Blueprint is next on my list!), leading industry publications, branded YouTube channels and, of course, competitor blogs. If you can, read a little bit each and every day!
6. Stop caring about the SEO boogeyman
Search engine optimisation is still a vital channel for attracting prospects – but conventional SEO practices like linkbuilding and keyword manipulation are stone-cold dead.
Constantly changing algorithms are creating search engines that mimic real people. They look for valuable, popular content, and not specific keyword densities. If we want our business to sit at the top of competitive search rankings, we need to stop caring about SEO, and start creating quality content. For this marketing resolution to work, we have to stop obsessing over keyword densities and backlinks, and start worrying about readability, depth and value.
5. Make your marketing more Agile
Social media networks have created brand new possibilities for real-time marketing, allowing the smartest, most responsive businesses to convey their value in a topical, engaging and effective way. The Agile Methodology allows marketers the flexibility to respond to these real-time marketing messages, and in 2015, it’s essential that we all strive to incorporate elements of Agile into our internal processes.
4. Learn when (and how) to delegate
Inbound marketing requires more specialist skills and niche expertise than any other type of marketing. Whilst it may be possible for talented individuals to take on every facet of inbound marketing, the most successful businesses will use 2015 as a chance to delegate responsibility. This means leveraging freelancers, partnering with specialised agencies and hiring new team members in specialist roles.
3. Help marketing play nice with other departments
Inbound marketing is the perfect medium for effective sales and marketing communication, helping both departments to understand the roles and responsibilities of the other. When combined with integrated sales and marketing automation platforms, like HubSpot, we can turn sales and marketing alignment from marketing resolution to marketing reality.
2. Make data matter
‘Harness the power of data‘ has been a marking resolution for years – but in 2015, inbound marketing needs to be data-driven. Collecting information and statistics on social shares, email open rates, conversion rates and organic search traffic will allow us to evaluate the performance of our marketing – but to improve our marketing, we need to analyse these metrics for meaningful insights.
High bounce rates may mean that your landing page copy isn’t relevant enough, and a drop-off in search traffic may mean you’ve lost social media engagement. Data will reveal these problems, and even help you to solve them.
1. Write more
Every single blog post, article, guide, eBook and email you write is a way for potential customers to find your business. The more you’re able to write, the more channels you have for finding new leads, and the more resources you’ll have for nurturing those leads.
If you’re looking for a professional copywriter and content strategist to help with the last of these marketing resolutions, get in touch! I work with some of the UK’s leading inbound marketing agencies, creating unique and effective content campaigns for business and clients alike.