Inbound Marketing For 2016 Q1 Starts Now—Here’s What To Do First
How does your calendar look for the rest of the year? Are you signed up to bring your famous dessert to the company’s annual holiday luncheon? Maybe you’re saving the date for the office’s upcoming Ugly Christmas Sweater party.
But there’s something else—something important—you need to get on your calendar today, and it doesn’t have anything to do with pumpkin pie or ugly sweaters.
If you’ve been considering inbound marketing—maybe you’re wondering how much money you’re leaving on the table, questioning how your team can get better qualified leads, or trying to figure out how your website can perform better—you’re already in the right mind frame. But, before you do anything else, you need to figure out if inbound is a good idea for your company and something you can succeed at.
Here are four first steps you can take now in order to see rad results for your 2016 inbound marketing plan.
1. Figure out if your budget can handle inbound marketing.
Before you go any further, make sure you understand that the financial premise behind inbound marketing is really similar to any other campaign: You still have to figure out beforehand how much of your budget you can put toward it to make it work. Inbound marketing has great ROI, but no matter how you do it, it costs.
If you choose to do inbound internally, you’ll have labor costs for your own team. Generally, companies who do inbound themselves choose to spread out the load or hire a specific person to shoulder the responsibilities. We’ve written these articles to help companies who are thinking about doing inbound in-house:
- 4 Ways To Kickstart Your B2B Content Marketing In 2015
- 10 Reasons Not To Hire An Inbound Marketing Agency
There are some upsides to keeping the work in-house—but don’t forget to weigh those against the downsides, too. (You can get our take on that right here.)
If you partner with an agency, you’ll need to budget the cost of working with them. You can find out more about what you can expect when partnering with an agency in our article series, The Control Freak’s Guide To Hiring An Inbound Marketing Agency. (Make sure you check out the second part of the series to find out some specific questions you may not have thought about asking.)
2. Put someone in charge of your inbound marketing.
The second part of your checklist should be to determine who will be in charge of your inbound marketing. Whether you decide to do inbound yourself or work with an agency, if you want great results (and a minimal number headaches), you have to do this step. While we can’t say exactly how a marketing plan would look at your office if you DIY, we can show you what Henry, our inbound marketing consultant, does.
(That’s a look at the breakdown of how much time Henry spends on the various components of making inbound marketing successful.)
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you who the right person is (or people are) if you decide to do inbound marketing internally. But taking a look at the skillset needed can give you a good idea of where you should get started.
3. Figure out how much revenue you can generate.
Once you’ve answered questions about budget and authority, you have to decide if inbound marketing satisfies the “need” of your business.
One cool way to do that is to use this ROI calculator.
We designed it to show your company’s opportunity with inbound marketing by giving you actual numbers that indicate your potential ROI. Answer less than 20 questions using your own data, and you’ll see an actual number of organic visits and leads you could generate each month with inbound marketing, as well as the potential revenue you could generate in your first year. You’ll get the results as a PDF, so you can refer back to it and share it with your team.
I’m going to pause for a couple lines so you can click over and do it.
Seriously, go try it out.
If you like the results, and want to know more, let us know.
Not everyone will see amazing results with inbound marketing, and it’s better to learn that before you’ve invested a lot of money. That’s another reason the calculator is helpful: If the results aren’t what you expected, keep doing some investigating to see if inbound marketing is the best tool for you or if other options may serve you better.
4. Start today if you want results in 2016!
The best time to start inbound marketing for 2016? Yesterday! The next best time? Right now. In our experience, inbound marketing takes a good 3-4 months to get off the ground and really start generating results. If you start right now, you’re putting yourself in a great position to see results early in 2016. The longer you wait, however, the longer it will take for you to make progress. So sit down, go through the steps above, and see if inbound marketing could be a marketing opportunity that brings you more visitors, leads, and customers in 2016.
To recap, here are your first four steps:
- Figure out how much you can spend.
- Determine who will be in charge of your inbound marketing efforts.
- Investigate how much you could potentially make if you go the inbound route.
- Don’t wait to get started.
Once you’ve completed the first four steps, you may have some questions about working with an agency like Nectafy. I’ll bet we can answer some of those questions—like how we deliver inbound marketing services and the investment that is often required—in this sample proposal.
Or, if you want to get down to brass tacks, you can set up an inbound marketing evaluation here.