Inbound marketing is on the rise. Traditional marketing methods such as cold calling, direct mail, and print ads are continuing to decline, as modern customers look to search engines, social media, website analytics services, and mobile apps, to get information about products – and the brands that market them – before they buy. Forbes analysts observe that today, it is not uncommon for customers to progress more than 70% of the way through their decision-making process before they even begin to engage with a sales representative.
However, organisations that employ an inbound marketing manager must typically wait 6 to 12 months to see a positive return on their investment (ROI) in training and developing in-house talent. A more assured way of achieving ROI from the time and effort invested in an inbound marketing strategy is by engaging the services of an inbound marketing consultant or inbound marketing specialist.
What Inbound Marketing Campaigns Bring to the Table
In contrast to the more aggressive and intrusive approach of outbound methods, inbound marketing strategies attract and engage with customers through the ability to create and promote content and experiences that are specifically designed for them. Inbound marketers look to produce campaigns with digital marketing and other content that speaks directly to the aspirations, needs, and issues that matter to qualified prospects, new customers, and established consumers.
One of the most popular inbound marketing platforms, HubSpot, defines the inbound marketing methodology as consisting of three main components:
- Attract: Use content and interactions with customers that provide value and cement your position as a trusted advisor.
- Engage: Continuously provide solutions and insight that address the problems and goals of customers, throughout the buyer’s journey.
- Delight: Create positive experiences, and provide the assistance and support your customers need after purchase, and throughout their relationship with your brand.
[Image source: HubSpot]
Through the creation and delivery of exceptional customer experiences, the inbound marketing “flywheel” business model eliminates friction and adds strength to inbound marketing campaigns at all stages.
[Image source: HubSpot]
Going further, it’s possible to define specific tools and best practices that further reinforce the inbound marketing strategy, during its principal phases.
[Image source: HubSpot]
The Role of the Inbound Marketing Specialist
An inbound marketing specialist or consultant is a professional who helps businesses create effective inbound marketing campaigns. The work of an inbound marketing specialist typically involves researching the market, analysing trends to help define an organisation's marketing strategy, and giving advice on how best to reach the target audience for a product or service.
To this end, the inbound marketing specialist assumes several responsibilities, including:
- Conducting market research to discover answers about what customers need, their habits and general market trends
- Developing, implementing, and tracking inbound marketing campaigns that may include digital marketing content such as blogs, white papers, email, social media, and events
- Collaborating with client organisations to develop and monitor their inbound marketing campaigns
- Managing content across multi-channel marketing campaigns
An inbound marketing specialist typically has an educational background that includes an undergraduate degree in business administration, marketing, communications, or related fields. They should possess some technical proficiency and familiarity with digital marketing platforms like Google Analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, analytics, and content management. Soft skills such as strong written and spoken communications and the ability to collaborate with others should also be part of the mix.
6 Reasons Why You Need an Inbound Marketing Specialist
A successful inbound marketing campaign helps to attract qualified prospects, and paves the way towards a smoother exchange between digital marketing, marketing content, and real prospect conversations. There are several reasons why you should engage the services of a professional inbound marketing specialist.
1. To Fill Your Inbound Marketing Skills Gap
Your organisation may not have an inbound marketing manager with the complete skillset outlined above for inbound marketing specialists. Working with a professional inbound marketing specialist will assure your business has the expertise of a dedicated agency that is fully competent and committed to inbound marketing, and also available to provide recommendations for your internal marketing team.
2. To Simplify the Inbound Marketing Process
While the inbound marketing methodology may be simple in concept, putting an inbound marketing strategy into practice can be a complex endeavour. Through their own expertise in digital marketing, and with the deployment of their own human resources, an inbound marketing specialist can do the behind-the-scenes work and heavy lifting for you, taking much of the complexity out of your inbound marketing campaigns.
3. To Help You Stand Out from The Crowd
Inbound marketing is now pretty much standard practice across most industries, so your landing pages, digital marketing, and other content marketing efforts must compete in an increasingly crowded landscape. Working with an inbound marketing specialist increases your chances of distinguishing your business from the rest of the crowd. For your inbound marketing campaigns, professional inbound marketing specialists also provide the skills and knowledge needed to increase traffic to your web assets and attract qualified prospects by encouraging them to interact with your brand.
4. To Help Align the Efforts of Your Sales and Inbound Marketing Team
Being able to attract qualified prospects is only part of the story for inbound marketers. For truly successful inbound marketing campaigns, you need your sales division to follow up on inbound marketing leads that have been qualified. Inbound marketing campaigns, therefore, require a degree of alignment between your marketing team and your sales team.
An inbound marketing specialist will be able to advise your sales team on how best to position themselves as helpful and trusted advisors to qualified prospects, and how to adapt their approach to cater for every aspect of the buyer’s journey of each of your customers.
5. To Take Advantage of the Latest Inbound Marketing Technology
Particularly for startups or smaller scale enterprises, acquiring, operating, and maintaining the latest inbound marketing technology may be a financial and logistical challenge. By partnering with a professional inbound marketing specialist, organisations of all shapes and sizes can gain access to powerful inbound marketing technologies like the latest Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, marketing automation programmes, and sales intelligence tools.
6. To Help Grow Your Business
By using an effective inbound marketing strategy, you can increase revenue by improving brand awareness, customer engagement, and the conversion of qualified prospects.
Under the direction of a qualified inbound marketing specialist, a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy will incorporate a number of key elements that enable your marketing team to encourage the right buyer personas to enter your lead funnel and ultimately engage with your sales process. These multi-channel marketing campaigns may include organic search and/or paid media, alongside great landing pages and content to attract leads, aid customer acquisition, and help nurture lasting relationships with new customers and existing clients.
The right inbound marketing manager will put the focus on attracting customers and bringing your target audience to you, so that you can deliver quality content at the right time to start a conversation.
Choosing the Right Inbound Marketing Specialist for Your Needs
To ensure success for your marketing team, it’s important to develop your inbound marketing strategy in tandem with the right team of experts.
At Incisive Edge we believe in combining SEO, PPC, paid social, content marketing, and marketing automation to nurture leads through your company’s funnel. By attracting the right type of prospects from within your target audience, and applying content within nurture streams to your inbound marketing efforts, the likelihood of conversion from multi-channel marketing campaigns increases greatly.
We design inbound marketing strategies and programmes that align with your ongoing company strategy. Once your company begins to execute, we’re here to constantly track your content, search engine optimisation, social media platforms, email and paid ads and drive your core revenue metrics and goals.
With us supporting you as a strategic partner, you have a complete inbound marketing team on tap. Whether you’re a startup that wants a ready-formed team at your disposal, or a scaleup who wants expertise in specific areas, we work with you to meet your exact needs.
For more information on how Incisive Edge can assist you, get in touch with us.