We've been consulting clients large and small for several months now and really believe that there's some gaps in most strategies and a whole lot of hype with others. When our clients are struggling, we typically see that there's a gap in a key dependency of their overall marketing. A successful inbound marketing strategy may not include brand marketing, outreach or community development – but it's largely dependent upon them.
- Brand – it's almost impossible to have a successful inbound marketing strategy if you don't have a consistent look and feel, solid messaging and a voice for your company, products and services. People need to recognize you and understand how you benefit from them.
- Authority – outreach is largely seen as a public relations effort but extending your audience by finding others online is imperative. Many social media folks will just tell you that you build your own audience. Why would you do this if someone already has that audience? Go find them!
- Community – curating and growing an audience into a thriving community requires a unique content strategy, a lot of attention, and a talented team. However, once you've got a community – you've got an army of marketers. It's the holy grail of social media!
- Conversion – without a proper implementation of analytics, optimization and testing, you're not going to be able to convert the leads you have into customers. Identifying, measuring and improving your path to engagement is critical.
Too many marketing agencies are more worried about getting their share of the marketing budget and they often push companies into their direction. The problem is that these are like legs to a table… when you pull one out, the others become less effective. When we're working with a client, we often insist or push them to work with branding agencies, public relations firms and community development companies.
Even if we're 100% effective, without any one of the other elements, the overal inbound marketing strategy isn't as effective. Ensuring each dependency is effectively implemented provides a company with immense marketing reach, potential and performance.