When people ask me what I do, I’ll say something like “inbound marketing, which is a type of educational marketing that encourages buyers of any product or service to easily locate sellers of that product and service, rather than the other way around, like most traditional forms of marketing.”
There is usually a blank stare and a nod, however some of the more curious/adventurous types may ask questions about what exactly that is, or how i do it, etc.
The truth is, inbound marketing is an amazingly simple concept that is very complicated to explain, and even more complicated to execute.
It’s the rocket science of marketing. Its easy to say “we create aircraft that sends people to space”, its a lot more difficult to imagine how to do that exactly and then build it.
Skills To Pay The Bills
There are fundamental skills and essential knowledge that must be employed in order to build great inbound marketing campaigns. These are a few:
Experience- The experience you need to be great at inbound is ironic, because you can’t get the experience without being allowed the opportunity to get experience. It’s like learning to drive: you can allow your teenager to take driving classes, but if you put them behind the wheel of a ferrari as soon as they have received their license, chances are they will wreck it. They should start on something small and be monitored with close supervision.
Also, just because someone has experience in marketing, does not mean they will be successful at executing great inbound marketing campaigns. Keeping with the driving analogy, drivers who have been behind the wheel of a 4 door sedan their whole life will not automatically know how to drive a motorcycle. Inbound marketing is a completely different vehicle from other marketing tactics and strategies.
Effective inbound marketers will have experience designing and executing the individual parts of inbound. If your current in-house marketing personnel does not have that experience, tasking them with inbound may be a huge loss of revenue and time.
Tools-One of the main reasons experience is such a critical issue for running proper inbound marketing campaigns is due to the plethora (thats a fun word) of tools involved, that are all integrated together.
Typical inbound campaigns will have tools for blogging, social media, email, automation, analytics, landing pages, forms, calls-to-action, design, reporting, and more depending on the specifics of the campaign.
Lots of ingredients and cooking utensils, and every client has a unique recipe that isn't given to the chef inbound marketer; they have to figure it out. The great thing about Hubspot is all of the “cooking utensils” needed are located in one “pantry”, to help create, design, write, and analyze more efficiently.
The best inbound marketers not only know how to use these tools, they aim to exploit the ones most suitable for each campaign.
Processes-With so many options to choose from, and things to do in inbound marketing, it’s critical to organize the tasks, time, and the personnel involved. Everyone has their strong suits, but if you can’t manage an inbound project effectively, or be held accountable for time, then you will not succeed as an inbound marketer. Without process or accountability, critical pieces in the campaign will be missed or have extreme delays.
Understanding- As I said at the beginning, the main goal of inbound is to get buyers of any product or service to easily locate sellers of that product and service. How does one do that? There must be a deep understanding of the target audience and their behavior.
This requires going above and beyond ordinary market research. The effective inbound marketer has to get on the front lines: inside the manufacturing facility, the boardroom, and the financials. Talking to the sales department, upper management, and customers. Its an understanding that requires a level of trust most marketing personnel are not afforded. But without it, an inbound marketer will not be able to create the type of educational, insightful, engaging content needed to be found and received well.
But Wait... There's More
There are more qualities an effective inbound marketer will need, and you can read all about them in our new exclusive ebook “Hubspot: DIY or Not?”. It will not only go over the qualities an inbound marketer will have, but also:
the cost breakdown in time and money to execute inbound campaigns yourself, versus outsource to an agency,
other factors to compare outside of time and money,
and if you decide to use an inbound marketing agency, how to find and choose the best one for your company.
If there are qualities or abilities we missed, let us know in comments below.