Just getting started with inbound? You may be wondering, “how is this different from advertising?”
Let’s be clear: inbound marketing does not equal advertisements. It’s a different plan altogether.
We like this post by Scott Lambert that gives a comprehensive overview of inbound, and, most importantly, shows its relevance to anyone who’s trying to reach a market with any kind of message or product:
You don’t have to make your living in the business of marketing to benefit from a comprehensive, well-executed inbound marketing strategy. And you don’t have to be a sales professional to understand the necessity of having an effective sales strategy. But, you do need to have a basic grasp of the differences between inbound and outbound marketing in order to help increase your sales and revenue.
Ready to learn more? We thought so. Here’s a good place to get your inbound game going!
Aaron Riddle at the B2C website offers this no-frills, must-read checklist for getting started with inbound marketing. From setting goals to creating buyer personas to optimizing for mobile and figuring out what on earth to do about those pesky search engine algorithms, Aaron’s got a user-friendly guide that’s just right for the inbound novice.
Not incidentally, goal-setting is one of the hardest things for marketers to get right.
We inbound folk like to talk about “SMART goals” -- goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. HubSpot has some great resources -- including a wonderfully simple yet effective SMART goal template -- to get you all set toward setting the kind of goals that’ll actually get you where you want (and need) to go. Check those resources out here.
But how will I know if I’m even getting close to reaching those goals?
What good is a goal if you have no way of knowing whether you’ve reached it or not?
That’s right -- no good at all.
There is no shortage of metrics by which you can evaluate your inbound efforts -- but they’re not all created equal. Does it matter how many Twitter followers and Facebook fans you have? Does it matter how often you post, or how many subscribers and comments you have? Surprisingly, many of these metrics aren’t that relevant to the actual effectiveness of your efforts. They tell a story of quantity -- but not necessarily one of quality.
So which metrics matter?
In seeking answers to that crucial question, we like Jon Miller’s quick and simple guide at Inc.com that outlines the five metrics that matter most for inbound marketing success. For a more in-depth look at the question, check out Jon’s free downloadable resource on understanding inbound’s most meaningful metrics.
(We also like this post from Marketo on the 5 CEO Worthy Metrics for Demonstrating Inbound Success.)
Getting inside what makes inbound work -- and what makes your prospects tick.
You don’t need a Ph.D. in psychology to be a good marketer. But a good working knowledge of how people think and make decisions is invaluable to the art and science of marketing. That’s why the folks at Smartbug Media have created a guide to the psychology behind inbound marketing -- what you need to know about what drives people into the funnel (and what drives them away.) A little theory can take your practice farther than you might think. Check out their free ebook here.
Other resources on the psychology behind inbound:
Marketing and advertising agencies call themselves professional storytellers. Methodologies at agencies deliver a brand story as part of engagements. Creative briefs bring the story to life. Agencies pump out papers on the subject and profile case studies where the story is key to client success. Within the industry, marketing conferences make room for storytelling as part of the agenda. Media and publications write on the topic with frequency. Storytelling permeates the profession…”
Exceptionally great marketing motivates people. The world’s best marketers are experts in tools and techniques, but they’re also well-versed in behavioral psychology. They understand what makes people act, and how to integrate it in campaigns, email marketing, content, and even graphic design.
There’s always more to learn about inbound marketing for higher education! Subscribe to our blog so you’ll never miss the latest, freshest ideas on generating leads, nurturing prospects, and closing deals -- and having a great time in the process.
Interested in learning more about how inbound marketing can help? Download our free guide.