By definition, inbound marketing is all about building relationships through sharing content and conversation with your target market. This process takes time and a sustained effort to make it work. Starting from scratch, and following a typical inbound marketing strategy, you can expect pretty dramatic improvements in brand awareness and lead generation within 6-12 months. That's what we preach, and we can back it up with data. But what if the steady, organic approach isn't enough? What if you need to make a splash quickly in order to meet or beat investor expectations or anticipated market changes? Here are some recommended approaches that can get you out of the gate faster and turbocharge your inbound marketing strategy.
This is critical. You must get your sales and marketing ducks in a row before your official website or product launch. We're talking months in advance. During that time you are getting everything set up for a major marketing blitz the first week following your launch date. That means creating a solid strategy and budget, building or updating your desktop and mobile website and setting up your social media personas and profiles, preparing your inbound and outbound campaigns (blogs, social media ads, webinars, videos, PPC, email marketing, mobile marketing, TV and radio ads, PR networking, print ads, trade shows and events). You need to create landing pages with A/B tests for each of these potential lead sources so that you can quickly analyze results and move assets where they are most productive. You must have the right marketing automation tools and experts in place to understand and optimize the data and make agile, intelligent decisions. Many companies make the mistake of assuming that all of this stuff will work itself out after launch. Big mistake.
Yes, this launch campaign is going to be expensive, very expensive, but if you want to achieve your goals, you must be prepared to invest enough to overcome one huge obstacle - the fact that nobody knows you.
What if your launch is wildly successful, and you get thousands of sales leads in a day or two? How are you going to handle that volume of opportunities? As part of your pre-launch strategy, you must pay attention to the bottom of the sales funnel. Make sure your marketing and sales strategies are aligned both in principal and in execution. This involves integrating lead generation and CRM systems and setting up automated processes to route warm leads to the most appropriate sales rep or team. If you want to avoid losing customers, your team must respond quickly and in ways that will ice the deal rather than scare potential customers away. This involves setting up a sales process that becomes second nature to the sales team.
You don't see NASCAR or Formula 1 drivers coast around the track unless they run out of gas or they have already won the race. The trick to market dominance is rapid acceleration followed by sustained acceleration. If you plan to peak out and cruise, your competitors will have an opportunity to catch you. This is where inbound marketing can really shine. After the dust settles from your launch events, and your TV spots have gone cold, you need to be even more aggressive on the content marketing and social media side. Your team must be cranking out great blogs every day, brainstorming and producing entertaining videos, and they must be all over Twitter and Facebook 24/7, capturing and nurturing your fan base to keep the flame burning. Do something new and unexpected early and often. Your market's attention span is short, and they are hungry for something they haven't seen or heard. The cool thing about inbound marketing, unlike outbound campaigns, is that it can build a loyal following over time, so you accomplish two key goals at once:
So how much does the 0 to 60 strategy cost? If you can raise $1 million for marketing, do it. If not, raise as much as you can. Your inbound marketing agency will put together a realistic strategy that will get the most bang for your buck. Not prepared to spend much and looking to address marketing after launch? Good luck with that. You are swimming upstream in a very fast river. Our philosophy is to be very realistic and up-front about these things. You get what you pay for...
Photo credit: Charles & Hudson
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