Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shaw identified key criteria for hiring inbound marketers in their book, Inbound Marketing. Candidates should be Digital, and Analytical, and they should have extensive social media Reach along with the ability to create Content. These DARC criteria provide a solid basis for finding the right people to staff your inbound marketing team. It's been less than two years since this great book was published, but already things have changed, so I'm proposing a new set of criteria - CARE.
C - Content is still a vital element in an inbound marketer's bag of tricks, but now it's more important than ever. Content is driving everything we do in inbound marketing, including blogging, SEO, social media and lead generation. If there's one criteria that trumps all the rest, it's the ability to create great content. We're looking for writers and idea generators in marketing these days. All of the technical stuff pales in comparison.
A - Analytical skills and experience are also paramount in importance. After content has been created, you must have the ability to analyze its effectiveness in attracting qualified leads and converting them into customers. Since Inbound Marketing was published, HubSpot bought out Performable to bring in advanced marketing analytics into the fold and has upped the ante on methods and tools for analyzing results and developing effective lead nurturing strategies.
R - Relationship building is now far more important than reach. Inbound marketing has evolved in the past couple of years to become a more targeted strategy based on finding your target market and having two-way conversations with them. The old emphasis on having lots of followers and "likes" doesn't get you very far if the people who follow you aren't potential customers. The new strategy is all about creating relevant, helpful or entertaining content for your target market, participating in relevant social venues and engaging in conversations in each of them.
E - Enthusiasm is hard to measure, but you know it when you see it. The best inbound marketers are passionate about their work. They love to create, share and analyze. They love to come up with novel strategies that produce results and demonstrate ROI. It's not a job, it's an adventure, to steal a phrase from the U. S. Navy. Build your inbound marketing team with go-getters who strive to be the best at what they do every day, and not just 9-to-5. Give them the training and tools that they need and compensate them for performance.
I chose the acronym CARE for a reason. Consumers are looking for a trusted relationship, not a quick solution. They want to know that your products or services are the best in the industry and that their needs will be satisfied for the future. It's hard to find the right people to fulfill these requirements, but if you look for these basic elements, you will be well down the road toward building a superior team.
Photo credit: Andres Rueda
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