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10 Steps for Traditional Marketers to Make the Inbound Transition

By Chad PollittJun 13, 2012

Inbound Marketing TransitionThe marketing landscape has been evolving toward the Internet for many years now. Over the last few years the evolution has been accelerated. In this time inbound marketing has shown its worth by slashing cost per lead by 62% or more for many companies. Marketing professionals that see the writing on the wall are making the transition to online marketing. However, this transition isn’t necessarily easy for the seasoned traditional marketer. Below are 10 ways the traditional marketer can naturally make the transition to inbound marketing:

  1. Read, read and read some more – Inbound marketers consume huge quantities of industry information almost daily. The Internet is constantly changing and so is online marketing. Dedicate at least a half hour per day to consume content from some of the industry’s most trusted blogs.
  2. Leave blog comments – By leaving comments clarification and understanding can be gained. It also draws attention to the commenter and can lead to some incremental traffic for them.
  3. Write, write and write some more – Start a personal blog and write about past experiences, current challenges and goals. Pose questions about the Internet du jour learned from the daily consumption of industry content.
  4. Be social – At a minimum, set up accounts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Distributing self-produced content, other people's content and having conversation will lead to rewarding engagement and new blog readers. This experience over time will prove to be very valuable.
  5. Follow industry thought leaders and emulate them – This is advised because it demonstrates what right looks like. Those at the top of the industry are there for a good reason; they’re doing inbound marketing the correct way.
  6. Set up and explore Google Analytics – Traditional marketing metrics and today’s Internet analytics have some similarities as well as major differences. It’s important that these similarities and differences are sufficiently audited and understood. Having analytics on a personal blog should provide enough data to offer up a good lesson.  
  7. Experiment with SEO – As SEO content is consumed and tips noted, use the personal blog as a testing ground. Don’t change on-page factors too often or its impact may be cannibalized.
  8. Write a white paper, guide, cheat sheet, etc. – As more experience is gained and more blog posts are written, put together a piece of advanced content that others might find valuable and problem solving. Offer this content on a personal blog behind a form and watch the conversions come through.
  9. Build an email list – By publishing advanced content behind a form, an email list will begin to take shape overtime. This email list is the most tangible asset the personal blog provides.
  10. Create a newsletter – Having a new budding email list is great, but if the addresses just sit in a spreadsheet, what good are they? Use the list to send monthly, bi-weekly or weekly newsletters full of content. The content can be unique or a summation of the most popular blogs since the last newsletter.

Not all traditional career marketers will be comfortable executing everything in the above list in their spare time. For those who aren’t, a personal blog that revolves around extended family is an option. It can be used to create and publish family-centric content (blogs, photos, video, etc.) that uncles, aunts and grandparents would be interested in consuming.

Instead of creating a whitepaper, a photo album in PDF format for family members to download is a good alternative. Once enough emails are collected, a family newsletter can be distributed. This type of activity will make the extended family very happy and provide the inbound marketing lessons traditional marketers will need in order to make the career transition to the Internet.



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