Does Inbound Marketing truly work? That was the 1st question I asked myself when explaining what my job was going to be about during my first day. When I started, the whole concept was completely alien to me. Not only I knew how to do traditional marketing, but my role was all about public relations, never having to sell a product.
Now that 2016 closes and I know what Inbound is about, my whole opinion has changed. Finally, I feel like someone who can align my practical and professional knowledge towards marketing while also keeping the human side I’ve polished during my PR and mass media years.
One of the main things I learned with Inbound is that it is a different way to do marketing. You probably know that it is a different methodology than what most people are used to. So when it was explained to me, I wasn’t sure how effective it could be, being exposed to nothing else but traditional practices all my life - some which worked, and some that didn’t.
But that thought didn’t go a long way with me. So when I started watching the Inbound certification video made by the HubSpot Academy, I learned how it is done and its good practices, and how it's possible to make it work.
Once I started applying what I had learned, I realized my ideas and prejudices about this more humane way of doing marketing started to vanish. I learned valuable lessons that will stay with me throughout my whole journey.
When I used to work in mass media, everything I wrote was written to one person called “the reader.” This person didn’t have any special requirements or traits. He didn’t know a lot or too little. His only given was that he knew how to read.
In Inbound, it isn’t like that. Thanks to the Buyer Persona, when I’m creating content, I’m not just throwing a blog to the Internet waiting for someone to be hooked by it. Instead, I’m customizing text towards a person—my ideal customer profile.
When creating content, I’m thinking exactly how I want to talk to them. I want to tell, what I want to say, and how I can help make their problem easier to solve, almost like a conversation that will begin a relationship thanks to both pointing to the same objective: a greater good for both of us.
This wasn’t the only challenge. Having to learn how to do everything in a more human way, a more personal and less robotic one, no matter that we’re both trying to engage in business at the end of the day.
Even if all blogs follow a basic structure, Inbound isn’t just about writing the blog and being done with it. Instead, there is a methodology that is designed to engage customers and readers alike.
Even if in regular journalism you have guides to do this, such as an inverted pyramid, using the first paragraph as a hook, and using multiple sources to give validation to what you write, when writing for Inbound, that mindset is lost to give birth to another one, one that feels as if it was made for that organic visitor.
Just like it was described in the Content Certification, you must do it thinking as if it was a story when writing. Think of it as a fairy tale, with an introduction, development, or conflict and resolution. This way, readers will want to know how the story ends, or in this case, they will want to know the solution to their problems and needs and know how to keep improving.
My text is the guide. My advice and the results of my research are part of the resolution. Their success is my success. And this way, we will keep growing, evaluating each other, and forming stronger bonds.
My boss will want to hit me for this, but when I was studying my journalism major, I was closed to the idea of doing marketing. My idea was to work in mass media to help develop tech news easily for readers and viewers to learn. But, unfortunately, marketing was just an evil institution that wanted to make money off people. This was mainly my knowledge of how traditional marketing is done.
When I learned about Inbound and started working with it, when I got to know my clients and know their cases, I realized Inbound doesn’t want to create false ideas or try to convince a customer by force of my many benefits client’s product or service. Instead, inbound is a guide that is looking to deliver solutions for those who really need it.
If a qualified lead finds my client’s product or service useful, he will be my main target. I will try and show him how much easier or more successful his business would be if he tries what I’m offering. It isn’t invasive, and it is looking to offer solutions in a “take it or leave it” way. It will be his decision, not ours, and after he has made his mind, he will come to us, and we will be there. He will be delighted in the most natural way marketing has seen and will return for more.
Right now, I’m convinced that what I’m doing isn’t just to sell something but to help people, and I feel comfortable doing Inbound.
Even if in 2016 my Inbound journey just started, I hope I can keep growing and learning this 2017 to be able to deliver content in even more media, support the team, and get rid of the bad practices of traditional marketing.
My name is Izzy and I am a co-founder of CRM Toolbox, an award-winning HubSpot Solutions Partner. I lead our team of consultants who provide professional guidance to help businesses implement the HubSpot CRM platform migrate, integrate their tech stack to HubSpot to create a seamless environment for sales reps to use. There is nothing I love more than solving the challenges that come up when someone wants to migrate an old system or integrate their tech stack with HubSpot - it's like a puzzle!
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