Marketing automation is meant to make things simpler. To make the outreach, lead nurturing and buyer journey intuitiive and automatic - set it and forget it! Right!?!
Well...not really. Sometimes organizations are so consumed in getting the tactical and technical set up complete, they forget about the strategy! Marketing automation is great - but it's a tool for implementing smart marketing - not a substitute for strategic thinking. When you start creating your inbound marketing campaign, you don't want to miss out on key steps in your strategic planning. What's the one thing many marketers don't put enough time into?
When it comes to developing a strong communications strategy, there is nothing more important than understanding your audience. Besides the purpose of your organization, knowing who your prospective member is, what they value and how they interact with the world is crucial.
Now that we have data at our finger tips, there's no reason you can't easily determine your member persona. Here are three simple steps to get you there.
Last week's webinar "Adapting for the Modern Member's Consumer Journey" took a look at how today's digital environment has impacted the consumer journey across the board. While it dove into detail in regards to the changes of the journey and how it affects associations, in this blog I'll cover a few of the bigger takeaways from this webinar.
Approaching the board with a new idea can often be intimidating and nerve-wracking. At times boards consist of over 20 people who while very knowledgeable in the profession or industry your association supports, may not necessarily be knowledgeable when it comes to your specific role in the association. Marketing tends to be one of those knowledge bases where your board may be a little less informed. And so it tends to be that marketing professionals at associations need to present a compelling argument when asking for incremental budget or undertaking a new or even experimental strategy.
Most associations are adept at email marketing. A lot have even started employing marketing automation platforms to better arm their marketing teams with tools they need to optimize their email programs for better results. But there aren’t many associations leveraging the full arsenal of inbound marketing for a comprehensive content and communications strategy and their are even fewer associations taking advantage of an inbound marketing agency. Aside from the advantages of inbound marketing in general; an agency may be the secret weapon that elevates your team and gives your marketing department the boost it needs to show some major results.
Here are a few more reasons to employ an inbound marketing agency for your association:
I’m not sure you can call video an up and comer anymore when it comes to new marketing tactics. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends research, 79% of B2B marketers and 82% of B2C marketers in North America are using some form of this tactic, so it’s more like video has taken center stage.
That may be a downfall to those new to video as content platforms become bombarded and the need now becomes to create video content that stands out against the crowd. But at the same time, this medium is applicable for almost any channel - website, blog, emails, presentations - not to mention the shareability on social channels.
"It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change."
Change is hard. But change is good. As the modern member changes, so must the way we engage them. Inbound marketing offers a unique opportunity to change the way associations engage with their members as well as their prospective members. It is one marketing strategy that when implemented sees positive return across multiple business segments, yet it’s it has been slow to be adopted across the association industry.
Here are some of the most common myths we hear in regards to inbound marketing from association executives and a few ideas to combat those objections.
A decade ago marketers leveraged tactics like direct mail, buying email lists and banner ads to generate revenue with marketing activities. And while dated, these tactics still provide a sense of security for even the largest of companies.
You’ve done all of the hard work to get visitors to your website! Hooray! But that’s just the beginning. If they come to your site and immediately leave, it doesn’t do you much good. The next big step is to convert them into leads for your business. How do you do that, you ask? A well designed-landing page is critical to landing a lead from your hard working content.
There’s no doubt that the traditional marketing landscape has changed with the ubiquity of social media and mobile usage only increasing every single year. And even with a plethora of proof points including your own consuming and buying habits, that traditional outbound marketing philosophy remains the stalwart in many organizations.