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How to Staff Your Company for Inbound Success

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing
Published on July 8, 2015

We answer some common questions about how to get the most inbound marketing value out of your company's team.

Inbound_QuestionsAt WSOL, we think and write often about Inbound Marketing, and we regularly work with clients to help them plan and implement an inbound strategy that will drive traffic to their website, increase conversions, and maximize their ROI. However, while a partner like WSOL can help formulate this type of strategy, it’s important for the people at the company to be on board with these efforts, since their expertise in their products and/or services is what will help customers understand why they want to do business with them.

But even if a company is raring to go with their inbound strategy, they often have plenty of questions about how best to proceed, especially when determining who they should hire internally to support their inbound marketing efforts and how to best use these personnel. We wanted to share some of these common questions and the recommendations that we give when answering them:

1. I only have the budget to hire one marketing person; what position should I fill?

We hate to answer a question with a question, but do you have a content strategist or content specialist? While you may think that you need a Chief Marketing Officer or Director of Marketing to build a marketing department from the top down, the actual creation of content is critical to your inbound success. You need someone who knows your products or services and can create and curate content on behalf of your organization, and they need to start doing so as soon as possible. Every day that you don’t attract traffic to your site is a missed opportunity.

While it’s important to define your inbound strategy, including creating buyer personas and setting SMART goals, spending months planning a comprehensive, all-encompassing strategy before putting it into effect means that you are missing the opportunities that are immediately available. You need someone who can start creating the content that will attract and convert your customers right away.

2. How can we utilize our internal expertise in our inbound strategy?

You might have a content specialist who can create content and ensure that it is formatted correctly and optimized for SEO, but doesn’t know all the ins and outs of your products or services. Likewise, your company’s subject matter experts (SMEs) know all the details, but they aren’t necessarily the best people to write content. Closing the gap between these two camps is essential for the success of your inbound strategy. Your team’s knowledge is one of your greatest assets, and you need to get that knowledge out there on the web, establishing yourself as an authority that people can come to for answers to their problems.

If you’re having trouble utilizing the knowledge of your SMEs for your inbound marketing strategy, we’ve put together a few blogs that can help. Check them out to learn how to help non-writers create content, or how best to format your content to make sure it is providing value for your customers.

3. Should I hire a social media specialist first?

Social media is one of the most important marketing channels available, so many companies believe it’s best to have a person in place to manage their social media presence. However, if you don’t have any content to share, you’re not making the most of this opportunity. Without content that demonstrates the value you can bring to customers and helps them move down the sales funnel, your social media specialist won’t actually bring any value to the company. You should focus first on creating the content that will attract and convert customers, and once you have that in place, you can expand your strategy into social channels and use them to get it in front of as many people as possible.

4. How much new content do we need to create and how often?

The amount and frequency of content published can vary depending on each individual company’s goals; the important thing is to create unique, relevant content that demonstrates value and can be shared, while remaining consistent in your publishing. Creating 1-2 new pieces of content per week is a good starting goal, but we’ve found that publishing 3-4 blogs each week has resulted in a substantial increase in traffic to our website. Whatever goal you set, make sure you stick to it, and as you become accustomed to creating new content, see if it’s possible increase your output, which will continue to drive positive results.

Content is King

Based on historical strategies, many companies take a top-down approach to their online marketing, with managers directing strategy and working to define a plan and get approvals before putting it into action. This kind of thinking tends to push marketing goals further and further down the road and take longer to implement. Considering the speed at which things take place on the web, spending all that time planning and not acting means you're not taking advantage of a large number of opportunities. Every day that you aren’t creating content, you’re missing out on traffic that could be visiting your site and converting to paying customers.

Ideally, you’ll be able to create your own content, since you’re the expert in what your business or organization does and how you can meet the needs of your customers, but if you’re struggling to get started, you’ll want to find a digital partner who can lay the groundwork and help guide your inbound strategy. If you want to know how WSOL can help you determine the best way to succeed with inbound marketing, please contact us. We can’t wait to hear from you!