10 Ways to Kickstart Your Inbound Marketing Program

You are creating great content and your website delivers a great experience with a strong conversion rate. Your initial inbound marketing results are promising, but you need more.

Inbound marketing represents a major investment for B2B marketers. Not only do you still need to create content to capture leads, nurture prospects and support sales, you need to create sharable and discoverable content also and then patiently wait before you see the return on this new investment.

Traditional B2B marketers face a challenge. You have a proven marketing formula that includes investments in acquiring new contacts (or lead generation) and in nurturing those contacts. You want to change, but investing in inbound ahead of significant results throws a wrench in your budgeting and planning.

Meanwhile, newer competitors are at a distinct advantage. Their marketing has been built from the start around the idea of inbound marketing (even if they didn’t call it that). Inbound marketing activities are proven, funded, mature and ongoing. They never had to go through the transition you are facing.

To ramp up quickly, identify opportunities that emulate or create inbound marketing from your audience’s perspective, before you have the social footprint, recognition, audience and search presence necessary to sustain your inbound program.

Here are ten paid marketing activities that will create much of the inbound marketing experience for your audience.

Social Advertising

It may be some time before your social media presence is large enough to effectively seed your content through your own social media footprint. Until then, look to social advertising opportunities to present your content in a way that is similar to how it would be discovered in social media.

One benefit of social advertising is you are reaching an audience that is active in social media and may be more likely to share your content. Here are social platforms to consider:

Although Facebook and LinkedIn may be core to your long-term inbound marketing program, you cannot emulate organic social media sharing with paid programs on these sites nearly as well.

In contrast, Twitter, StumbleUpon and Digg indicate a listing is sponsored, but otherwise include it in the interface like other content.

Crowdsourcing Content

Develop content that includes, in part, quotes and perspective from a range of individuals in your market. Not only does this give you content, your new content will likely be shared by many of the individuals that were included, giving you an immediate boost in social sharing of your content.

Focus has done a very good job of creating a community that allows them to offer this kind of content to a broad range of B2B marketers. Of course, there is no reason to limit this to when you are ramping up your content marketing, it is useful anytime.

Paid Search

No explanation is needed here. However, do not focus your ramp up exclusively on paid search. Your inbound marketing program will rely on traffic sources beyond search, use this ramp up time to ensure your program will work across your target social media channels as well.

Advertising Integration

Do not overlook the potential to integrate your content and social media presence into advertising programs, particularly sponsorships where you are the only marketer on the page or section. Including your blog feed or twitter stream will give you an immediate content-focused traffic boost.

Your Turn

What other ways do you ramp up inbound marketing programs to quickly get through the initial slow period? Or do you feel sufficient volume is possible through aggressive seeding and outreach?

Please share your view in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake)

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