You know how it is when you set out to get yourself in shape by making changes to your diet and exercise routine, right? Well, the same frame of mind applies to inbound marketing strategy.
8 ways Inbound Marketing is Like a Fitness Plan:
Both require an honest and thorough evaluation of condition at the start of the plan. How is your marketing effort working today? How does it compare to your competition?
REALISTIC goals must be put in place and an equally realistic timeline for achieving them. Can you really expect leads to pour in as soon as you start your inbound marketing campaign (or expect to be ready for the Olympics a few months into your new fitness plan)?
Old habits must be broken and new ones put in their place. No more short term marketing campaigns (ding dongs & candy bars) for you!
It's very easy to give up or go off course on the big plan when something comes along that looks like a fast-fix. Switching marketing directions each day you wake up without piles of leads waiting on your desk instead of looking at the positive metrics and fine tuning them (diet pills instead of going to the gym for a workout).
No single thing in the plan will lead to success, it will be a synchronized effort. Changing up your meta tag on your home page, or getting an expensive new website built without the other parts of inbound marketing strategy in place is like taking a walk every morning and having a burger with fries for lunch, an ice cream snack and a late dinner.
There must be accountability - measurements must be taken. You cannot tell if your inbound marketing effort is working if you don't identify the baseline and see whether things are going up or down (weighing when you start and periodically for changes).
Trial and error, and forgiveness for failures are required. Not seeing results from your inbound marketing campaign doesn't mean quit; just like eating a fat-filled lunch one day doesn't mean you quit your diet.
No quitting (and no whining) allowed.
If you enter into the inbound marketing approach with a traditional advertising mindset or only focused on a few pieces of the overall strategy (like Social Media or SEO) you will likely have a lotof needless short-term anxiety. It’s important to acknowledge right up front that effective inbound marketing is a marathon, not a sprint toward ROI. There will be times when fear will try to drive you, your confidence will dip and you might even feel like just giving up. Just like in your fitness plan, this is most likely in the early phase of your journey.
You can avoid a lot of hand-wringing and sleepless nights by making sure you're focused on the right things at the outset. Keeping your marketing plan in good shape may not be easy, but it is possible and definitely worth it.