Inbound marketing isn’t as simple of a service as SEO or PPC management. It takes a significant commitment from both you and your partner agency to formulate a strategy, get all the different pieces aligned, and organize a solid plan of action.
While there really is no “right time” to start inbound marketing, there are some preliminary steps you can take before diving in. Here are a few things to consider before you get started with inbound marketing:
Is Your Sales Process Streamlined and Scalable?
Before you start to seriously consider inbound marketing, you need to make sure you have a well-oiled and efficient sales process in place that can be scaled with relative ease. After all, you can generate leads until the cows come home but this won’t mean a thing if your sales team can’t handle the load. So make sure you have a clear and repeatable process in place or you will end up wasting a lot of time and money marketing to prospects that you’ll never follow up with.
It’s also important to mention that your sales and marketing teams need to have a close relationship in order to get the most out of inbound. In fact, your entire organization should be bought into the idea or else there will be plenty of hiccups and roadblocks that might prevent you from reaching your goals.
Is Your Website Getting Traffic?
The full impact of inbound marketing can only be seen if your website is already getting a lot of traffic. Of course, inbound can help generate visits through blogging and social media, but you really want to make sure your website is fully optimized for SEO before diving in.
Organic traffic never hurt anyone and having an effective strategy for both onsite and offsite SEO can only increase your chances of generating more leads through inbound marketing. On the flipside, if your website isn’t getting much organic traffic, you aren’t really giving yourself much to work with in terms of lead generation and could end up wasting a lot of time and effort. This is why we always recommend SEO audits as a preliminary step.
Is Your Site Design Up To Date?
You really want to make sure your website is up to date with an attractive, modern design and fresh content to grab your visitors’ attention. You also want to make sure you have a clear conversion path to bring them to the second page, then the third page, and so on.
If you think your website needs a facelift, don’t fret too much. Most inbound marketing agencies will offer creative and development services and be able to get your website on the right track before kicking things off on the marketing side.
Do You Have the Capacity?
Even if you decide to partner with a dedicated agency, somebody will still need to act as the point of contact and ensure the project stays on track. You will also need to make sure that everybody within the organization is bought in the idea of inbound marketing as you will occasionally need input from other departments – mainly for content approval identifying customer pain points.
This means that you want to make sure your organization has the capacity to take on inbound marketing before you get started. If every department is being spread thin and communication is difficult, it might be wise to tackle this problem first, before diving into inbound.
Getting Prepared for Inbound
There is no perfect time to start inbound, but there are certain things you can do to help your campaigns run smoothly. Ironing out the kinks in your sales process, optimizing your website, and allocating resources are necessary actions to take before diving headfirst into inbound marketing. Of course, it’s never too early to start vetting agencies, and a good partner will be happy to work with you and help tie up these loose ends beforehand.