Learning from your peers is one of the best ways to see if you should get started with inbound marketing, or whether you're on the right path to building a solid lead generation strategy. That's why we started the "5 Questions With..." series. On today's edition, we got to hear from Sherie Toner, Jason Wellman, and Michelle Finley of Radio Advertising Calgary.
Radio Advertising Calgary was started by three account managers from Corus Radio Calgary. Together, Sherie, Jason, and Michelle bring over 35 years experience in marketing consultation and customized new media to their clients.
1. When did you get started with inbound marketing and what was the biggest factor in your reasoning to get started?
A little over a year ago we started to realize that traditional outbound sales methods like cold calling wasn’t working as it once did. The buying process had changed, and we knew it. We were already focused on thought leadership and started researching how we could use it online to attract leads. We read Matt Sunshine’s book, LeadG2: Getting Prospects to Raise Their Hands, and realized that inbound marketing was the answer to our dilemma.
2. What has been your biggest challenge with inbound marketing and how were you able to overcome it?
Time — inbound marketing does require a time investment, particularly if you’re implementing it yourself, as we are. It really pays off, but it does take time. We are 100% commission salespeople and we’re measured by our numbers. So to take time away from doing our regular work to do the initial strategy and setup was a commitment, but we knew long-term it ultimately bring our numbers higher than previously possible. We went ahead and initially developed 6 months worth of content at one time, so we could focus on that and get it done faster than if our attention had been spread out.
3. Where do you feel you've seen the most success with inbound marketing?
After only two months of launching the blog, we started getting website traffic from organic Google search. We didn’t expect success so quickly. Also, the whole process has made us thought leaders and it has improved us as individuals.
4. How has inbound marketing changed the way you market your brand or the way you approach marketing in general?
We’ve changed the way we approach prospecting — we’re now pointing people toward an article rather than pushing toward an appointment right off the bat. We have valuable content that we can send to prospects and use in the sales process, making us credible and giving us a reason to follow up. Being able to prospect with content sets us apart as professionals who help our prospects and clients, rather than just being viewed as people trying to sell them something.
5. What advice would you give to someone new to inbound marketing?
Start by reading Matt’s book, because it really does give you detailed look at what this is all about. It lays out exactly how to do it effectively. When you first start out, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, but go step-by-step and do what you know you can maintain. You can always add more later. Start with a strategy, and don’t jump right into creating content before you know what will resonate best with your audience. At the same time, know that it doesn’t have to be perfect to start with, just begin.