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S1E18 #SMB Advertising: Inbound Marketing Strategies for SMBs w/Elise Karlsen Bye

The guest in this podcast is Elise Karlsen Bye from Telenor Bedrift. She started her career working in Norway’s first agency in Norway that was fully focused on inbound marketing. During her years as an Inbound Marketing Consultant she’s worked with companies within B2B and B2C, in several industries and today she will give a brief about inbound marketing.

What is inbound marketing, actually?

  • Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that focuses on attracting your dream customers by creating relevant and valuable content. It’s the opposite to big commercial campaigns such as television, radio, billboards etc. which are non-digital, non-personal and shown to “everyone”. Inbound is more targeted.
  • It’s a form of marketing that’s supposed to feel helpful and useful, and only be shown to people that actually are interested in what you have to offer, or at least interested in solving a problem of theirs that you can help with.
  • By using blogging, online video, ads, lead capture and customer journey automation, you can more easily measure the effectiveness of your marketing, do adjustments based on data and get full control of the costs and value of your efforts. This makes the marketing more predictable and scalable.

If you are a small business owner, should you be putting effort into inbound marketing? 

  • The requirements are: you’re selling products/services of high enough value to make the customer do research, usually a few 1000 kroners, depending on your industry/customer. Also, you need to have interest in and time to spend on content creation and lead management, or have someone dedicated for this kind of work. 

Many businesses make mistakes in their inbound marketing efforts. To improve these, they should:

  1. Think long-term: Do not think about it as a regular marketing campaign with a start and an end date. Doing inbound means thinking long term, and to stay relevant you need to continually produce and renew content for your customers, and to make sure Google finds your page relevant.
  2. Be patient and realistic: Do not expect results too fast and have realistic expectations. Expect that your content will follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your content might actually fail. Have a proper plan and spend time preparing.
  3. Foster collaboration between Sales and Marketing: Ensure close cooperation between these teams. Sending leads to a Sales team that doesn’t prioritize them undermines the value of inbound marketing. Involve both teams from the beginning.
  4. Experiment and analyze: Feel free to incorporate elements from other marketing tactics. Analyze the results, and if they work well, continue; if not, adjust or discontinue them accordingly.
  5. Tailor the strategy to your company: Create an inbound marketing strategy that aligns with the specific needs and goals of YOUR business. A customized approach will yield better results.

How long before I see results?
You often hear the “within the first 12 months” rule, but it of course depends on how invested you are, how well you prepare before starting on content creation and the market you are. Make sure to set up a plan with milestones, and have more KPIs than just “sales”. Maybe something like: 

  • SEO ranking of your content
  • Blog visitors
  • Number of blog subscribers
  • Number of leads captured
  • Success rate of your workflows
  • Percentage of leads that becomes “Sales Qualified”
  • Number of Sales Qualified leads 
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