Before expecting all the employees across the company to embrace inbound marketing, they need to understand it’s an ongoing process and a different way of doing business. This is crucial to getting all parts of your organization on board with inbound marketing.
Why You Need Employee Buy-In
So they realize this isn’t just another ‘project,’ employees need to understand inbound is not just simply writing some blog posts and sending marketing emails. Each and every employee plays a role. It’s up to you to get them to embrace these changes and get all employees to help form the company’s inbound marketing army.
It’s a lot easier to gain employee buy-in for inbound marketing if you first have the full support of your leadership team. If you don’t yet have buy-in from your leadership team, read what you can do to get it.
Once you have buy-in from your executive team, it’s on to the employees. Here are 5 tips for getting all of your organization on board with inbound marketing:
Kickoff with a Workshop
You’re delivering a specific message, selling a vision. Sure you have the leaders on board, but without each employee doing their part, you’re going to have a very tough road ahead. Formalize the company-wide initiative by kicking it off with an employee workshop.
Consider this workshop to be your catalyst event for conveying the value and the impact inbound marketing will have on the business. With their help, inbound will change the way your business operates, the impact each employee has on the business, and the trust your industry has in your company.
This purpose of the workshop is to communicate:
- What inbound is
- How the company is going to do it
- Why it’s important to be a part of the effort.
Leverage the Staff
The first thing we must understand is that inbound marketing is not up to one person (even if you only have one person in marketing). Your inbound efforts will not succeed unless every single member of your organization plays a part in this initiative. Every. Single. Person.
Similar to what you may have gone through convincing the business leaders to embrace the philosophy, you’ll need to do it again to get employee buy-in for inbound marketing. Luckily, with leadership’s endorsement and participation, it should be relatively smooth.
Insourcing might be the best source of your company’s content – directly from your employees. They know the most about the company, the customers, and the industry.
Not everyone in the company will be a writer (very few, in fact) so don’t expect people to write your content for you. But don’t worry. Each of us has our own unique way of communicating, you just need to find what that is to make it easier for employees to share their knowledge with you, and then transform it into the content format you need.
Record an interview with a member of your R&D team. Listen in on customer service calls. Invite someone from sales to lunch for an in-depth conversation. Record the conversations or take diligent notes and turn them into content. Video your interviews and use clips on the website to help educate your site visitors. Talk to your CEO and turn that into a letter to the customers or record an interview and turn it into a podcast.
Create a Cross-Functional, Core Team
Build a team of leaders from each cross-functional team across the business. These team members should come together each month to discuss challenges and solutions. The meetings don’t have to be long, just productive. Unless your CEO has a specific role on the team, don’t invite them. Otherwise, the other team members are likely to worry about what’s being said more so than what’s being accomplished.
Have a set, simple agenda each month and set expectations at the very beginning. Describe the challenges, determine the solutions, and delegate tasks. The more productive and efficient the meetings are, the more engagement you’ll have from your team members.
Make it Real
Let them see you’re all serious about changing the way the company does business. Make inbound marketing responsibilities a part of employee job descriptions, whether it’s delivering a specific amount of content, monitoring and engaging with social media, or following up on marketing qualified leads within a certain amount of time.
The CEO needs to have a bigger part in the inbound effort than just receiving a report each month. Leaders need to play an active role too. Make sure the CEO understands what you need from them. Maybe it’s only one interview each quarter, but make sure the expectations are set.
Ingrain Inbound into Your Culture
Be sure to keep everyone engaged and participating in inbound to keep your efforts going strong. Continue holding workshops 1-2x each year. Not just for new employees but also as a refresher for veterans.
Also be sure to provide ongoing training throughout the year to make sure the appropriate people are able to master the tools and stay on top of changes to relevant software.
Share inbound successes. Don’t keep numbers locked away behind the finance door. Let them know that the work they’re doing is changing the organization. Once employees see the results from their work, you’ll notice a change in moral, a difference in the way your employees work together and, over time, the way customers engage with your company.
Plan ahead and, if done right, you should have no problem getting every member of the organization to adopt this mindset. Done right, you will never have any problem getting any more marketing budgets approved. Ever. Otherwise, inbound will fade into oblivion like the monthly potluck effort the HR team tried to launch 2 years ago.