Fads and trends come and go, but only a few tend to leave their mark in ways that have us talking about them long after they fade away. There are some like the PokeMon Go phenomena and the Manikin Challenge that stick around longer than they probably should. Then there are the ones, which are typically recycled, so you’ll see them reappear time and time again (Like choker necklaces! I remember rocking those in elementary school, and I just bought some recently).

However, there are some trends that are here for the long-haul and will only continue to evolve in the years to come. If you haven’t already heard the words “inbound marketing,” then it’s time we got you up to speed on what it is, why you need to incorporate it into your association marketing strategy, and how to assemble the perfect inbound team.

Ready to begin using inbound marketing at your organization? Download our Inbound Marketing for Associations eBook and learn how you can increase your organization’s ROI.

The following is a brief excerpt from Dave Martin’s blog post “3 Steps to Get Started With Inbound Marketing at Your Association” on our Aptify blog

Step 1: Get educated on inbound pencil-1486278_1280.jpg

With thousands upon thousands of resources available online, which ones actually deserve your attention? We’ve combed through the latest and greatest to give you some solid resources to get started with.

Get the Free HubSpot Inbound Certification, made up of 12 classes (a total of 4.5 hours of video). The HubSpot Inbound Marketing course is quite possibly the most comprehensive introduction to the inbound methodology that money can buy—but get this, it’s actually free. Available to anyone interested in inbound, the Inbound Marketing Course covers SEO, blogging, landing pages, lead nurturing, conversion analysis, and reporting. At the end of the course, you’ll know what it means to attract, convert, close, and delight, and how this is the foundation for an effective inbound strategy.

Step 2: Build your inbound team meerkat-1847835_1280.jpg

Far too often in the association management world, we encounter associations that take a very passive approach to inbound marketing.

Going through the motions of creating some social media accounts and perhaps a blog just won’t cut it with inbound.

Inbound is a dynamic interaction between associations and members: a “go-all-in” commitment no matter what kind of organization you are.

To do it right, you need to form a team that is dedicated to its planning and execution for the long-term. It requires an intuitive understanding of both communication, analytics, and the digital world.

At a minimum, your association’s inbound team should consist of: a marketing strategist, content copywriter, designer, web developer, and marketing coordinator.

Step 3: Assess your association’s current marketing strategy

Before starting any new marketing program, take into account your association’s current performance. It’s critical that you take time to reflect on your current marketing efforts and environment and objectively evaluate how they are doing. Ask yourself:

  • What are we doing now?
  • How is it performing?
  • What marketing assets do we currently have? (i.e., website, online content, printed content, videos, presentations, testimonials, etc.)
  • What is our budget?
  • What is going on in our industry or environment that may affect what we’re doing? (i.e., threats, opportunities, legislation, etc.)

Inbound marketing is here to stay, and chances are in the future, the word “marketing” will take on a new meaning, and this methodology will only continue to evolve. I have no clue where it will be even 5 years from now, but I think it’s safe to assume inbound isn’t going anywhere and the traditional approach to marketing is a thing of the past.

We’ve shared the first 3 steps, but there are a few more crucial steps you have to take before you can get your team started with inbound marketing. Download our eBook to unlock the rest of the steps.

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