(Last of a three-part series. Part 2: Why consistent marketing trumps creative marketing for business growth.)
People like to use the phrase “out-of-the-box” to describe something that is highly creative. I despise it. It’s trite. It makes my eyes roll to the back of my head. Just the use of the phrase negates the intent of the phrase.
Let’s get something straight. There is no “box.” Never has been.
On the other hand, structure and boundaries are good things. They often make you more creative, and they certainly make you more effective. That’s the case with content/inbound marketing, at least if you use a set of dependable marketing software tools or an all-in-one package such as Hubspot. As noted by Lynda Sydney, quoting from the book The Accidental Creative: How to be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry:
“There is the persistent myth that creativity results only from complete lack of boundaries and total freedom. The reality is that we are not capable of operating without boundaries. We need them in order to focus our creative energy into the right channels. Total freedom is false freedom. True freedom has healthy boundaries.”
She goes on:
This is the beauty of using Hubspot for your online marketing strategy – it provides the “healthy boundaries” and outlines the strategic steps an organization needs to take within “the right channels” for inbound marketing creativity — and success. This includes the number of blog posts, landing pages and offers, use and placement of keywords and more so the writer or marketing team member does not need to figure this out time and again with every new piece of content. By following the Hubspot formula, the content creator can identify the necessary elements required for the marketing piece, place them in the correct spot, and spend the rest of their time and energy on “being creative.”
Creativity vs. consistency in marketing
As I said in the two previous parts of this series, it is more important to marketing success to be consistent with your efforts than to be highly creative. A plan that is consistently executed over time will produce better results than a highly creative, but inconsistently executed plan.
Rather than interrupting people with “outbound marketing,” content helps your best leads and customers find you on their own when they need you. Content or “inbound marketing” – consisting of SEO, regular blogging, social media, landing pages with rich content downloads and targeted email campaigns – will produce high quality leads that will convert, over time, into customers and raving fans. This “formula” will work for many businesses and will cost far less than outbound marketing – 61 percent less.
More and more businesses are finding that content marketing is an important strategy for building their businesses. Seventy-three percent of B2B marketers say they are producing more content compared to a year ago and 58 percent of B2B marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months.
The Hubspot system cuts out the mundane stuff
The Hubspot software system eliminates a lot of the tedious work associated with tasks such as setting up landing pages and calls-to-action for the marketer who lacks programming skills. Removing the tedious tasks frees you to think of ways to make the content you share more actionable and – yes – creative.
There are endless ways to create content for blogs, social media and email campaigns, so there should be no fear that a structured system for content delivery will somehow stifle creativity. Whether you use Hubspot or another system, it’s important to apply your marketing program consistently over the long term for best results. That means blogging two or three times a week, engaging in social media daily, setting up landing pages regularly to build your email list and sending targeted emails monthly.
The bottom line is that creativity and consistency are in constant tension with each other. Both are important; they need to be in balance. Just get moving and get your marketing plan in gear now. Don’t have one? Get help.