Traditional advertising is like a firework. It’s pretty at the moment, capturing everyone’s attention. But within moments it’s gone, and all you have left are a few lousy cell phone pictures. And the only people who see the firework are the ones outside looking at the sky. Inbound marketing is more like a parade, leading people in one direction, delighting and telling stories along the way. Parades travel through town, collecting a longer audience with every moment that goes by. Once people see a parade, they can’t stop talking about it. They share memories with family and friends on social media or through word-of-mouth.
Do you want your marketing strategy to be a flash of light or an event people come back to year after year?
Inbound marketing is the secret to generating an impressive number of customers. So why doesn’t everyone do it? Many companies lack patience and vision. Traditional advertising is all about instant gratification. You have a radio spot or newspaper ad, and the leads instantly start pouring in. Inbound marketing is more about playing the long game. When you write a blog post, you won’t have a large crowd knocking down your door (unless it goes viral on social media). But it will establish you as an industry leader.
So when will you see your inbound marketing strategy take off?
You won’t become a classic like apple pie overnight, but you can gain some traction in only a few months. The actual time it takes to see tangible results from an inbound marketing strategy differs for everyone. Imagine that you ask several different people to bake an apple pie. One person may be a pie-making champion but has a shoddy oven. That’s like having a strong, creative marketing team, but the tools you’re using are slowing you down. Another person may turn up the oven all the way up in hopes that the pie will cook faster, but instead, it burns. Trying to rush the process will only hurt it. The average time business sees change within the first 6 to 8 months. Wait a year, and you’ll be impressed by how much your business has grown. Make sure you measure year-over-year progress to actually see the large increase. Don’t only look at the number of leads you produced. Look at the quality of the leads as well as the amount you’re spending because the customer acquisition cost is lower with inbound vs. outbound marketing.
Tips to get the ball rolling
There are dozens of factors that impact the success of your inbound marketing campaign. While some may be out of your control, having a solid foundation in these areas will speed up your success.
Look before you leap
Before you dive head-first into your first inbound marketing campaign, make sure you fully understand what you’re getting yourself into. Inbound marketing is a completely different methodology than the marketing strategies you may be used to. It’s time to put down the megaphone for good. You can’t have a successful strategy if your old habits (e.g. spammy emails, strong sale messages, etc.) keep trying to make an appearance like your aunt’s extra mayonnaise-y potato salad. Both are unwelcome and a turn-off for potential leads.
Establish goals and stick to them
The key to seeing results? Knowing what metric to measure. Establish company goals before you launch your inbound marketing strategy, and stick to them. Remember to be persistent with your goals but flexible about your methods.
Solid keyword strategy
Whether you’re planning a child’s birthday party, wedding, or professional conference, there is always a theme that you stick to. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing copy for your home page or a blog post, don’t stray away from your keyword strategy. A strong keyword strategy will help people who are actually seeking you out find you on search engines.
Strong online presence
The only way you can see immediate results from your inbound marketing strategy is if you already have a strong online presence. It’s no secret that a business with 10,000 Twitter followers will have their content viewed by more people than one with a following less than 50. Maybe you don’t have a large social media presence, but your website has a high domain authority. Your website’s pages are more likely to show up high in search engine results than someone launching a brand new website. Everyone starts somewhere so don’t feel like inbound marketing isn’t for you. In fact, it will help speed up your website and social growth.
Consistency is key
Are you posting high quality content? Excellent. But are you posting it frequently? Develop a set schedule to create new content. You don’t have to stretch your resources too thin by trying to write 3 blogs a week. Write one, high quality one per month if that’s what it takes. But put one great blog up every single month.
Inbound marketing strategies are composed of a lot of pieces. It’s hard to keep track of them all. That’s where we come in. Contact our marketing experts to learn how we can put you on the fast track to success.