Duo on March 3, 2014
Inbound marketing could be one of the most powerful business tools your company uses today.
In fact, more than 92 percent of companies that use inbound see an increase in site traffic. Despite the success stories, many companies tend to stick to traditional outbound marketing efforts because it’s “safer.” Take a moment to read about the common inbound marketing myths and address some of the excuses – yes, excuses – some companies use to justify avoiding what could boost their bottom line.
Inbound Marketing takes too much time.
Inbound Marketing is certainly not an overnight process – rather it’s a method that takes time to mature and provide results. It could take weeks or months before content begins to take off, but it’s important to stick with it. Nearly 85% of businesses that use inbound marketing increase traffic within the first seven months. The Internet is a company’s most valuable asset – it never stops working. While offices remain closed and infomercials flood the airwaves, content is out there to be found. Set short-term and long-term goals to measure your content’s effectiveness. Checking progress on those goals helps put the content marketing strategy into perspective, and it helps identify what’s working and what’s not working.
Measuring results is too hard.
Results make or break a company, and it may be tough to convince someone that inbound marketing produces results if you don’t know where to look. Some of the measurements require little-to-no effort to find, like social media followers or website hits. Others require some more intentional digging, like email conversion rates and deliverability rates. Software from companies like SalesForce or Hubspot make it simple to analyze how successful your content is. Still, classic calculations can give you a taste of what this type of software does automatically. Measuring inbound results and progress requires constant monitoring, but marketers who test and optimize are 75% more likely to see positive ROI.
ROI is the only bottom line.
Traditional advertising may be effective, but the shelf life of valuable content can sustain steady traffic for years. If your boss needs more proof in regards to the ROI of an inbound marketing strategy, ask them what Gary Vaynerchuk asked an executive unsure of inbound’s ROI (Caution: NSFW language). As Gary points out, it’s difficult to put an exact dollar amount to inbound’s ROI, but there are some figures that can be quantified. For example, email marketing has an ROI of 4300% according to Hubspot and the Direct Marketing Association.
You have to pay to get noticed online.
Imagine a world in which Internet users send potential leads to a company completely out of their own free will. It’s not crazy – it’s a reality for many companies. Both social networks and search engines work tirelessly so businesses can get noticed – and they can be absolutely free to use.
Properly executed SEO and well-timed content encourage users to share with others and search engines to help make the content visible. Consider the Internet a source for excited volunteers ready to help promote your business – just ask Joe Pulizzi. His followers actively promote content from him, about him and related to him. As a result, his content will show up in search results because search engines consider him credible with all the social proof his followers generate.
You only need to attract customers that will buy from you.
A customer that buys from a company benefits the company. What about the customer that doesn’t buy, but knows someone who might? It’s important to understand where potential customers are in the buying process and it’s even more important to create content for different stages of it. Some leads might be fully prepared to buy while others are performing preliminary research. Tailoring content to leads that are going to buy, and neglecting to nurture potential leads that need more information is detrimental to your business.
Inbound marketing may not have be the oldest in the marketing game, but its upward trend since 2007 indicates that it’s definitely here to stay.
What do you think about inbound marketing? Have any of these myths prevented you from launching an inbound strategy?