Did anyone ever tell you that inbound marketing was fast, easy and delivered immediate results? If you believe that, then I have a bridge to sell you. If you're preparing to dive head first into inbound marketing, take a few moments to reflect on the following undeniable truths about inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing Takes Time
Patience is not only a virtue, but it’s something your team better be prepared to have when you’re waiting for your efforts to come to fruition. The creation efforts alone take time, with careful planning, crafting and scheduling of white papers, webinars, blog posts and other content you’ve ensured is both targeted and valuable for your audience.
In addition to the set-up and ramp-up time required for your content, you’ll also need time for your content to start working its magic. It’s highly unlikely thousands of people are going to immediately flock to your first new blog post and start buying. Folks are instead more inclined to keep appreciating your content over a period of time, warming up to your products or services and coming to better know and trust your company.
The wait can totally be worth it. You’re not going for a super-fast, one-time sale, but rather building a relationship that can result in many sales for years to come.
Web Traffic Might Actually Go Down before it Increases
No, website traffic does not decrease because inbound marketing efforts tend to make website visitors run for the hills. It’s decreasing because you’re probably pulling a big chunk of your PPC budget off the PPC beat to use for your inbound marketing efforts. Less money spent on PPC typically means less PPC-driven site traffic heading your way.
Making management well aware of this fact is imperative to help ensure no one gets freaked out – or chewed out – at the next business meeting. While you’re planning and building your inbound content plan, consider keeping a regular blogging schedule so your site continues to be regularly indexed by search engines.
CRM Integration Needs to be Part of the Deal
While you may have so far skirted integration of your CRM system and marketing automation software, or are lacking one or the other, inbound marketing works best when both systems are in your arsenal and integrated with each other.
Inbound marketing is known for bringing in high-quality leads, and those leads can be shared seamlessly with your sales team when your marketing automation software is integrated with your CRM. This integration additionally helps refine the lead nurturing process and map the right content to the most pertinent portions of the sales funnel.
Inbound Marketing Demands Full-Time Attention
You need to make a commitment, and then follow through. Treating inbound marketing as extra part-time work on top of someone’s already full plate won’t cut it. You need dedicated internal or outsourced resources that devote the time and attention a successful inbound marketing plan requires.
Inbound Marketing is Not a One-Man (or Woman) Show
It’s not even a show that can be put on by a single department. Effective inbound marketing requires participation from everyone in your company, not just Jimmy in marketing or even your marketing department working solo.
Your sales team needs to pitch in. Your customer service department can do their part. Everyone plays a role. That role doesn’t have to be a massively challenging one, either. All that’s really required for participation is to spread your content as far and wide as possible, always providing useful, relevant information to the people out there who would benefit from it the most.
These five truths are not meant to scare you away, but rather give you a better understanding of what to expect when you enter the world of inbound marketing. What you can also expect, with inbound marketing done right, are truly phenomenal results.