Inbound marketing is an incredibly effective and successful marketing strategy – in fact, here at Rhino, we think it’s hands-down the best marketing strategy currently available, with no legitimate competitors. In the 21st century, considering the digitally-dominated world we live in, there just isn’t a marketing tactic that so productively embraces and utilizes the internet.
However, there’s one significant shortcoming with inbound marketing: it isn’t fast. To be fair, virtually all marketing strategies take some time to pick up momentum, and inbound marketing is no exception. We have to reassure clients all the time that the strategy is sound, because instant results are rare. I have never seen an inbound strategy start working overnight.
The good news is, inbound marketing almost never takes a step back. It tends to have a snowball effect: once it gets rolling, it quickly picks up momentum and only grows larger with time, and at a faster rate.
There are also many subtle, telltale signs that your inbound strategy is working. You might be too close to the whole process to identify them, but trust me, they’re there. If you want to be sure your inbound strategy is on the right track, be on the lookout for these four signs:
Your leads are trending up
Your traffic might appear to be stagnant or growing very slowly, but that doesn’t mean your leads can’t go up. You marketing content is supposed to attract more visitors that are likely to become leads, because they’re searching for the stuff you’re writing about. So even though your traffic looks similar, more of those visitors are interested in your content, which is definitely a good thing.
You’re closing more leads
So maybe you’re used to closing a couple of online leads a month and now you’re closing 6-8 online leads a month. That might seem like a very small increase, but it’s an increase that occurred as a result of your inbound strategies. Because not only does your content attract more leads, it also attracts more qualified leads – in other words, leads that fit the profile of your ideal customer (the buyer persona). And you’ll definitely have better success closing qualified leads.
Your keyword rankings are rising
Google’s web crawler takes a while to go from page to page, which means your search results rankings need some time to improve. However, you can monitor this activity by using a good keyword ranking tool (which is usually included with marketing automation software). We use HubSpot here at Rhino, which allows us to see how our clients are ranking for certain keywords and keyword combinations. If your content is good, then those keyword ranking will start improving. This is an absolutely critical part of the inbound process: higher keyword rankings means better search results rankings, which leads to more traffic.
Your social media following is growing
It’s easy to get caught up with your content and website traffic, focusing merely on those aspects of your inbound strategy. However, don’t forget social media, which is also a vital part of the inbound marketing formula. You should be sharing your content on social media, as well as posting to each social media platform on a daily basis. If your social media following is growing steadily as a result, then you’re doing your job right.
Your social media outreach may not pay immediate dividends, but it is certainly valuable. The more followers you have, the more people you can share your content with. And as the following grows, you’ll be able to start leveraging social media for lead generation opportunities.