Have you ever heard the phrase, “if it was easy, everyone would do it?” It normally holds true, but not in regards to inbound marketing. Because while it’s certainly not easy, everyone is still doing it. Last year, fully 85 percent of marketers said they were utilizing inbound strategies (up from 60 percent in 2013). They have realized that inbound marketing is dynamic, adaptable, cost-effective and successful. Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it?
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but inbound marketing isn’t all puppies and rainbows. There are some harsh, ugly truths about inbound marketing you should be aware of. None of this should deter you from embracing inbound as the best marketing strategy for your business, because it’s worth it; but you should realize what it consists of:
- You will never stop creating content
The internet is like the universe: incomprehensibly vast and constantly expanding. Why does that matter to you? Because your content has to keep getting found regularly in this vast cyber universe. Therefore, be prepared to keep writing content until doomsday. You need fresh content to keep your information relevant for your users, and to boost your search results rankings. Google’s search algorithms prioritize the most accurate and timely content, meaning the most relevant and fresh blog articles are going to get the high rankings.
- It doesn’t happen overnight
Inbound marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take some time for Google to crawl your site and index it, which only puts your site on record with the search giant; it’s not going to do much for your traffic. In order to increase you visitors, you’ll have to be dedicated to content promotion, keyword optimization and regular updating. And even then, it will still take quite a while to start picking up steam. Traffic is a funny thing – the more traffic you get, the easier it is to see it rise. But how do you get the ball rolling in the first place? By working hard and practicing patience.
- You have to be social
Most people have one social media site they pay close attention to (mine is Facebook), and they might show a passing interest in one or two other sites. But successful inbound marketing requires your business to have a presence on every social media site, and to give them each equal attention. There are marketing benefits to every social media platform, and there’s the potential for followers to contact you on any one of them. Whether you like social media or not, it has to be part of your inbound campaigns. Not only will it give you a venue to promote your content, it can also be a valuable lead generation tool.
- You’re going to need a dedicated sales team
Surprised to see sales included in an article about marketing? You shouldn’t be. Sales and marketing may not always get along, but they have to work together to maximize sales. Inbound marketing is going to bring visitors to your site and help turn them into leads, but those leads still have to be nurtured and converted into sales. That’s not marketing’s responsibility; it falls to sales. You will need smart, capable sales people to reach out to leads and help close deals. And the more successful you are at inbound marketing, the more visitors and leads you’ll have; which will require an even bigger sales staff.