Inbound Marketing

Commitments You Need to Make to See Results With Inbound Marketing

Almost every time we talk to businesses about the importance of starting inbound marketing, they often have the same excuses: Either they don’t have time to devote to it, they are skeptical about it working since all they have ever tried is outbound marketing, or they just don’t understand what it really is.

Moreover, there are also many companies who have been trying inbound marketing for some time, but are frustrated that they aren’t seeing results.

To me, inbound marketing, which is also often referred to as content marketing, is a total no-brainer for any business. No one wants to be shouted at with television advertisements, unwanted emails and phone calls. People want value.

In addition, the internet gives buyers the power of knowledge and options. Why would someone trust the positive testimonials on a company’s website when a quick Google search for reviews tells them otherwise?

Businesses now need to find other ways to build trust with their customers, and that’s where inbound marketing steps in. But unfortunately, it’s no easy task, and a lot of companies decide to give up and go back to outbound methods even though it comes with a higher price tag.

However, with inbound generating 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing, it’s worth the time and effort. But whether or not you’re just thinking about starting or have been doing this for a while, there are a few vital commitments you need to make in order to see results.

Devote Time

Before you can really dive into inbound marketing, you need to understand and be okay with the fact that it’s a huge time killer. It’s completely worth it, but if you don’t accept it and commit to it, you’ll just be frustrated.

Pick Your Strategy

When you’re first starting with inbound marketing, having a strategy is incredibly important. Figure out how much time you can devote every week to your marketing efforts, and make sure you stick to it. If you can only devote roughly 10 hours max, then that may mean that you’re blogging once a week, spending 2 hours scheduling and interacting on social media, taking an hour to update your website, and following up with leads as they come in.

Be Consistent

A huge part of building trust with customers for any business is having consistency. It should be deeply threaded into every aspect of your company – from product quality to customer interaction and policy. The same is true for your marketing efforts.

If you have been publishing blogs on a Monday, then make sure you always post on Mondays. If you usually respond to inquiries on social media and through email within 24 hours, then always make sure you respond within 24 hours. As you start building followers, they will expect to find content around the same time every week, or a prompt answer when they reach out with a question. This is especially important in the beginning because the amount of content you have at first will most likely be limited, so if you’re not posting consistently, customers may forget about you altogether.

Welcome Change

Once you’ve been in the game for a few months, you will start to have a good understanding of who your audience is and their behavior – whether they are engaged or not, what times and days seem to have the most engagement, what content they do and don’t respond to and so on.

Once you’re at this point, it’s good to reevaluate your strategy and tweak it if necessary to better connect with your customers. Maybe your Twitter following has grown and you’re now ready to host a Twitter Chat. Or maybe you notice a ton of engagement on Thursdays so you decide it might be time to blog twice a week. Whatever it may be, it’s always good to keep improving and changing with your audience.

Have Patience

To me, having patience is basically the “secret” to inbound marketing. Although the lucky few may find success within the first couple months, for most businesses it’s a long process. Especially if you’re doing it yourself rather than hiring an agency. You may not see any results or even any real movement with your ROI until 6 months to a year in. But the good news is, once you hit that point, the process will be so much easier now that you know what you’re doing.
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Posted by Ariel Valley

Web designer, writer, social media lover and inbound marketer at Catch22 Marketing. Also known as a professional coffee taster, shoe enthusiast and film buff. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter @ariel_valley.

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