It’s time to address the elephant in the room – results.
A question we hear from B2B and B2C business owners alike is “What kind of results can I expect from inbound marketing?” While this is a fantastic question, the biggest challenge we face as an inbound agency is managing expectations when it comes to results.
First, it’s important to understand that inbound marketing functions much differently than traditional marketing. Instead of spending money and seeing an instant spike in numbers, you’re going to see slow and steady organic growth over time.
(Download our free guide, 6 Metrics That Measure Your Marketing's Success)
Inbound marketing is all about creating a repeatable system that compounds on itself over time. With this strategy of lead generation, you’re training for a marathon – not a sprint. Inbound is a ton of work and it’s common to see little results in the first 3-4 months. But, we can guarantee the results are well worth it.
Meg Hoppe from the Weidert Group explains it perfectly, “Deciding you’re going to take an inbound marketing approach is like buying a membership to the gym: you’re only going to see results if you get there regularly and work up a sweat.”
How long does it take for inbound to work?
While we’d love to ballpark how long it takes to see results, we can’t (and neither can other agencies). However, there are certain things that can affect your timeline. The biggest factor being your starting point – how quickly you can go all-in with inbound and whether you encounter any obstacles along the way.
For instance, a client who already has a website and has been blogging regularly is in an advanced position for success then a business starting from scratch. Generally, it takes a minimum of six months to see a significant rise in traffic (assuming your strategy is spot-on and doesn’t require any adjustments along the way.) And according to HubSpot, 85% of companies see an increase in leads around the seven-month mark.
Other factors that affect how long it takes to convert traffic into leads include your existing sales cycle, how invested you are in publishing content, and how aligned your deliverables are with your buyers’ pain points.
Inbound marketing is growth over time.
The goal of inbound marketing is to grow your business online with organic, user-dictated means. In other words, the leads you collect with inbound will exist because they found you online – through a blog, content offer or social media post. Offering solutions to your customers’ questions is why inbound works more effectively long-term compared to traditional sales tactics. It’s all about thought leadership and developing genuine connections with your customers.
Bluleadz goes on to explain, “In the first six months, you can expect to build the framework for larger-scale inbound growth in months 1 and 2, and the first real traction (lead generation and increase in site visitors) in months 3 and 4.”
Keep in mind, some tactics work better for certain businesses or industries. You could knock it out of the park in Q1 with a high-value ebook or find success with an email workflow in Q3. Ultimately, the time and investment you’re willing to put into inbound marketing will have the greatest impact on your success.
What kind of results can I expect from inbound?
Now that you have an understanding of the timeline you can expect with inbound marketing, it’s time to turn our attention to the cold, hard results.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) led a study, analyzing website data from HubSpot customers and customer survey data – and the findings are incredible. If your business is new to inbound marketing, these numbers will help you better understand the rewards waiting for you ahead.
Here are some highlights from the marketing report:
- 1x more visitors per month within a year
- 5x more leads per month within a year
- 70% increase in lead-to-customer conversion rate
Sound too good to be true? Companies of all shapes and sizes from various industries are unlocking exponential growth with inbound marketing. Check out this 5-year review by Nectafy.
It’s a flywheel system, not a set of tasks.
One of the main benefits of inbound marketing is that it outlives paid media. Once a blog is published, it’s live and indexed by Google. Years down the road, it’ll still be there and driving traffic to your website. You just don’t see that compound effect with TV, radio and outbound tactics.
Inbound marketing is a great strategy for B2B and B2C companies that really want to grow. Business owners and marketing managers who are willing to make big changes, put in the work and create content that reaches customers on a deeper level will find the most success with it.
We’d love to chat over coffee and create an inbound game plan for your business. Give us a call at (405) 928-3395 or click here to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team.
Wondering how we measure success?
In our latest ebook, we reveal six key metrics to measure your marketing efforts and prove the value of inbound to stakeholders in your company. Click below to download it free!