Marketing has changed. Did you notice? The world has become numb to advertising. And yes, that includes your audience.
That’s why inbound marketing continues to gain popularity. A well-structured inbound marketing strategy will help drive traffic, generate leads, and increase sales by providing answers for your customers. This type of marketing, providing information instead of pushing products, is the business-world’s answer to ad-blockers and DVRs that can fast forward through commercial breaks. Customers are searching for answers to their questions. If your firm isn’t providing those answers, your competitors are. And customers are buying from, and always have bought from, companies they trust.
Inbound marketing is the best way to develop that trust.
However, there are some myths of inbound marketing that have people believing it’s either too difficult or too easy.
Top 10 Myths of Inbound Marketing:
1. Quantity Trumps Quality
A couple years ago, you used to be able to post tons of mediocre content stuffed with keywords and rank highly on Google. Now, you need quality. Google’s algorithms now take quality, readability, and intent into account. And their Panda updates filter out and punishes poor content.
Your firm needs to post current, relevant, and targeted content. This will answer your customers’ questions and will keep them on the page longer. This helps your organic rankings because Google also takes into account time on page.
2. Inbound Marketing is Free
Let’s get one thing straight: There is no such thing as a free lunch. Adam Smith said it years ago and it’s still true today.
Inbound marketing is cheaper and more targeted than outbound marketing, where you would buy ad space and hope enough of your potential customers would see it often enough to decide to purchase your product.
Still, that doesn’t make it free. You still need to pay for the content creators, designers, and social media experts. Whether you decide to hire them in-house, or hire an agency, is up to you. Either way, the better the talent means better content, which means better results.
3. You Need a Big Team and a Big Budget
Large, international corporations have big teams dedicated to their inbound marketing. That doesn’t mean that every company needs a big team or a big budget. Aim realistically for your company’s target market, objectives, and reach. Create a strategy and restructure as needed.
4. Can’t Measure ROI
This is a tough one for people to wrap their heads around because they’re so used to completing ROI on old ways of marketing. You spent X amount of dollars on ads and those ads brought in X amount of dollars in business. Easy enough.
But inbound marketing provides the opportunity to see exactly which strategies are working, creating the most engagement, and providing the best ROI. With the amount of data available, it’s easy to see which aspects of your strategy are performing the best and providing the best ROI.
5. Inbound Marketing Doesn’t Work for Everyone
No, a one-size-fits all template does not exist. I’ve searched for it, as I’m sure you have. That doesn’t mean that inbound marketing doesn’t work for everyone. It just means that you have to tinker with your strategy and tailor it to your specific objectives and your specific market.
You need to focus on finding your unique voice and telling your unique story. This creates a connection with customers that can resonate deeper than any ad, no matter how funny. Combine that story and personality with the information you provide your customers and you will develop a loyal fan base.
6. Only Goal is to “Go Viral”
Yes, if something you post goes viral, great. Applaud yourself for posting something humorous enough or relevant enough that it spread like a wildfire. Sit back and reap the benefits.
However, there is a fine line between being funny and being cheesy. If you create cheesy content that doesn’t hit its mark, your brand will be associated with that cheesy content.
No matter what you post, stay consistent with your brand and provide the content that matters to your target market. More than likely, it won’t go viral. But that doesn’t mean your strategy is unsuccessful.
7. My Buyer Persona Isn’t Online
Baby boomers are spending more time online. Now, 78.6% of people in North America have Internet access and, according to Pew Research, 64% of American adults own a smartphone, as of October 2014.
Your target market is online, even if you don’t think they are. And as the population continues to age, and as Internet access becomes more accessible, if your buyer personas aren’t online now, they will be soon.
8. Inbound Marketing Takes Too Much Time
This ties directly into another fear, which is that inbound marketing is too overwhelming. But neither the myth, nor the fear, is enough reason for you not to create an inbound marketing strategy. In fact, that only means you should begin sooner rather than later.
A well-structured inbound marketing strategy does take time, but that means the longer you wait, the longer it will take for you to see the positive results.
9. Inbound Marketing Immediately Leads to Tons of Leads
The opposite of above is another of the most prevalent myths and the answer is similar as well. Inbound marketing takes time. Even if you do everything right, it will take more than a week or even a month for you to see results.
That doesn’t mean that it isn’t working. Don’t stray from your strategy. Focus on building a content library, promoted through social media, that will help answer the questions your target audience is asking. This provides a solid foundation upon which you will continue to build and generate traffic and leads.
10. Content is Simply Advertising Under a Different Name
Do not advertise through your content!
Content is about providing answers and developing trust. You do not build trust by shoving your products and services in the reader’s face. Backlinks to other articles or to the services you provide is one thing, but openly promoting your product or services taints the validity of the entire piece of content and works against you.
There is plenty of other space on your website to advertise. Don’t do it through your content. Have enough backlinks and targeted Call-to-Actions and you’ll gain more trust.
Developing an Inbound Marketing Strategy
Your inbound marketing strategy is unique to your specific industry, business, and target market. But it’s also specific to your unique story and what makes your firm different. Embrace that story and use that personality to provide the information your customers need to make intelligent decisions.
Creating an inbound marketing strategy can be intimidating, especially from the ground-up. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Do your research and take the time and effort to create a strong strategy with buyer personas, a keyword analysis, and a targeted content schedule. Then, promote your content through social media and restructure the strategy based on the performance.
You can create an inbound strategy that will drive traffic and generate more leads for your company. Schedule your Consultation today to learn how an inbound marketing strategy can help your business grow or read about the Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Small Businesses.
Create Your Story, Promote It, and Perfect Your Strategy
How to Choose a Digital Marketing Agency
Benefits of Inbound Marketing for Small Businesses
SEO vs. SEM
What is Inbound Marketing?
What is a Landing Page?
SEO and Optimized Content
Inbound Marketing Services
Social Media Marketing
Generate more leads through properly structured content. Copyright Mike D. O’Brien 2016