What is Inbound Marketing? That seems to be a popular topic around the water cooler lately. But what is it exactly? Inbound marketing is a strategy that focuses on attracting customers, or leads, via company-created Internet content, thereby having potential customers come to the company rather than marketers vying for their attention.
Inbound Marketing is a Strategy, NOT a tactic. Inbound Marketing is the product of the combined action of the following 4 disciplines: SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing and Analytics. It is precisely because of a lack of a common strategy and a real synergy between the different disciplines, that very often a business company fails to obtain that surge they expect from their ‘inbound marketing’ effort.
There are many ways that a company can “get it wrong”, and think that they are effectively using Inbound Marketing. Here are some reasons that you might incorrectly be using Inbound Marketing for your business:
- It’s Only As Effective As Your Website: If your website just talks about how great your company is, you’re making one of the biggest mistakes with inbound marketing. Not understanding your buyer persona’s questions and challenges will never keep any potential customer interested and wanting to know more. 70% of a buyer’s journey is complete before ever getting on the phone with a sales representative. Your website needs to be set up with forms, landing pages, calls-to-action, and a blog. If you want more customers, you need to have your website set up to gather leads. One thing to be cautious of in regards to your website are Link farms. Link farms were created to help increase PageRank. A Link Farm is a set of fake websites that include links to your website, for the purpose of cheating Google to get you better page rank. The idea is that Google can be fooled into thinking that your site is worthy of ranking higher in search results because a set of sites that link to one another also link to your site. Google can’t be fooled, and you may run the risk of Google assessing a dreaded “manual penalty” against your site for having an “unnatural link profile”. When that happens, you will have a very hard time recovering and getting search engine users to your website in the future.
- You Can’t Just Jump Right In: Inbound marketing can’t be gone into haphazardly on a whim. It needs to be thought out and requires more than just writing content. You need to have a proper plan of action. By not having a proper plan of action, your marketing strategies will be haphazard, not relevant to what your customers need and you will be wasting a lot of time with nothing to show for it. LOJO offers three different types of Inbound Marketing plans that can help you manage your business, website and all the other aspects that go into building your business the correct way.
- Results Don’t Happen Overnight: We would all love if we went to bed, woke up, and our business was booming by morning! The reality is that it doesn’t happen like that. Companies often times get frustrated thinking that one good article will catapult them into the hall of fame. When that doesn’t happen, they have the choice of abandoning their dream or keep plugging on. In the world of Inbound Marketing, you are competing with thousands of other companies. Some are big, some are small, some are brand new and some have been around for years. By having the proper planning, not being frustrated when the instant success doesn’t happen overnight, you can build your business little by little.
- It’s Time-Consuming: Marketing campaigns are not about single channels. As stated above, the 4 disciplines of SEO, Social Media, Content Marketing and Analytics are the backbone to your business’ success. It takes time to manage these 4 disciplines. If you want the results, you have to take Inbound Marketing seriously and be prepared to put in the work. You might end up needing a team solely dedicated to your inbound marketing plan. By having a team to help you not get overwhelmed with all the channels of Inbound Marketing, you can make sure that your customers are being taken care of, your site is getting legitimate traffic, and your business is being built within a realistic timeline.
Inbound Marketing is a decision that you need to make for your business, but it’s best to remember that if you decide to use this strategy, you need to be in it for the long haul. Remember that if you aren’t using it, your competition most likely is.
Written by Kim Ganir