Inbound marketing is a long-term investment. It takes time. It takes patience. And the level of investment yields an equal level of results. This isn’t a sales pitch. The fact is, it takes a lot of work and planning to build a successful strategy to implement for an inbound marketing effort.
Your business probably didn’t start turning a profit overnight and neither will your inbound marketing investment. There are quick hits out there but they’re not even worth mentioning because it’s chasing the illusion of a long term solution in quick resolve. Inbound marketing for small businesses starts with a strategy and one that needs to be tested over months, not days. If you have high revenue goals, your investment in an inbound marketing strategy should match.
So how do you figure out what inbound marketing is worth? Looks at your numbers.
- How much does your company bring in a year?
- What is your average revenue per client per year?
- How many clients will you need to increase your revenue for the next year?
- What percentage of sales-qualified leads (SQLs) do you close?
Take a look at your company and determine just how many SQLs you want to gain in the next year. Depending on that number will depend on the timeframe in which inbound marketing will have an effect which will depend on the level of investment in an inbound marketing plan. It’s simple logic; more traffic and leads in a shorter period of time requires more work.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch.
The higher the investment the higher the expectations and you guessed it, the lower the investment the lower you’ll have to set your expectations. Depending on your budget, if social media postings and blogs are what you can afford at one time, it’s certainly much better than nothing. It’s a step in the right direction to build SEO and establish a foundation for increasing traffic organically while remaining relevant in the marketplace. However, you cannot have the same expectations as someone investing fully in an inbound marketing strategy.
For home builders, real estate companies, vacation rental companies and tourism departments, inbound marketing is a long term investment simply due to the nature of your business that typically requires building a relationship over time. Another way to think about it is a simple comparison. You’re not selling a product on the street or in a store where the average consumer can walk by and hand you a few dollars from their pocket. That lower-level sale has little effect on a person’s overall life. Purchasing a home, building a home, purchasing vacation property or planning a family vacation…those things have lasting financial effects. The inbound methodology to attract, convert, close, and delight is the perfect model for industries operating at a high level of sales which must form lasting relationships with customers. In fact, inbound marketing is all about building relationships.
The more you invest upfront on an inbound marketing program, the greater the payoff and ability to reduce the investment later as your leads convert to sales and those customers convert to promoters and practically do the marketing for you. Practically.
For more information and tips on inbound marketing, check out our blog!