B2B inbound marketing can be incredibly effective in regards to your specific marketing goals, whether it's to generate new leads, improve your sales, build brand authority, build brand trust or simply increase brand exposure.
However, what some businesses don't understand is that B2B inbound marketing is a long-term strategy, not a short-term one.
Inbound marketing consists of numerous strategies. If one element happens to result in instant results; for example, a video that goes viral and receives thousands of shares, it's generally an anomaly.
Trying to obtain instant results through the use of inbound marketing is only going to lead to failure. Instead, you need to focus on implementing inbound marketing strategies that will help accomplish your goals over the long run.
Related Article: Outbound Is Out: Why Inbound Marketing Works and How to Do It
How B2B Inbound Marketing Works
Inbound marketing should be used to grow leads over time and to kick start the growth of your company. You need to understand that it's not a tactic, it's a marketing ecosystem that consists of dozens of different strategies - all of which need to work in conjunction with each other.
For example, you need to provide relevant, high-quality content on your site to attract the attention of your audience. That content needs to be optimized for SEO so that it will rank high on search engines, thereby allowing your audience to actually find it. To capture your leads, you should provide offers through your content to build your subscription list. These are individual strategies that depend on one another for success.
Short-term lead generation
If you've put the effort into identifying your buyer persona and are creating informative, relevant and quality content that targets that persona, then you have a good chance of capturing any number of leads within a short period of time especially if you promote that content properly.
But even though you might be tempted to view the instant capture of leads as a short-term result it's not. Those leads are meaningless unless you do something with them. Most leads aren't ready to make a purchase right away. This means that you have to nurture them by building up interest and trust in your brand through the use of email marketing. This is a process that takes time.
If you are desperate for leads immediately, consider combining your inbound marketing strategy with paid media. This is a more costly tactic, but it will drive traffic as soon as you turn on the switch. Dialing in the ads may take some time, but not as long as the organic growth of inbound activities.
Inbound marketing ROI increases over time
Businesses are often overly concerned with being able to identify a fixed number ROI. This is short-term thinking. Most marketing experts will tell you that it will take at least half a year before you'll see any real growth as a result of your inbound marketing efforts. But the more that you invest into your inbound marketing strategy, the more your ROI will eventually improve.
Related Article: Inbound Opportunities: 5 Ways to Generate More Sales Online
To see this in action, just consider these HubSpot statistics:
- The average business using inbound marketing sees their leads double by the sixth month of their inbound marketing campaign and tripled by their first year
- Inbound marketers see 4.1 times more visitors per month within one year
- 79 percent of marketers see an increase in sales revenue within one year
Reasons Why Inbound Marketing Works
The following are a few reasons why inbound marketing is so effective over the long term:
Content helps boost SEO over time
Search engines love good content because that's what their users want. This means that they reward sites that produce relevant, high-quality content over a long period of time. Your organic search traffic will increase over time the more content you publish. But this does take some time. SEO expert and Moz founder Rand Fishkin calls this "the slog." Typically it takes approximately six months to see your investment in SEO produce a return.
Evergreen content will help capture more leads
Evergreen content is content that doesn't go out of date. For example, tips on saving money. Each piece of evergreen content is a chance to attract a qualified lead. If you keep publishing evergreen content over the years, you'll eventually have hundreds of chances to attract qualified leads, thereby improving your odds of capturing more leads.
Inbound marketing will help educate customers and build trust
A very small percentage of the visitors to your site are ready to make a purchase right away. According to data released by the Corporate Executive Board, buyers are typically only 57 to 70 percent of the way through the decision process before they even contact you. Inbound marketing allows you to capture them during the decision process. This, in turn, gives you the opportunity to send them content to help educate them and help build trust in order to influence their decision making before they reach the buying phase.
Related Article: The 5 Most Neglected Inbound Marketing Channels
Can You Get Quicker Results?
Of course. You can increase your marketing budget to increase output or you can even invest into paid media to push traffic faster. But Inbound marketing takes time because SEO takes time, and SEO is one of the most important aspects of B2B inbound marketing. When done right, you're building a strong foundation upon which you can foster long-term growth. Wouldn't you rather invest into something that is going to continue working long after it is first implemented? Inbound marketing is the smarter way to grow.