3 Problems with Inbound Marketing

    by Kipp Bodnar

    Date

    June 30, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    barrier The following is a guest post by Danny Wong , the co-founder of Blank Label, an ecommerce startup specializing in custom men’s dress shirts .

     

    HubSpot has made a really compelling point that Inbound Marketing is important, and that it is definitely is something all businesses should practice because the ROI higher than other forms of marketing.

     

     

     

    However, Inbound Marketing is hard. Creating content isn't easy for every business and ROI results varify based on the time commitment and expertise of the individuals within the company.

    3 Problems with Inbound Marketing

    1.  E-commerce Companies Have Trouble Building Inbounding Links - Your average shopper does not have a blog nor are they interested in blogging, though in a few niche communities like haute couture and streetwear, many shoppers have their own blogs. Even if your visitors are really engaged with your site and its content, shoppers aren’t going to start a blog just to buzz about their amazing experience with you. For the most part, you have to outbound links through Blogger and Media Relations.

    2. Search Engine Optimization Takes Time - Most people are not patient and it is uncertain where you will be ranked when enough time has elapsed for the rankings to readjust on a more secure basis. You could be chasing a carrot on a stick forever without increasing your rank significantly (there is the possibility your ranking will drop too). Another issue is that you might be pursuing a vertical SEO strategy that might not work and you won’t know that for a few weeks or a few months, at which point your competitors will have increased their rankings or will have improved the ‘barrier to entry’ for the top rankings.

    3. Inbound Marketing is Not Entirely Free - You still have to allocate time towards inbounding traffic, users and customers. That time has an opportunity cost associated with it, and if you’re more than a bootstrapped startup, you pay salaries which go towards paying for your time, and so the time spent on Inbound Marketing costs money for the company.

    3 Resolutions to My Problems with Inbound Marketing

    1. Influencers Matter - While you can’t really influence your users to create a website or blog and link to you, there are some other niche bloggers who can stumble upon the website and might do concept or product reviews. You can also submit the items for sale on your website to comparison shopping sites (while most would be ‘nofollow’ links, you get the benefit of more distribution!).

    2. Good Things Come to Those Who Wait - But seriously, SEO does take time but you can ensure a high ranking by having a lot of quality links, keyword optimization and by genuinely having the best content for that subject. In the long-run, quality will always win over. You need to make sure that your SEO strategy is multi-dimensional and that you aren’t just doing only link building, only keyword optimization or only content creation.

    3. Nothing Is Free - Evaluate the customer acquisition cost (including salary) for both the Inbound and the Outbound campaigns – if of course the Inbound campaigns take much more time than the Outbound. Clearly, if they took the same amount of time, the customer acquisition cost from Outbound would be higher since same time and same employees equals the same cost, but Outbound has the added cost of the campaign budget itself.

    Anyone else have gripes with Inbound Marketing? Perhaps something just to tell @dharmesh because he can take it?

    Anyone have other resolutions for these Inbound Marketing problems?

     

    Photo Credit: Hunterrrr

     

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