It’s common for people to be scared of the unknown. Especially the things we can't explain or don’t understand... like ghosts or supernatural occurrences!
Regardless of what you believe in, the same thing can be said about inbound marketing. While it may be a relatively familar topic for some, there are still a lot of business owners, CEOs and marketing executives who are cautious of inbound marketing. Scary, right?
This post is going to debunk all of the superstitions and inaccuracies associated with inbound marketing.
Superstition 1: I don’t need a blog because no one will read or care about my blog
The changes Google and the other search engines have enacted over the past few years have made adding and updating a blog a mandatory marketing tactic. Today, while the exact algorithms being used by Google are a secret, our experience with clients has proven a direct correlation between the frequency of blogging and traffic to your website. To make it even simpler, the more you blog—the more new visitors you get to your website.
We also learned that a blog is one of the most visited sections of a client’s website, outperforming company pages, for a select set of clients, by a ratio 10 to 1. The facts support that your prospects don’t really want to read about your building, your history or your community involvement. But they do want to get to know your company better and they know a blog is where they will find your thought leadership, your authentic voice and maybe something to learn.
Most businesses start with very few blog subscribers at launch, but in just a matter of months have avid fans that look forward to blog posts week in and week out. Readers’ comments and social sharing show that they appreciate and value the content provided in each and every blog post.
Superstition 2: I won't be able to create enough content to drive results
Any content is better than no content. Right now, most business websites just don’t have enough original educational content. This content marketing is critical to entice anonymous visitors of your website to step out of the shadows and identify themselves to you. Once they convert from visitors to leads, your lead nurturing marketing kicks in.
No one said you need 12 new whitepapers or 6 new eBooks on your site tomorrow. Our research shows that adding even one new “Free Report” to your website drives lead generation. In fact, our payroll services client, who had significant traffic but no leads, generated almost 700 leads in a single day by adding just one offer to their site. In addition, our pond management client, who had more modest website traffic, went from just two or three leads a month to over 60 leads in the first month alone.
Just like blogging drives visitors—content drives leads.
Superstition 3: I won't know what kind of content to create
This is probably the easiest superstition to debunk, because it’s actually simple to determine what to write about. What you write about is what your prospects are already asking you, your sales people or your customer service reps. Survey your team to compile the most frequently asked questions and start creating content that answers these questions.
Here is an example: A sales rep gets this question constantly, “What are some of the advantages associated with outsourcing my payroll versus doing it myself?” To counter, a payroll services company provides the following free report, “The Top Ten Advantages Gained From Outsourcing Payroll.” One little known benefit of creating content like this is that it’s not just for your website. It’s also for your sales people and their sales process. By personally delivering this type of content during the sales process, your sales team is now helping the prospect instead of trying to sell them on your services.
Superstition 4: I am going to have to rebuild my website just to do inbound marketing
Actually, you don’t have to rebuild your website. You might want to add some new landing pages to support your new educational content, and you might want to add a blog to your site, but rebuilding your entire website is not a requirement.
However, to be fair, most website designs done even a year ago don’t have the features required by today’s website visitors. For instance, if your website is not responsive, it won't view properly on smartphones or tablets. A recent Information Week article noted that by July of this year, mobile phones accounted for 17.4% of global web use. That's up significantly from 11.1% last year.
In addition to ensuring that your website work on mobile devices, you also want to make sure the copy on your site is fully search optimized. So again, your site might not need to be completely rebuilt, but you might want to rework the words on your site to ensure it ranks highly with search engines.
Superstition 5: I don’t use social media, so I’m pretty sure my prospects don’t either
With over 1 billion users on Facebook, 500 million on Twitter and 238 million using LinkedIn, your prospects are on these sites—like it or not. If you’re still not sold on social media marketing, it might not matter. Why? Well, Google, Yahoo and Bing are all-in on social media and they are investing a lot of R&D dollars to deliver socially relevant content to their users. That means if people aren’t sharing your blog posts and educational content, you’re company isn’t going to be ranked on any of the major search engines.
This also means if your social media sites are non-existent, underutilized, or lacking key elements, your business is going to be at a major disadvantage. Today your corporate LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ accounts are very important business assets and you should be treating them as such.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying starting an inbound marketing effort is going to be easy, but you don’t need to be scared or uncertain of the benefits associated with this type of marketing. Given the plethora of data available on the benefits of inbound marketing, it’s time to put to bed any of the old superstitions.