Inbound marketing is amazing. But less so when you fail to give the marketing methodology the amount of commitment that it deserves. All too often, traditional business owners, marketing managers, and CEOs will find themselves shooting down the idea of inbound marketing in fear of its strictly digital approach. If you might be one of those people, take some time to make sure that none of these daring statements have ever slipped out of your mouth.
5 Things You Should NEVER Say About Inbound Marketing
1. “My customers don’t care about social media. I don’t need inbound marketing.”
Statistically speaking, that’s just impossible. LinkedIn, a platform known for being purely professional, recently celebrated having 200 million users (now sitting at well over 230 million). Twitter has over 500 million users. And Facebook, OVER 1 BILLION.
Furthermore, these 3 social media giants far from define “social media.” Any online communication channel that allows for social interaction, community-based input, content-sharing, or collaboration is a form of social media.
That’s right: there’s also Google+, SlideShare, Pinterest, deviantArt, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, Reddit, (Facebook’s foreign competitor) Tencent, and so. many. more. Each platform’s primary interests and demographics vary as much as the world itself.
Of course, it is possible that most of your potential or future customers do not like to use computers altogether. But, are you sure that they aren’t one of the 180 million U.S. mobile users who are using smart phones? Aside from providing easy Internet access and browsing, smart phones exclusively home popular social apps such as Instagram and SnapChat.
If you are still not convinced, let Google, Bing, and Yahoo do the convincing for you. They all invest hordes of R&D funds into delivering socially pertinent data to their users. Many studies show that an organization’s social media presence can play a significant part in page ranking and SEO. In other words, if Internet users are not spreading your content or engaging with your brand online, your website’s indexed pages could indirectly lose potential for ranking on major search engines.
2. “There’s nothing to write about in my industry. Inbound marketing is hard.“
Whether selling moving services, denim jeans, or semiconductors, you will never run out of content. The key is to think like your customers, and to do so, you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas:
Congregate or Repurpose Pre-existing Content – Instead of always looking forward for new content, consider looking back every once in a while. In your long life using the internet and running a business, you have written a lot more than you may think. Attempt to congregate pieces of useful information (from emails, for example) to create a complete thought, or consider repurposing a commonly used piece of official documentation. For example, if the contract for your moving company makes a distinct differentiation between a house and an apartment, you can write about the different considerations that must be taken when moving into each. You can even take things a step further by bringing together a handful of similar blog posts to create a single eBook.
Think at a Different Scale – Is your product or service just a part of a much bigger picture? Or are multiple products used to create your company’s single service? Write about them!
Use Common Questions – Pay attention to all of the questions your customers ask you on a daily basis. Each of those questions deserve an answer… as well as a blog post.
Use Your Customers – Engage with your customers in social media and use their feedback to create interesting content. My favorite examples involve brands asking users a question on Facebook and then presenting the funny and useful responses in a SlideShare.
Newsjack – Has there been a sudden change in the economy? Is a new scandal blowing up the television? Use the latest news to gain attention and explain how it can tie into your industry.
Get Ridiculous – It is very possible to be both entertaining and informative. Case in point.
Make a List – Whether just a list of third-party content, pictures, or former projects, it goes without saying that people have an insatiable desire for bullet points and sub-headings. BuzzFeed agrees!
It’s true that some people are better at coming up with ideas than others. That doesn’t make your stubborn statement any truer, though. Those short on ideas can consider inviting guest writers/bloggers, crowdsourcing their writing through sites like Zerys, or consulting a professional inbound marketing agency. There’s no shame in letting the pros handle things!
3. “We’ve had a blog for a few month now, and we’re not making any sales. Inbound marketing is pointless.”
Aside from positioning your company as a thought-leader in its industry or assuring that your brand name is a consistent part of your customers’ daily interactions, let’s consider some of the more practical advantages of a blog:
While the main pages of your website remain mostly static, each and every blog post that your company creates is a NEW opportunity to receive online traffic and rank for a keyword on search engines. You may consider a blog post with only 10 unique visits per month as “weak,” but that’s 10 more people discovering your brand that would have otherwise never known it existed. That’s 120 new prospects a year. Think about it: creating 1 “weak” blog post a month could result in 1,440 annual prospects.
Furthermore, blogging takes dedication and consistency in order for you to see exponential growth, as you can see in our eBook “How Inbound Marketing Will Transform Your Business,” which uses data from over 7,000 HubSpot customers.
In 21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic, Rand Fishkin of Moz.com (bookmark it. now.) points out that true blogging success could take as much as 2 years of relentless effort, citing the delayed but powerful results of The Everywhereist.
So, ask yourself: Are you blogging frequently enough? Are you being patient? Are you considering your audience?
A fellow inbound marketing agency, Weidert Group, elaborated on this subject further.
4. “I can’t afford to redesign my website. Inbound marketing is ridiculous.”
Who told you that you had to redesign your website? Inbound marketing is a methodology, not a design (and we know design). While redesigning your website to completely embrace the inbound methodology can only benefit you, creating an effective inbound marketing strategy may only involve – at most – making some content changes and adding landing pages to your existing design. One of the most essential parts of inbound marketing, the blog, can be privately hosted on a variety of free blogging websites or by inbound marketing automation providers like HubSpot. If your website runs on WordPress or a similar content management system, you likely already have blogging capabilities without even knowing it.
Matt Banner of On Blast Blog compared some of the best blogging platforms available in a recent post. (We’ll be be providing you with a nifty “HubSpot vs. WordPress” blog comparison soon!)
5. “We don’t need buyer personas, our product is for everyone. Inbound marketing overcomplicates things. “
This is the worst. When you’re done washing your mouth out with soap, read carefully: Inbound marketing success BEGINS with identifying your buyer personas. A product or service aimed at “everyone” is fine, but if your email, blog post, or social media update is aimed at “everyone,” you’re going to lose a lot of prospects. Effective content aligns with your customers’ interests.
- Will a 55-year-old CEO like the cat meme you just posted on your company’s Facebook page? Do they even use Facebook? Do they know what a “meme” is?
- Will the 18-year-old soccer player read a 40-page eBook on the benefits of cleats? What about an infographic? Do they even care about the benefits?
Identifying your typical buyer personas, or at least selecting a segment within your target audience, creates purpose behind every piece of content, as well as cohesive messaging across the entire brand. Each person is likely to favor a different aspect of your product, whether its the aesthetics, the utility, or the lifestyle it fosters. And that same person has a personal preference when it comes to depth of content, presentation style, and communication channel. Make your content valuable, not vague!
What other misunderstandings have you heard people express about inbound marketing?
You can learn more on our website: “What is inbound marketing?”
Envision Creative Group is an inbound marketing agency in Austin, TX. In addition to inbound marketing, we provide a variety of creative services, including: website design and development, graphic design, brochure design, product packaging, photography, and more.