As a business owner I’m sure you have goals and these goals have a timeframe of when you would like to achieve them by.
This is an area which always comes up for discussion with clients so I put together this article to discuss if inbound marketing can get you results in the time you need.
In 2013, according to a study conducted by HubSpot, 41% of CEOs reported that inbound marketing generated a positive ROI. So it is not a question of whether you can get ROI from inbound marketing but more if you can achieve good ROI within your timeframe.
Smart goals for smart businesses
The first thing you need to ask yourself is: Are the timeframes for my goals realistic? If you are just starting out with inbound this can be hard to figure out as you have no idea what is involved and how long everything takes to show results.
This is why I would recommend you come up with some S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Coming up with some really solid goals will help you to understand how inbound marketing fits into your sales and marketing goals.
How long inbound marketing realistically takes
I would say in simple terms it would depend, but to give you a timeframe I would say 6 months at least. This of course would depend on a few things, your budget and how much you are going to contribute to content.
I typically see some strong results with inbound within this time period. You need to work out what works. It reminds me of a website I once saw which sold SEO services. They had a picture of a man in a suit wearing a blind fold and the text underneath said “ How other companies do your SEO strategy”.
Although not true of all SEO companies, personally I do not believe in bad mouthing other companies to try to make a sale, they were making a good point.
I will be honest, no agency you work with can really present you with a strategy with a 100% guarantee that it will work and if they do they are just not telling the truth.
I would recommend a test strategy for 4 months to understand what works and what doesn’t, then and only then can you create a strategy for the next six months based on what actually works instead of what may work.
Can you reach your goals without inbound marketing?
Yes you can reach your goals without inbound marketing. I guess you didn’t expect me to say that did you?
I want to be honest with you, if what you are currently doing is working for you and can be scaled to reach your goals in the timeframe, then no you don’t need inbound marketing.
Your marketing is working just fine.
If you however don’t believe what you are currently doing will reach your goals then you need to be thinking of how inbound can help you achieve your goals on time.
A Reality Check
One thing to remember is that the time you want to achieve your goals has to be grounded in reality, just because you want something doesn’t mean it is achievable. It takes time to build up a steady stream of leads via inbound and build content to attract the right kind of people. There is no quick fix, no magic wand I’m afraid.
You have to be committed to the success of your inbound marketing and committed to long term success, not a quick fix. Talk to an agency to come up with some solid S.M.A.R.T. goals that everyone is happy with.
Time is money and the quicker you can grow the better but these things take time. Create some S.M.A.R.T. goals and work with your agency to get results which I would expect will take 6 months or so. If your current marketing is scalable then stick with it there, is no need to change but if inbound can help you scale and grow then definitely grab it with both hands.
Now it’s your turn
Is your marketing scalable? Do you currently have trouble reaching your goals? I would love to hear your story in the comments below.