I know it’s tough in the early days of inbound marketing.
Picture the scene: You’ve been doing inbound for five months, and you were expecting to see results by now. Money’s coming out the bank, you’ve spent hours coming up with helpful, engaging content, and you don’t know if any of it’s ever going to pay off.
When people come to me with these worries, I just want to give them a big cuddle and tell them “it’s going to be alright – you just have to trust me”.
I’ve helped so many businesses over the years who experience this exact same problem, and believe me it does come – just not always in five months. Especially if you’re starting from scratch with not a lot of content and website visitors behind you.
That’s what really sucks about inbound – you really need to understand your business; what works, and what doesn’t. Did you know, a typical prospect can read up to 100 pages of your website before even becoming a customer?
Pause and think about that for a second.
100 pages – that’s a ton of research. If you already have 100 pages under your belt, you’re well on your way to success.
In the meantime, and to give you a more realistic idea of inbound, I’ve broken things down into a typical six-month timeframe of what you can expect from your inbound marketing efforts.
This is strictly the planning stage. There should be a lot of research going on by your inbound marketing agency or team, including a content audit, looking at the flow of your website (if you have one) and how it will all come together (if you don’t), plus the developing of your buyer personas.
This is what’s known as ‘building the engine’ that’s going to take you on the road to success – it all starts right here.
By Month 2, you should be ready to launch your inbound marketing campaign. This may include a new website, or a content rethink on the old one. You’ll probably have your first marketing assets by now – such as ebooks or white papers – that you can use for your content offers or call-to-actions (CTAs) at the bottom of your blogs.
Talking of your blog, that should now be up and running (if it wasn’t already) and your very first pieces of content should have gone out. We’re making progress!
You should be slowly getting in the habit of contributing towards regular content, which is used to drive a steady stream of traffic to your website – it’s the fuel you need to power that engine we talked about. As a rule of thumb; the more content, the better – but that still doesn’t mean instant results.
If you’d never written a blog post before, and don’t have a lot of content, it might taken an entire month for someone to even see your content come up in a search result. This is because of the process Google goes through when indexing new content – you have to keep building on your visibility and credibility.
By now you should have started seeing changes in your website traffic, especially from organic search. You may begin to see some indication of new leads coming in – especially if you’re working with an agency, as they’re always on the lookout for getting ‘quick wins’ to help you acquire leads and sales in the early, barren months.
However, if you’re going it alone and you’re not getting much in the way of leads through yet, don’t panic – it’s still early days, and as I said above, it could take an entire month until your content is seen.
More higher quality leads should have began trickling in by now, and you’ll find a lot more ‘middle of the funnel’ leads coming through – the ones who are more interested in speaking to you about your product or services.
Your content will be showing up a lot more in Google searches, which is why you’ll begin to see a difference in the amount of traffic you’re receiving.
This is typically where the corner really starts to turn. It’s been a tough five months, but finally you’re starting to see a pay-off for all your hard work – which I’m sure we can all agree is a great feeling.
You may still have a long way to go, but you’re now got a powerful engine behind you to generate new leads and sales, and it’s only going to get better from here.
Want to see results faster?
Remember, the time it takes to see results from inbound marketing really depends on your average customer’s buying cycle, and it could take anything from 5 – 18 months to start seeing tangible changes.
However, there ARE a few tips and tricks that I can give you can try to see results from your inbound marketing efforts faster – although, if you’re already with an agency, they’ll probably have this covered for you.
Visit my blog ‘How Long Does Inbound Marketing Take to Work?‘ and read the section called ‘Tips to speed things up’ – hopefully this should help you out in those particularly tough, early months.
The first months of inbound marketing can be harrowing, and it’s not always an easy road to go down – you’re putting a lot of time and money in, and not getting a lot back in return. Don’t worry – this is normal, and you will start seeing results, as long as you give it time and keep the faith.
To help give you a more realistic view of inbound marketing, I’ve put together the above six-month timeframe of the results you can expect to start seeing, and when. And remember, inbound marketing can take anywhere from 5 to 18 months, so if this isn’t you yet, it could just be that your buying cycle is a bit longer.
What do you think about having to wait 6 months?