Inbound marketing becomes increasingly important to digital commerce with each passing year. Inbound digital marketing sets your business up as a thought leader in your industry. This helps you to gain trust, brand recognition, and develop an actual relationship with your audience.
Paid ads are on the decline, as well, with up to 80% of Internet users ignoring Google-sponsored ads.
Inbound digital marketing is going to keep playing an important part in the ways we use the Internet for business. Yet not everyone understands what inbound marketing truly is, let alone how to run an effective inbound campaign.
To help demystify this emerging art form, here are some of the main misconceptions about digital inbound marketing.
Common Misconceptions About Inbound Digital Marketing
Before we begin, let’s look at what inbound marketing is, as a way to clarify what it isn’t.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
The premise behind digital inbound marketing is simple, but its implications are profound.
To illustrate, think of this hypothetical grocery store scenario.
An Example Of Inbound Marketing (and Why It Works)
Customer 1 is looking to bake a cake. They walk through the grocery store aimlessly. Everywhere they look, there are signs screaming the praises of this or that brand. The images all look great. The text all make compelling cases for buying their cake mix. The customer just doesn’t know where to turn or who to trust.
Customer 1 is looking for a cake mix. They’re pretty sure they want chocolate cake, but they’re not sure what kind. They approach a sales clerk and ask for advice. The conversation helps them decide to go with a spongy sheet cake mix with an espresso fudge icing.
The cake is delicious and the interaction is pleasant-but-productive. The customer is left with a positive impression of the cake mix, the store clerk, and the store itself.
This is one example of the power of digital inbound marketing.
The sales and marketing approach for Customer 1 is the regular marketing channels of sponsored ads and direct mail. Old-fashioned marketing, basically (and there is a time and a place for that.)
This direct-marketing approach has its risks, however. For one, it comes off as sales-y, which a lot of customers don’t respond well to. Less than 25% of consumers trust print ads. The numbers are even grimmer for digital advertising.
This willy-nilly marketing approach also runs the risk of advertising to people who aren’t even looking for that product or service. PPC campaigns are usually good for targeting audiences, but things can go wrong. This could leave someone with a permanent bad taste towards your brand. They could transmit this distaste to their network, doing, even more, damage to your brand.
Customer 2 is a typical inbound customer. They’re looking for something, and your digital inbound marketing helps them. They reward you with a sale, after taking their time in their buying cycle. You’re bringing an actual service to their lives and they will reward you for it.
Common Misconceptions About Digital Inbound Marketing
From being too time-consuming to too expensive, there are some of the biggest fallacies about inbound marketing.
Inbound Marketing Takes Too Much Time
It is true that quality digital inbound marketing takes time. As Teddy Roosevelt reminds us, “Nothing worth having is easy.” It does take time to generate thoughtful, insightful blog posts and market our creations via social media and email marketing.
Time is not the metric you need to be measuring here, however. Inbound marketing’s ROI is 96 times greater than direct mail. We simply cannot ignore those figures.
Can’t Measure Inbound Marketing’s ROI
Some CEOs have given up on trying to measure their marketing’s effectiveness. 69% of CEOs have ceased assigning KPIs for their marketing activities. It’s impossible to know if marketing is truly effective if you don’t know what you’re striving for.
Traditional print marketing’s ROI is actually much more of a blind spot than digital inbound marketing. It’s difficult to gauge how many people are seeing a billboard or a print ad. Inbound digital marketing offers deep insights into every aspect of your marketing campaign.
Inbound Marketing Doesn’t Convert
There’s an age-old competition between sales and marketing. Salespeople feel that marketing yields low-quality leads. Marketers feel that sales personnel don’t try hard enough with the leads they have.
Digital inbound marketing lays this argument to rest. An effective digital marketing campaign will create content for each stage of a buyer’s journey. This segments your audience so you can target your sales efforts more effectively. Forrester Research finds that inbound marketing yields 50% more quality leads at 33% less cost.
Inbound Marketing Produces Instant Results
Building a quality digital inbound marketing campaign takes time. Short-sighted webmasters and business owners might favor flash-in-a-pan traffic generating methods, like paid advertisements and social media blitzes. These activities disappear as soon as you stop pumping money into them, however.
Creating great content is the key to the SERP frontpage. Blogging is one of the best ways to generate relevancy for your website that Google uses to determine search engine results. It’s also an effective way to link to your own content, giving your SEO more of a boost.
As time goes on, your audience will share and spread your links. These are backlinks, which drive your website even further up the SERPs. If your content is quality and distinctive enough, it could even get cited on a major website like Forbes, which is pure gold for SEO.
Creating consistently amazing digital inbound marketing to delight our customers and earn their trust takes time. It can be a lot of work but it’s absolutely worth it.
Inbound marketing is going to becoming increasingly mandatory as more and more businesses get online and shift their efforts into long-tail search engine marketing. Given how difficult it is to know who and what to trust, these days, inbound marketing is here to stay.
Want To Find Out More About Our Inbound Marketing Services?
Check out our inbound marketing solutions to find out how we can help boost your ROI and elevate your brand to Google’s front page. Contact us at HONE Marketing today for more information and a free assessment.