As an inbound marketing team, we've heard it all. During the discovery phase of many of our client relationships we hear all kind of reasons that they haven't tried inbound marketing yet, or why it's kind of interesting but they're just not sure it will work for them. Even though you can hardly say inbound marketing is new at this point (and in fact many of the tactics employed in a good inbound strategy have been around for decades), people are still wary. We get it. That's why the ManoByte team is here to clear up a few rumors, overheards, myths, and misconceptions about inbound marketing, what it is, and how it can help your business (yes, yours!)
- It's confusing to customers
Don't fix what ain't broke. It's something all of us have heard in various forms throughout our lives. And we don't disagree. The traditional marketing tactics that are working for you - and I mean really working - don't need to be fixed. But the fact is that traditional, disruptive marketing, that forces its message onto unsuspecting, and often irrelevant, consumers, performs a lot worse than it used to. Consumers have access to more information than ever, which makes them savvy comparison shoppers who want value for their time and money. Inbound marketing provides value to your customers and your prospects. It's not confusing, it's actually helpful. That's the whole idea!
- It's a waste of time
"Inbound marketing will take too much time and too much effort from my marketing team." That's another thing we've heard a lot. It's true that setting up an inbound marketing program takes an initial time investment and creating compelling content on a regular basis may be a new skill for your team to learn. But you'll be spending that time on a strategy that works. Furthermore, once you get in the habit of regular blogging and figure out what kinds of content and offers appeal to your audience, it will get easier and faster. So yes, it is true that inbound marketing takes time. But we know it's worth the investment.
- You can't measure it
Some people seem to believe that marketing teams are like monkeys with paintbrushes. Sure, eventually they might end up inadvertently creating a Picasso, but there's no telling what else they get into the process. When it comes to inbound marketing, people who are unfamiliar with it might accept that it works sometimes, but think it's impossible to know how or how often. That couldn't be further from the truth. Inbound marketing is extremely measurable. From clicks to downloads to blog comments, there is a ton of data to choose from for every inbound marketing action so you'll know exactly what's working and how.
- It's another name for social media
You've already got a Facebook page and a Twitter account, what else could you need? It's true that social media is an essential part of any inbound marketing strategy, but it's far from the only part. Inbound marketing involves creating great content in many forms, from blog posts to whitepapers to informative ebooks and infographics. It's not just a fancy way of saying "Facebook."
- It's a poor substitute for a great sales team
When we talking about inbound marketing and how it can jumpstart your lead generation and drive traffic to your site, sometimes salespeople start to get nervous. If our content and website is going to be bringing in the leads and closing customers, there will be nothing left for sales to do, right? Well, no. There will always be a place for a top-notch sales team. What inbound marketing does is foster a closer relationship between marketing and sales by generating leads that are higher quality and much more ready for contact. It's a good thing for the company, which means it's a good thing for everyone. It doesn't replace good salespeople -- probably nothing ever will.
- My blog will be boring
We have all heard this and most of us have probably even felt this way. People like to read blogs about celebrity gossip and cute animals and their favorite football team, not SaaS or lightbulbs or patio furniture. Maybe for the general public this is true, but with inbound marketing and your blog specifically, you're not looking to attract attention from just anyone. You're looking to attract the audience that's looking to buy what you're selling. And for them, a useful blog post about what they're in the market for (your product or service) is the most interesting thing in the world. Even if you don't have a celebrity spokesmodel or a fluffy bunny for a mascot, your blog can be interesting, and it can absolutely generate sales.
- It can't give me results fast enough
This one is a tricky misconception because it's true that inbound marketing won't have sales falling in your lap overnight. But inbound marketing is a strategy, not a single action. That means there are pieces of an inbound marketing strategy that can show you results - in the form of site traffic and leads - quickly. It can be as simple as a design adjustment or a well-placed CTA. But yes, implementing a new inbound marketing campaign so that you can continuously generate leads, does take some time. But you will see the results you're looking for with proper implementation.
- Email marketing is too old school
With everyone from Wired to The Telegraph loudly proclaiming that "email is dead" it's easy to fall into the trap of believing it's too late to start an email marketing campaign. While more tweens may use Twitter and Instagram to communicate with their peers, email marketing still works. Just have a look at this 2013 study from the Direct Marketing Association. It says 66% of all consumers have made an online purchase as a result of a marketing email. That's in 2013, not 2003. The way we use email may be changing, but email marketing is far from drawing it's last breath and it's still an essential part of inbound marketing that can work for you.
If you're ready to learn how inbound marketing can help your business thrive, contact us for a free inbound marketing assessment today!