When you invest in inbound marketing, you invest in becoming a media source. You no longer have to invest in buying spots and slots on someone else’s programming. You ARE the producer and the medium.
Instead of creative being a small portion of your marketing, your budget gets flipped upside down. Creative now gets the lion’s share of your marketing dollars, and the push gets a much smaller share.
In both cases, you are working to get your message out to potential customers, but by using inbound marketing, you acknowledge that paying someone else to push your content in 2017 is running your marketing spigot into a bucket with a bunch of holes in it.
Inbound marketing does not necessarily give the instant gratification of traditional media. You don’t get to drive by your brand pushing into the sky every morning on your way to work like you do with a billboard. You don’t get the rush of dopamine that comes when you see your your commercial interrupt the Pittsburgh Steelers on a crisp Sunday afternoon, and you won’t be able to hear your commercial on the radio or in the local newspaper if that’s your thing.
What you will be able to do is build assets that will continue to drive leads for you long after you’ve paid your invoice. You will be able to recycle your content assets and drive down creative costs in the future by reformatting creative assets for different situations. You will be able to link content to each other to drive SEO, and you will be able to track what marketing is striking a chord with your target audience and which is falling flat.
Budgets rise and fall, and there is no doubt that an integrated marketing strategy that encompasses a full spectrum of tactical branding and advertising is the best approach. All the gears move better when they are moving in the same direction and work together. But those budgets and strategies shouldn’t be developed and executed according to our egos as businesspeople. They should be judged by their ability to aid in our long term growth.
Make no mistake, the path toward sustained inbound marketing lead generation is an investment in long game success. It’s not for those that are impatient or are going to fold if they don’t see leads pouring in at the 3-6 month mark.
Content marketing success takes on average a good 12-18 months to take root, sprout, and start to bear significant fruit, but ask those who are patient enough to taste that fruit how sweet it is and whether it was worth the wait.
Until we get to know you and your business, we can’t tell you what strategy is best for your specific situation, but we do know that as more and more people recognize the power of producing and pushing out their own content, competition for attention will become more fierce, and those that begin investing in gaining the attention of a market hungry for information, guidance, and even entertainment now will be the first to reap the rewards as we continue to see more and more lead generation come from digital sources.