Posted in Inbound Marketing. 7 min read
Here at Bluleadz, it’s no secret that we stand for quality inbound marketing.
Inbound is what your prospects expect – and what they love – whether they call it that or not. It gives them the power and flexibility to move through the buyer journey at their own pace by accessing the information they want, when they want it.
Traditional outbound marketing is exemplified by the cold call: Contacting as many people as you can in the hopes of exhausting all resistance.
On the other hand, inbound marketing focuses on helpful content that will attract buyers when they are ready to do research.
We sincerely believe that inbound is the most effective, most sustainable, and ultimately, the least costly (in time, money, and sanity) of all the digital marketing methods out there today.
That said, NO method is perfect ... not even inbound marketing.
That’s not to say inbound’s cons outweigh its pros. But, like anything worth doing, there are parts that aren’t easy.
Think of something that’s challenging and rewarding, like training for a marathon. There’s the incredible high of actually achieving it, but that comes at the end. First comes the training. That requires research, discipline, and a fair amount of long, hard days.
And just like that, inbound marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
So, we decided to use the benefit of our many years as inbound marketing experts to really look at both sides of the coin -- the good, the bad, and the ugly of inbound marketing.
There’s a lot more good than bad, but you deserve to go into it with all the facts. After all, that’s one of the core precepts of inbound marketing.
So, without further ado, here’s our ultimate list of inbound marketing pros and cons.
The Biggest Pros of Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing Works for Any Business
No matter what kind of business you have, you can use inbound marketing to make it better. It works brilliantly for B2B and B2C enterprises.
It will turn your website into a sales-oriented conversion engine, not just an online product brochure. From multinational software firms to local Italian bistros, inbound is the answer to today’s biggest marketing challenges.
Inbound Marketing Is Relatively Inexpensive
When business owners first look into digital marketing, they have two major options to consider: Inbound or pay per click (PPC).
PPC drives immediate traffic to your website, but without the savvy and strategy provided by inbound, it could cost you thousands without making a single dent in your sales figures. Inbound, by contrast, has few recurring costs beyond agency fees.
Inbound Marketing Accelerates Your Sales Cycle
Inbound marketing fosters trust throughout every customer touch-point. Ideally, leads will enter your sales funnel early in their research process and remain there throughout the journey.
Your voice will advise them throughout the process, whether on your site or on social media. This shortens the sales cycle and makes it easier to close an agreement, even on high-ticket items.
Inbound Marketing Builds Your Knowledge
Although not every member of your team will actually write inbound marketing content, every person in the organization is enriched by the knowledge capital you’ll generate.
It’s said that you only truly understand a topic you can explain to others, and everyone can have a part in crafting your message – plus, you’ll never be left behind on the latest trends and industry conversations.
Inbound Marketing Positions You As a Leader
Since inbound marketing will keep you current on everything happening in your space, it’s only a matter of time before you start making your own truly unique contributions to the discussion.
That will help you differentiate from the competition, making your marketing and sales force that much more credible as you seek out the most desirable (and demanding) clientele.
Inbound Marketing Builds Momentum in Time
Traditional outbound marketing takes a “fire and forget” approach where you make a call or post an ad, then do it all over again.
Each time, you’re essentially starting from scratch. With inbound marketing, your Web content, email list, and other initiatives continue to attract prospects over time. The sooner you start, the better – and your lead on the competition will only continue to grow.
Inbound Marketing Helps You Learn About Your Audience
Done well, inbound marketing generates a tremendous amount of data. When all that data is interpreted and applied thoughtfully, it will teach you about your prospects, leads, and customers in an astonishing amount of detail.
And that’s not just for fun: Inbound marketing data is truly actionable, and sometimes, you can make valuable improvements with it literally overnight.
The Biggest Cons of Inbound Marketing
Inbound Marketing Takes Time to Work
Anyone who tells you inbound marketing is a quick fix is trying to sell you something (i.e., inbound marketing).
No real digital marketing professional will promise you results in less than three months. Since inbound really does work for any business, there’ll always be a learning curve in terms of the optimal way to make it work for you. After that, it’s off to the races.
Inbound Marketing Is a Long-Term Commitment
If you want to make cheese, you don’t stop after you milk the cow.
Inbound marketing will build into an ever-more powerful force for your business as the months roll by, but there’s a flip side to that: If you completely stop your inbound marketing strategy, it will erode before long.
You’ll lose visibility, links, and credibility – and ultimately be left with much-diminished online pull.
Inbound Marketing Is a Learning Process
Inbound marketing is simple to learn but impossible to master.
That’s right: There is no wise sage on the mountaintop who knows all there is to know about inbound marketing or about where it will go in the future.
Methods have to be adjusted constantly according to the market, your own needs, and changes on the top search engines. So, it’s vital that you never stand still on inbound.
Inbound Marketing Usually Shouldn’t Be Handled Alone
Over the course of a few years, you could probably build formidable inbound mojo within your own organization.
But which would you rather have in twelve months: A skilled team that’s ready to tackle its first campaign in earnest, or the major increases in sales you could have after your mature marketing campaign starts reeling in those motivated buyers?
The biggest takeaway: Inbound marketing isn’t the genie of the lamp, but it can grant most of your marketing wishes if you allow it the time to work its magic.
A trustworthy digital marketing agency will give you the straight facts on what it can do for you, what the timeframes should look like, and what your investment will be – all without any hidden surprises.
Of course, we wouldn’t mind if Bluleadz is the first digital marketing agency you reach out to – we would love to have the chance to become your favorite inbound marketing company.
But whether you choose us or not, you can now go into your search for inbound marketing talent armed with the real pros and cons – and just as the G.I. Joe team used to say, knowing is half the battle.