inbound marketing, lead generation

Inbound Marketing Misconceptions Hamper Lead Generation Effectiveness

Inbound Marketing Misconceptions Will Derail Your Success

Let me start by stating Inbound Marketing is the single most effective form of Marketing in use today. Through publishing articles and stories of interest to your website, you attract an audience through organic search. Through Calls to Action that implement your sales funnel, you walk website visitors (some, not all) into becoming prospects for your business.

I’ve successfully done it several times and students I’ve taught have also successfully done it several times. It’s systematic, repeatable, and effective.

But you’ve got to do it right, which starts with an understanding of what Inbound Marketing is and is not.

What Inbound Marketing is

Inbound Marketing is a form of marketing that looks like journalism. The most common reason it fails is because people fail to see this. You must publish, often and frequently. You must learn to think like a journalist and you must get the importance of your online presence.

Why did Yahoo hire Katie Couric? Because she gets journalism.

Why did Borders go under while Amazon thrives? Because Amazon gets the importance of the online presence and Borders did not.

Common and Harmful Inbound Marketing Misconceptions

Some of these focus your efforts in wasteful ways. Others set improper expectations, which when unfulfilled leads people to believe it doesn’t work.

Viral Videos Can be Made On Demand

Someone did an analysis of viral videos and concluded there are common characteristics to viral videos. That does not mean that if you make a video containing everything on the list that your video will go viral. There is some intangible that causes some videos to go viral and most do not. For the sake of this article let’s call that luck.

Inbound Marketing Content is Not Focused

This depends on what you mean by “focused”. Are the articles in Cosmopolitan Magazine focused? The Economist? The Christian Science Monitor? Popular Mechanics? Better Homes and Gardens?

Within the niche of interest the topics of the articles vary, but you’re highly unlikely to find lawn care articles in Cosmopolitan, or articles about cold fusion reactors in Better Homes and Gardens.

The content is absolutely focused within whatever you theme is.

It Takes Years go Develop Your Audience

Best case, I’ve seen some niche’s see dramatic results in as little as 3 months. More common is 7 to 9 months. Occasionally a niche does take years because the niche is so competitive. If that is your case you need to narrow your initial focus . Find and dominate sub-niches, one after the other. By accumulating sub-niches you’ll gain dominance in your niche over time.

You Will See Results Immediately

People who make this claim generally provide “proof” that a specific long keyword phrase ranked very high very quickly. Generally when this occurs it’s because the phrase is rarely searched for. Because it’s rarely searched for no one creates content to match the query, because there is no commercial benefit to doing so.

Ranking high for “transitional polarized trifocals Biloxi” is of no value if no one ever performs such a search, yet it would might easy to obtain a high ranking for such a phrase.

ROI Can Not be Measured

When you track what money you spend, then track what leads and sales result from those efforts, you can track the ROI of Inbound Marketing as well as any other form of advertising.

You can actually track better because online analytics (even the free Google Analytics)

Inbound Marketing is Too Expensive

It certainly can be, but does not have to be. A quality agency will charge from $2,500 a month on up, but when your budget simply does not allow that, it can be done on the cheap.

This website exists to teach people how to do Inbound Marketing with very little cash plus sweat equity. It’s not magic. Anyone can learn it and do it.

Inbound Marketing Does Not Directly Generate Sales

The purpose of Inbound Marketing is to generate leads, not sales. Having said that if you sell a product that is fairly cheap (for example $30) you can easily sell directly from your website after attracting people through Inbound Marketing.

If what you sell is $2,500 consulting engagements, it would be foolish to expect anyone to buy after viewing a few web pages. What you want is for them to contact you so you can talk more. What you want is a lead to follow up on.

Inbound Marketing Replaces SEO

Inbound Marketing requires SEO. SEO is foundational to Inbound Marketing. It must be there, but SEO by itself is not enough. SEO ensure the technical aspects of your website and your individual webpages are optimize to be easy to find. SEO is not content generation. You need fresh content at regular intervals, but that content MUST be properly formatted for good SEO.

My Industry is Too Boring

When people need goods and services they start their research online. This is true for almost every type of business. Do you need a new janitorial service to clean your offices? Did you know there is a magazine for that industry? How do they know what to publish?

Need colored concrete? Did you know there is a magazine for Concrete Research? How do they know what to publish?

No matter how boring you think your industry is, people who need your goods and services need information to help them stay current on trends and learn new things, even if those new things are new only to them.

Pay per Click Works Better

Pay per click may work faster, but long term, pay per click works only when you pay. If you stop for whatever reason your traffic immediately drops to zero. With Inbound Marketing you can take a week off if you ever need to. You will suffer a slight decrease in traffic as a result, but it won’t drop to zero. Additionally, once your Inbound Marketing is fully functional (by which I mean generating leads) there is no source of cheaper or better leads anywhere.

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