Inbound marketing requires a long-term view. If you’re expecting to generate a lot of new traffic and customers within a few weeks or a couple of months, think again.
You might be saying, “well if you have the formula, it should work right away if you know what you’re doing.”
Ultimately, part of the formula needed for inbound marketing to work is time.
Trying to predict which articles or blog posts become popular is very tricky. If it were possible to predict every article that would receive 1 million shares and generate more customers than you could handle, trust me, we’d be doing it. We have a set of criteria and rules that we use to give you the best chance of success for every blog post that goes out.
Think of it like investing: save a certain amount every month, put it into a mixture of stocks and bonds, let time and consistency work its magic, and presto! – you can retire with a nice nest egg. You wouldn’t expect your investment to pay off after only a few months.
With that analogy safely in mind, let’s see why inbound marketing is still a good strategy even without immediate returns.
Inbound Marketing Case Example
We are going to use our very own business as a case example. Let’s look at the total traffic a post has received for 60 days and 90 days since its posting (our last 30 posts with the required amount of data).
As you can see, there is a distinct spike (post #11) and a few other smaller spikes (#8, #19, #28) but a majority of the posts fall into a flat, linear pattern. It is almost impossible to predict just how well an individual post will do. We follow a particular strategy that allows us to put ourselves in position for these advantageous large spikes. At worst we achieve steady, long-term growth.
Ultimately we aren’t sure which post will have the greatest success but we know that over the long term, we are going to have success.
The first post on the above graph was about March 1st. Look at how our total number of pageviews has grown since then:
Over the short term, it is nearly impossible to know or predict which post will do well. We put ourselves in the best long term position possible.
Our strategy is long term – that is to say that we know the long term effect will be a rise in traffic. With a rise in traffic comes more possible leads. Other strategies we use will help filter those leads into qualified leads and, eventually, possible customers.
Final Thoughts on Inbound Marketing
The data shows that over the long term, we can generate a consistent increase in traffic. What we can’t do, despite our best efforts, is know exactly which blog post will generate a large influx of traffic.
Inbound marketing isn’t about the short run, week-to-week activity. It is about the cumulative effort over the course of several months.
That’s when you’re going to see the benefits and the payoffs of the strategy. Be patient, my friends.