One of my favorite ways to find new topics to write about is by getting keyword ideas from my analytics program. I blog regularly on internet marketing topics and am always amazed and amused at the ways people find my blog posts. This morning while digging through our website analytics, I found that someone landed on our website after searching: Is inbound marketing a scam?
Now of course, I realize that there is a good amount of psychology behind why we search for things, but I am going to assume that this searcher was doing due diligence on inbound marketing. It’s really quite interesting because inbound marketing itself is not a product or a service, it’s a methodology. In thinking about this query, I am compelled to guess at the reasoning behind this search and explain why inbound marketing isn’t a scam. But first, let’s talk about what inbound marketing is and what it isn’t:
In short, inbound marketing is a system which uses several different types of internet marketing tactics to convert traffic that hits your website into leads that grow increasingly closer to customers. Inbound marketing is a newer term, but the methods used to convert traffic to leads are likely as old as web 2.0 itself.
The phrase “Inbound Marketing” was seemingly coined by the authors of the book “Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs” and founders of the increasingly popular software suite: Hubspot. Hubspot has pumped a HUGE amount of content into the web-o-sphere surrounding the process of inbound marketing which has raised awareness of the fact that there is a reproducible method of leveraging the internet to get quality leads. In that, more and more companies are looking to get better results from their own websites and feel they are leaving money on the table. Where I think marketers and business owners get confused, is in the fact that Hubspot is a software provider and not a service provider.
Inbound marketing isn’t a way to get leads without doing work. Inbound marketing is a way of getting from point A to point B — It’s not the vehicle that gets you there, it’s the map that guides you. In other words, inbound marketing is really a system that, when employed correctly, can create overwhelmingly positive results; however, inbound marketing won’t do the work for you.
Inbound marketing takes time. It’s not a process that will get you instantly remarkable results, but given a year of following the methodology, analyzing results, testing and tweaking your website for optimization – you are pretty much guaranteed to see results – as long as you are doing things “by the book” and not slacking off. I know that sounds harsh, but it is a little bit like running a marathon, whereas you need to be prepared for the long haul. Once you start seeing results using inbound marketing, you will be able to cut back or even eliminate the expensive, non-track-able marketing methods and shift your sales focus to the warm leads you get via your website vs. cold calling.
The answer to the question: “Is inbound marketing a scam?” lies with you and how committed you are to seeing results.
If you think that by buying some software you will instantly begin seeing leads, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you are interested in committing to the steps involved in inbound marketing, you will likely be amazed by the results received over time.