I’ve seen too many marketing campaigns die because they weren’t 100% successful right from the outset. I’ve seen too many business owners frustrated that their campaign didn’t produce immediate results. Especially inbound marketing campaigns.
Sure, if you’re a restaurant or spa and you run a Groupon, you probably will have people walking in the door quickly – at a 75% discount. But will that initial spike provide long-term loyal repeat customers? Only if people love that first experience and you have follow up marketing plans in place.
Inbound Marketing Takes Time
With my B2B clients, we create a lead magnet – a “freebie” – to get people to exchange contact info for something they perceive to be valuable. This freebie may not produce instant out of the ballpark results, but let’s say 5% of web visitors who see that page take action. Over a year or 5 years, that’s significant – especially if you are also growing your web traffic by 5-10% per month.
Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Seeing sales results immediately is unrealistic – especially when you have a long, complex sales process. Search engine optimization, inbound marketing, and content marketing are all long-term strategies. You may get a few quick hits, but these strategies are not intended to move the needle immediately. But they are intended to build long-lasting business marketing assets. Attributes like dependability, credibility and thought leadership can’t be created in a day. For many business owners, this lag time between activity and results can get pretty discouraging. We live in an instant microwave culture where we want results NOW! Stay positive and have faith that when you continue to do the right things week-in and week-out, your marketing efforts will pay off.
Like Gardening, You Reap What You Sow…But Not Immediately
Commit to a strategy for at least 6-12 months. Set behavioral goals to ensure you are doing the right activities. If you aren’t seeing sales results right away, look for other indicators that you’re on the right path. More traffic. More downloads. More subscribers. More phone calls. Keep up with your blogging, promoting, and emailing. Give your leads time to gestate.
Test, test, test.
Test every step of your lead generation process. Can you improve the ad, the landing page, the emails, the offer? What moves the needle? Where are prospects getting stuck?
Marketing takes time. Sometimes it feels like way more time than you wanted to spend. But be patient. Be committed. Good things come to those who wait – and those who hustle to make it happen.