I don't mind saying that some days inbound marketing just feels like too much hard work. "But Dave", I hear you say, "you run an inbound marketing agency, how can you say that?". Well, I'm not saying I find inbound hard work, I love it because I love helping people, I'm saying I sometimes find it hard trying to convince others about its merits. I'll explain.
Red Evolution Opinions & Musings
Although it's no secret, many people don't really know what an Inbound Marketing Agency does from day to day. They know it's something related to websites and generating leads, but the nuts and bolts of what that involves are still a mystery. If that sounds like you (and yes, I'm talking to you, Mum!) here's what a typical day at Red Evo Towers looks like.
I picked up a new car yesterday and during the test drive, I had a chat with the salesman. He said something very interesting which ties in with what we know about inbound marketing. I was asking him about his job, what he liked about it and how he came to be a salesman. When I suggested that it must be enjoyable developing an understanding of people's needs so he could help them choose a car, his answer was very interesting.
Inbound marketing helps businesses find customers at a time when those customers have identified a need. It’s different from traditional marketing that seeks to interrupt people who are otherwise engaged in the hope they might need what’s being advertised.
I overheard a conference call in the office today. The client said, "One of the things I want to be careful of is not giving too much away to competitors". On the one hand that makes sense, on the other, it flies in the face of the inbound marketing methodology.
We're an agency primarily involved with inbound marketing and we pretty much talk about all aspects of the work we do, including providing plenty of how-to information. But why do we do this?
There are lots of agencies offering low-cost search engine optimisation or SEO services. If you're reading this by accident and you're not sure what SEO is, this quick guide to search marketing should help. But is it possible to create a powerful high ranking website by paying someone a few hundred pounds or dollars or less per month? Probably not, and here's why.
As we mentioned in our last blog, many business owners are wasting time looking for cheap and quick ways of creating traffic to their websites. In so doing they're potentially killing their businesses instead of building something with staying power that can deliver valuable leads for years to come. Agencies like us who are involved in the delivery of inbound marketing services spend a lot of time trying to convince others of its capabilities. Are you convinced?
We're doing some interesting testing on our website just now around the much misunderstood (and misremembered) subject of Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. We're showing some visitors an offer for some paid consultancy, a tailored SEO workshop and a low-cost SEO retainer, while others are being offered a FREE SEO quick start guide.
In these days of fake news, filters and photoshop, it is understandable when clients ask if they actually have to tell the truth on their websites, social media accounts and in their inbound marketing campaigns. So, how important is it to be authentic? Is it ever OK to be economical with the truth?
A quote attributed to Bertrand Russell says "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." In our line of work as an inbound marketing agency, we meet people from both camps. Let's just say we are selective about who we choose to work with.
Take our advice; if people don't value the work you do, if they hire you to help them and then question your expertise, you don't need to work with them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with saying, "no, this isn't a good match, you'd be better off working with someone else." Life's too short. Save your energy for the right type of clients.
If your business is struggling and you need leads right now, inbound marketing is not for you. Now, that might seem like a strange thing for an inbound marketing agency to say, after all, we're in the business of making money by helping people with their lead generation. The thing is, inbound marketing isn't a quick fix for a sales funnel that's dried up, it's something to do when your revenues are in good shape and you want to make sure they stay that way.
Thanks for sending through your scope of work. Before we quote I have a few questions and it might, as you suggested, be worth having a chat.
I often have conversations with people, potential clients, who are frustrated because their websites don't deliver leads. The thing is, we make no secret of the route to success. In fact, we spend a lot of time blogging on the subject and freely share the information people need to get their websites working for their businesses.
But most people are more interested in sweating the small stuff, they look for easy fixes, low effort activities that will propel them up the search rankings overnight... but they don't exist. They should really start sweating the big stuff. This is what we mean by "the big stuff".
This week Square 2 Marketing's chief inbound scientist Mike Lieberman had a cracking rant about the state of marketing in the modern era. It's well worth a read. Although we've had a great week, securing a government contract and starting conversations with some great businesses, I'm 100% behind Mike, people's expectations are messed up, and that's putting it politely.
SEO has always had an air of mystery about it. It goes back to the early days when it was possible to improve your rankings in Google by using slightly dodgy tactics. Remember keyword stuffing, invisible text and the numerous meaningless directories that linked back to your site.