“Yes, we know we must do inbound marketing. But we don’t have the time or resources for it.”
Or, “We can’t afford it right now.”
Or, “We don’t have any marketing person to handle this.”
Or, some other excuse. (“We are not marketing savvy,” “We let our work speak for ourselves,” “We are an introverted company…”)
“Excuse? It’s not an excuse, it’s my business reality,” you say.
Sorry. In this day and age, it is just an excuse.
Yes, you might think you can’t afford to do it right now. But spare a thought (nay, worry!) about the cost of not doing inbound marketing.
You don’t do it. Someone else will. Your competition.
Your competition will rank on keywords your sweet-spot customers are using to find your kind of offerings.
You have competition to deal with, especially if you have chosen a lucrative, growing market. You may have your differentiators, which make a certain kind of customer or a specific customer persona perfect for your kind of offerings. And they are likely looking for you. So they whip up their favorite search engine and enter terms with which they can find you.
Except you don’t show up. Your team stopped updating the website a couple years ago, remember? But the competition didn’t.
They will tell their stories and when your sweet-spot prospect looks around for yours, she will find none. Guess what she will go with?
Your rivals do show up because they have created more stories around those keywords. So they get a lead. You lose a chance to have a conversation about a potential business opportunity. Every time they generate a lead, you lose a chance.
We have been handling inbound marketing for a B2B client for the past four years. And over the years they have steadily increased the leads they generate from the website. Four years ago, they were struggling with generating leads as a small company. Today, they have become the biggest player in the continent in their chosen domain, and some credit is due to the leads generated. Most of the client’s contemporaries have not ventured into a focused content marketing effort, and are heavily dependent on their outbound sales efforts.
Your competition will see lower costs on running their marketing as they will be fighting fewer rivals for Adwords.
Get someone to quickly look up per click costs for Google adwords for keywords you would like to be found on. Let’s say they are at 10 bucks today. Look at the trends for the keyword also. And this will give you a picture of how the bidding will pan out for those keywords over the year. What you pay 10 bucks for today, may cost you 18 by year end. Or more.
At that point you are likely to wish for having done something that would get you the leads organically instead of putting money into ads, which show you results only for the duration that the ads are run.
They will have the early mover advantage in trying, failing, trying again and again and succeeding.
Your rival moved earlier than you did. They tried some content, tracked how it did. Maybe not so well. Then they tried something else, and that seemed to work. They learnt something by trying this. And then maybe they hired an agency to run parts of their marketing. Who helped them learn faster, tracking better, managing and optimizing the efforts. One year down the line, compare yourself with this rival. They stand more confident about their inbound marketing efforts and know what works for them, and what to focus on. You, on the other hand, have no such learnings to leverage.
They will become fearless about experimenting and will be willing to put more money where the conversion is.
Once they know how things are panning out for them, they will choose where to spend their money: content, social, webinars, promotions, communities, ads, or all of them. And as they generate leads, and see conversions, they will be open to spending more to generate even more results. Their efforts now get funded by the conversions they get. And what looked risky a year ago is no longer that.
While you wait on the sidelines, hoping for the leads to come in, not wanting to take the risk or spend money.
If you think it’s expensive to get on the ‘content marketing bandwagon’, or try inbound marketing, think again. It will be far more expensive to not do it, when you look back in a few month’s time.
So, start from where you are, with what you have. But start.