Patience and consistency – virtues in many aspects of your life. These same qualities are important for marketing your business, and even more critical for your inbound marketing efforts. Putting an inbound marketing plan in motion that attracts your ideal client is something that requires stamina and determination:
- Stamina to continue on course for the long term no matter who says you should change
- Determination to make it work and see your business succeed
Inbound marketing is a process that requires regular, consistent delivery to increase your visibility and demonstrate your expertise. Patience and persistence is necessary for this to work and for you to see the results.
How long? That can vary from one business to the next. In today’s highly connected world, time to visibility, credibility and profitability has been reduced, but it still doesn’t happen overnight.
Three Tips to a Successful Inbound Marketing Marathon
So many small business owners get excited about setting up their web presence. They develop a website, set up their social platforms and then stop and do nothing. Why put all the time and effort into training for a marathon to just stop when you get to the starting line?
So before you put money and time into setting up your web presence for your long term inbound marketing activity, here are three tips to ensure you understand the effort required:
A Standalone Website is a Thing of the Past
The website needs to support the rest of your online strategy. Creating a large digital footprint helps people find your business. A quality website provides a landing area for those who come from those other web properties. Once your visitors finally get to your website, be sure to give them something to do – a call to action – so they provide you the contact information that begins the process of building a relationship with them.
Tip » A website is the central hub of your web presence but it is not the end of the game. Once the website is set up, add links to all of your social media profiles so your digital footprint covers a wider area of the Internet.
Your Social Sites won’t be Social Without You
The pleasure of your presence is requested – on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest or … . So many platforms, so little time! I get it. It’s hard to be visible across so many platforms while running your business and servicing your clients, but that’s why you create a plan and select only those platforms that make the most sense for your business. You can’t be everywhere at once – don’t try to be.
Tip » Social media marketing is a long term commitment, not a marketing campaign that has a beginning and end. Select your platforms based on your target market and then stay active and present to create the most value.
Your Brand isn’t Built Overnight
You didn’t build your personal reputation overnight (although some people manage to destroy theirs that quickly!), so you shouldn’t expect your professional or business brand reputation and visibility to be created instantaneously. Establish a consistent brand and project it on your website, social profiles, email marketing campaigns and anywhere you maintain a presence to help your brand’s visibility and recognition.
Tip » Set a goal for your brand so you have something to work towards. Then consistently work to achieve that goal.
Running the Inbound Marketing Marathon
For inbound marketing to succeed, you must become the consistent, patient, always present and helpful business owner providing relevant content to your target market.
If you make a commitment to increase your brand’s visibility through inbound marketing, make sure you are ready to be there for the long term before you establish a web presence of any type.
Are you getting ready for a marathon or a sprint? Which one do you think will be the most beneficial to your business visibility?
Debra Murphy is a marketing coach and consultant who helps small businesses navigate the complex maze of online marketing. Experienced across all traditional marketing channels, Debra specializes in inbound marketing, a combination of search, social media and content marketing, to help small businesses effectively utilize this new media to gain visibility and generate inbound leads. Debra regularly writes about small business marketing on her Masterful Marketing blog and contributes to thought-leading resources like Business2Community and Social Media Today.