Small business owners often ask me how long a blogging and social media driven marketing campaign — called inbound marketing — will take. They want to know how much effort and resources they need to pour into their blog, Twitter feed and Facebook page before their businesses will begin to see a return.
The other day, I stumbled across a video from Mike Volpe, the Chief Marketing Officer at HubSpot, an online marketing company. Hubspot knows a lot about inbound marketing having created a very effective system of online software for communicating and engaging with online audiences. In the video, Mike explains how long an inbound marketing campaign can take.
I’ve taken the liberty of listing below the key points that Mike raises in the video.
How long will an inbound marketing campaign take?
The simple answer is ‘It varies’. Some campaigns deliver returns within a couple of weeks. Others require months of energy and focus to show progress. Mike’s answer in the video corresponds very much with my experience at lbdesign. When working with some clients, my colleagues and I were able to capture some very quick wins; with others, we spent many months working hard to produce results.
Key factors in determining how long an inbound marketing campaign takes
- Age of the website and business: the longer a site has been online, the better positioned it is to garner notice from search engines.
- Amount of relevant content: the more posts that a site contains on a specific topic, the better. The natural inclusion of keywords will help search engines find a site more easily.
- Inbound links: links from other websites are seen as a vote of confidence or as an indication of the quality of content on our site. The greater number of inbound links, the stronger the SEO position.
- Strength of competition: the more competitive the industry, the more time it will take to develop a noticeable web presence.
- Time and energy dedicated to implementation: the more time spent blogging, commenting on other blogs and engaging with others on social media, the quicker the inbound marketing campaign will reap rewards.
While ‘It depends’ is not an ideal answer in any business situation, at least we know the factors that determine how long our small business focused inbound marketing campaign can take.