How long does it take for Internet Marketing to work?

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When it comes to Internet Marketing, the two questions we get asked the most are:

1. What do we have to do to be successful?

2. How long will it take to see results?

Interestingly enough, earlier this year, HubSpot (one of our strategic partners) released a report, which analyzed data from 5,048 of their customers to address these very questions.  I’ve provided a link to the report at the end of this post.

To our delight, their quantitative conclusions were similar to our own experiences based on analytics and results we’ve seen with clients.

That being said, although using HubSpot’s marketing software does make life easier for owners and marketing managers (and ours!), it’s not required to achieve similar results.

Here are some key takeaways from the report, which relate specifically to these two questions:

Question #1

What do we have to do…


…to increase website traffic?

HubSpot customers attributed their increase in traffic the most to the following:

 

Factors Attributing to Traffic Increase

Source: Return on Investment from Inbound Marketing through Implementing HubSpot Software Report (Jan 2013)

 

…to increase website leads?

HubSpot customers attributed their increase in leads the most to the following:

 

Factors attributing to lead lncrease

Source: Return on Investment from Inbound Marketing through Implementing HubSpot Software Report (Jan 2013)


…to increase sales?

HubSpot customers attributed their increase in sales to the following:


Question #2:

How long will it take to see results?

 

“We did not see the best ROI until over 12 months of actively blogging.  Blogging is the key.”

- Rick Canale, Exotic Flowers (HubSpot Customer)


Creating marketing (and content) that people will love via blogging, social media and email takes time – period.  There no magic shortcuts, tricks, or quick fixes.

Sure you need to know what you’re doing, but to see results, you simply must have patience and stay the course.

In fact…

I believe the reason why many companies fail to see results online is because they don’t commit to a long-term relationship with Internet (or Inbound) marketing.

But here’s what can happen when companies make the commitment:

Traffic:

  • After 12 months, all HubSpot customers experienced 4.1x more traffic.  85% of HubSpot customers that saw a traffic increase noted that it began within 7 months or less
When did you first start to see an increase in traffic

Source: Return on Investment from Inbound Marketing through Implementing HubSpot Software Report (Jan 2013)

 Note: At first glance, this might not seem remarkable, but the important thing to remember is that if you’re generating traffic from blogging this content lives on the Internet forever.  In fact, we still get traffic from blog posts we did a year ago.  If you’re relying 100% on Google AdWords, once you stop paying, your ads disappear (and so does your traffic).  Think of content like an investment that will pay you (traffic) dividends overtime.  In other words, stop renting marketing assets (e.g. ads) and start building and owning them (content).


Leads:

  • After 12 months, all HubSpot customers experienced 26.8x more leads.  83.9% of HubSpot customers who saw an increase in leads noticed it within 7 months
When did you first start to see an increase in leads

Source: Return on Investment from Inbound Marketing through Implementing HubSpot Software Report (Jan 2013)

Sales:

  • 49.7% of HubSpot customers who saw an increase in actual sales noticed it within 7 months

 

Internet Marketing is More Marathon Than Sprint

 

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

- Thomas Edison


Many business owners think being successful online involves knowing some big secret (if only that were true).  The secret is, it just takes time and a bit of effort.

But really, isn’t that true about anything in life?

It takes time to do all the activities required to increase traffic via Blogging and SEO (especially with new websites).  To do SEO correctly, it must happen gradually and look natural.  You can’t manipulate or ‘game’ Google.

It also involves ongoing analysis and making the effort to develop good content (a few web pages are not enough content to create value or authority on any given subject and, again, Google knows the difference).

So start blogging, work on your SEO strategy, build targeted landing pages with strong calls to action, then look at the data to see where you can make improvements.

More important, don’t give up after just a few months.

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