To try and explain timescales and manage expectations when starting an inbound marketing strategy, I like to roll out the old steam train analogy. You may be instantly turned off by this, but there are many benefits to a steam train.
If you can imagine the big heavy steam train is your online marketing campaign and the process of getting it moving is the Inbound marketing process. To get the campaign moving it takes a lot of fuel (content) thrown into the burner (online tools such as website, social media and emails). The campaign may take off slowly and may only see minor increases in followers, email addresses, website traffic and sales/enquiries.
Many people will give up after just a few months because instant results aren’t achieved. However if you keep going, 6 months and longer, your campaign will pick up speed and seem much easier to fuel.
Once the campaign is up to full speed you could even stop fuelling the fire and you will still see returns for some length of time. Your blogs will be working their way up Google’s rankings, Your social media followers will still be there and your websites rankings will still be benefiting for many months.
Ultimately you’ll see long lasting benefits from inbound marketing as against outbound marketing techniques such as advertising. Google adverts for example is the Scalextric of the online marketing world. You can get instant results but as soon as you lift your foot off the pedal (stop your ad spend) you will see an instant drop off in your online marketing performance.
Thus, proving that long-term inbound marketing will always win over outbound.