Frequently Asked Questions
- So you’re saying I just need to start a blog?
- Is Inbound Storm a consulting company or can you produce content and handle all our internet marketing programs?
- What if I don’t have anyone in-house who knows how to write and produce content?
- Shouldn’t I (the business owner or chief marketing/sales guy) just write the blog?
- What makes you different than any other internet marketing company?
- How much will Inbound Storm charge for their services?
- Inbound Marketing worked for a basement waterproofing company and perhaps some others. Would it really work for my business?
- Are my employees (or boss) really going to embrace Inbound Marketing?
- How long will it take this take to implement and see results?
- So it doesn’t sound like you believe in social media like Facebook or Twitter.
- Our ad agency handles all our marketing. What role will they play in this?
- My company is interested in learning more. Can I put you in touch with my IT department?
So you’re saying I just need to start a blog?
Well, yes, but not just any blog. In order to attract customers, a blog must be written strategically, published on a timely basis and offer real value. Unless you have a lot of time and the inclination to spend hundreds of hours learning all the tricks of the trade, which are constantly changing and evolving, you’re probably better off hiring a professional.
Is Inbound Storm a consulting company or can you produce content and handle all our internet marketing programs?
In most situations we will recommend doing your internet marketing in-house. There are several advantages to this approach:
- It’s much more economical
- Nobody knows your business and your customers as well as you do
- It will help your company fully embrace the concepts and culture of inbound marketing
Outsourcing might be more fashionable than in-sourcing these days, but inbound internet marketing can’t be done in a vacuum by people who don’t eat, drink and live your business. It shouldn’t be thought of like accounting or legal work.
We’re here to teach your company best practices and strategies so you can do it all on your own. Ultimately, this will yield the best results and have the most impact on your bottom line. Now, if you would rather focus on other aspects of your business, and have Inbound Storm create a turnkey operation for you, we’re up to the task.
What if I don’t have anyone in-house who knows how to write and produce content?
If you don’t already have the right talent, we’ll help you find, hire and train someone. With the decline in newspapers and other print media, there are a lot of out-of-work writers and journalists who will do a great job as content creators. We’ll help you find the right match--someone who is passionate about learning your industry and able to write about it clearly and convincingly. We know where to find them, what you should pay them and how to get the most out of them. In most situations, content creation can be done on a part-time or contract basis.
Shouldn’t I (the business owner or chief marketing/sales guy) just write the blog?
In most situations, we advise against it. Some of our many reasons:
- You have too little time and too many distractions
- Your time is worth more than what it would cost to hire a professional
- Writing may not be your strong suit
- Your employees will be more likely to share ideas with someone other than their boss
One other thing, boss. A popular axiom in the blogging world is “it’s a blog, not a brag.” Most business leaders, especially entrepreneurs, are justifiably proud of their companies and hate to let an opportunity pass to tell the world how great they are. Understandable, sure, but not effective for inbound marketing.
It’s possible you’re the exception to the rule. If you’re up for the challenge we can make it work. We’ve tried it both ways and we’d be happy to share our experiences with you.
What makes you different than any other internet marketing company?
We have real-world experience running a brick and mortar business. We understand that, for most companies, marketing is their largest discretionary expense. How those dollars are spent can literally make the difference between having a great bottom line and healthy balance sheet, or one filled with red ink.
We’ve found most internet marketing companies are just too hung up on back links, rankings, likes and tweets. Don’t get us wrong, these are nice metrics to follow and can be signs of progress, but what’s most important is your return on investment. Who cares if you are ranking for a bunch of keywords that don’t translate into any business?
We’ve been down that road already. We’ve worked with a multitude of internet marketers and consultants and found that none offered everything we needed. So, we took the best ideas from each and added our own and now offer your business the benefit of our experience.
How much will Inbound Storm charge for their services?
Once we understand what your business needs to be successful at inbound marketing, we’ll create a custom program for you. We don’t believe in cookie cutter packages; every business has different products and services, sales cycles and customer bases. For instance:
- You may already have a blog on your website and just need some help to get you to the next level
- Maybe you’re thinking about trying out paid search and need an honest assessment from experts who have already learned the risks and rewards.
- You’re completely dissatisfied with your internet marketing strategy and results and you’re looking to start from scratch
Typically, implementing successful internet marketing is a process, not a project. We have found it most effective to establish a monthly retainer with our clients for a defined set of deliverables. We can also create fee arrangements to suit your situation.
Inbound Marketing worked for a basement waterproofing company and perhaps some others. Would it really work for my business?
The answer is “yes,” if we can make a few assumptions:
- You have a product or service to sell
- Your customers are looking for it online
- You’d like to sell more of it
- You’d like to spend less money marketing it
Whether your business is a basement waterproofing company, a medical practice, law firm or a car dealership, you’ll never find new customers or clients if they can’t find you. And once they do find you, the sale isn’t made until you earn their trust.
Are my employees (or boss) really going to embrace Inbound Marketing?
Change is never easy. I can tell you without bringing in an expert – an outsider who has experience doing it – your chances of succeeding with inbound marketing will significantly diminish.
Look at our own example. Home improvement is not exactly the most progressive industry. We have a lot of “old school” salespeople and half of them never used email or even knew what a “blog” was. But once they realized the impact inbound marketing could have on their careers, and started to see their paycheck get bigger, the enthusiasm became contagious. Now, rather than pressing them to contribute, they’re pushing us to keep taking things to a higher level.
How long will it take this take to implement and see results?
Depending on the present state of your internet marketing efforts, it can take as little as a few months to implement. Once the program is in place, you’ll start seeing results quickly and be fully benefitting within six months to a year.
Taking advantage of paid search is one way to help get you off the ground.
So it doesn’t sound like you believe in social media like Facebook or Twitter.
It’s not that we don’t believe in it, we just try to be realistic about what it can and can’t do for you. Unless you’re in a “sexy” industry like restaurants, hospitality or entertainment, your best bang for the internet buck is getting found on Google. Most businesses generate thousands of leads from Google and can count on one hand the number they can attribute to Facebook or Twitter.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t use social media. It’s free and will help amplify your message. For the typical mid-size business, Facebook and Twitter are great indicators that you are keeping up with the times and nice ways to engage your employees but they’re just not lead generators.
Of course, global companies like Coke or FedEx are successful with social media and it is becoming an integral part of their branding strategy. Why? They have the huge marketing budgets and resources to commit to it and benefit by using it to support and extend other marketing campaigns and promotions.
Our ad agency handles all our marketing. What role will they play in this?
Maybe a significant one, maybe no role at all. Inbound marketing serves the interest of your business and not that of ad agencies and other purveyors of traditional outbound marketing programs. Inbound and outbound marketing can work together effectively and profitably but not when one dominates the other. Besides, effective inbound marketing requires internal nurturing and organic growth so your ad agency can’t really be a surrogate.
My company is interested in learning more. Can I put you in touch with my IT department?
If you’ve had the chance to absorb the content on our website, you’ve come to realize that embracing Inbound Marketing is a strategic move that starts at the top and requires buy-in from all parts of your company. Despite its technological basis, it’s not an IT project but a new way of approaching sales and marketing. Your IT staff can and will play a significant role, however, in the technical side of your implementation.