Yes, an inbound marketing program requires an investment of both time and money. It is marketing, after all.
Yet, it sure would be nice to know when you’ll begin to see some ROI from your inbound marketing efforts.
While inbound marketing allows you to measure everything you do — which is nearly impossible with traditional marketing tactics such as print ads and radio spots — it does require some patience before you see qualified leads start rolling in.
You have every right to ask, “When will I see ROI from my inbound marketing program?” Unfortunately, the initial answer is usually…“It depends.” Watch the video above for more insight.
When your inbound marketing program is established and rolling along, ROI is the ratio that tells you how profitable your investment is. When you’re first starting to get things up and running, however, your payback on investment — the amount of time it takes to recoup your initial inbound marketing investment — is more applicable.
According to a HubSpot study of companies using inbound marketing, nearly 84% increase leads and nearly 50% increase sales within 7 months. Yet, identifying the timeframe for payback on investment requires some facts. We need to look at variables that affect the speed at which you’ll start seeing results.
To help get a grasp on a payback timeframe, it helps to review the typical rate of conversion in your industry from …
Let’s also look at your customers’ purchase cycles, the complexity and cost of your product, your average customer lifetime value, and other factors in order to understand how long it should take before you start getting qualified leads into your pipeline.
Remember “activity amount” above? The more advanced content you have, the more quickly traffic increases, and the faster you’ll turn contacts into customers. Lead generation accelerates once content reaches a critical mass of articles. We usually say that’s about 30 pieces of content, including blog posts.
In summary, to improve the likelihood of fast results from inbound, follow these general steps:
No one likes to hear “it depends” when you ask about the ROI from your inbound marketing efforts. But as you can see, there’s no definitive answer. We can tell you with confidence, though, that a solid and well-developed plan, executed correctly, will quickly result in very positive changes to metrics that matter.
Speaking of a well-developed plan, are you looking for practical guidance as you build your company’s annual marketing plan? Click below to download our Annual Marketing Plan Template, a guide to help you plan for and develop a strategically sound and ultimately effective annual inbound marketing plan.