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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistWed, Mar 20, 2013 5 min read

How Long Does Inbound Marketing Take To Work?

inbound Marketing ResultsI read an article recently that suggested client or prospect questions are a great source of blog topics. So here is a very common question that we answer on a regular basis:

How long does it take for inbound marketing to start generating results for my business?

The answer has a few parts to it. So let’s dive in.

First, inbound marketing is a long term marketing strategy. It requires a set of foundational marketing tactics to be installed first and then leverages those tactics over time. An example of this is educational content. Inbound marketing relies heavily on providing prospects with highly relevant educational content. If you don’t have any, then you need to create it. Until you offer the useful information your prospects are looking for, your inbound marketing program won't be firing on all cylinders.

Inbound marketing also helps you build a base of “fans.” These are people who read your emails, subscribe to your blogs, follow you on Twitter or connect with you on LinkedIn. The number of fans builds over time and, as the number of people grows, so does the number of people who see your educational content. 

This makes your inbound marketing program highly scalable and repeatable. What we mean by this is: it costs you the same to post your blog to 100 people as it does to post it to 100,000 people. You aren’t renting the audience like you do with traditional advertising. Your fans are people who have requested your information.

So, the sooner you get your foundational elements up and running, the sooner you start to see results.

Next, the more you do, the more results you get. There are a wide variety of inbound marketing tactics. Some of these include content creation, blogging, video marketing, content sourcing, guest blogging, landing page creation, website design, on-site SEO, off-site SEO, social media, graphic call to action button creation and more. If you only do half of the required tactics, you aren’t going to get half the results. Instead, it’s going to take you twice as long to see any results and the results you do get will be less than if you had many more tactics in your marketing program.

The more inbound marketing tactics you implement, the faster you will see results and the more results you will realize.

Finally, you have to behave like a marketing scientist. Inbound marketing requires—no, demands—a scientific approach. You have to set a series of benchmarks before you start. You have to establish clear goals, both long-term and short-term for key performance metrics within your marketing.

You have to track and test everything. Despite your best efforts, certain nuances exist in every business (and in every industry) that contribute to differences in performance. What works for one business won't always work for another business.

It's only when you look at your marketing from this perspective that you start to see what’s working and what’s not. Only then can you make the necessary adjustments to continuously improve the performance of your marketing over time.

The concept of “over time” is extremely important because inbound marketing creates a scalable marketing momentum in which the results improve exponentially when you reach a critical mass.

Here is a practical example:

When you start your inbound marketing program and you have 500 website visitors a month, 200 email addresses, 50 blog subscribers, 300 Facebook fans and 25 Twitter followers...your results are going to be modest. Now fast forward to the time when you are doing the same exact activities, but you have 5,000 visitors a month, 3,000 email addresses, 400 blog subscribers, 900 Facebook fans and 350 Twitter followers. Your results are going to be significantly improved over where you started simply because of the shear breadth of your audience.

The take-away? Start now. While your results will be modest in the beginning, you will soon be reaping the rewards and wondering why you didn’t start sooner.

Start Today Tip – Inbound marketing is quickly becoming mainstream. Get started today building the foundational elements you need to execute a highly effective inbound marketing program tomorrow. Change is hard and, for most clients, changing to an inbound marketing program comes along with a whole host of challenges. Put your business in the hands of a firm who specializes in building inbound marketing programs that drive real results.


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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.