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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistFri, Nov 30, 2018 5 min read

How Long Does Inbound Marketing Take to Work?

{}The old marketing techniques of yesteryear have fallen by the wayside. Today’s marketing professionals know broadcast techniques are largely ignored by audiences. Today’s consumer wants to be involved in the buying process and is doing their own research online.

Inbound marketing has become the go-to solution for most marketing departments. In the past few years, much has been made of its ability to turn marketing and sales around, boosting revenue, increasing brand awareness, and more.

That begs the question, does inbound marketing work?

The consensus is yes, it absolutely does work. The question is often less of whether or not the strategy works as a whole and more about how much time and effort you’re willing to put in to make it work.

You Must Plan for Inbound Marketing

The success of inbound depends almost entirely on how much time and effort you’re willing to put into it. Unfortunately, many marketers and business owners operate under the impression that implementing an inbound strategy will instantly solve their marketing woes.

Many people imagine an overnight turnaround once they start using inbound techniques. They expect increased leads, higher sales revenue, and better brand recognition almost immediately.

Like any good thing, however, inbound takes time to work its magic. What’s more, you need to ensure you have a solid plan in place for inbound marketing. Many people assume they can fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to implementing an inbound strategy.

The truth is that a solid plan will save you from making some of the most common mistakes. It will drive your inbound success forward and help you see results quicker, without all the trial and error.

Inbound Takes Time

As noted, it takes both time and effort to truly make inbound marketing effective. You have to be willing to put in the time to create a strategy. Do your research. Consult with the experts. Explore your options, and finally, create and refine a strategy for your business.

Then it’s time to put the plan into action.

This is where another common misconception comes into play. Many marketers believe implementing inbound will guarantee instant results. In marketing, however, almost nothing is instant. Even viral videos and seemingly overnight successes often follow months or even years of solid hard work.

How Long Does It Take to Work?

Maybe you always knew inbound wasn’t a quick fix for your marketing strategy. You understood from the get-go you’d need to be patient to see the results you want.

Just how patient do you need to be? How do you know when you just need to wait a little longer versus when your strategy isn’t working and needs to be tweaked?

If you’re a month or two into your inbound strategy, you might be starting to get antsy about results. Where are all these leads people talked about? Why aren’t you seeing higher website traffic?

These signs could mean you need to adjust your strategy, but keep in mind inbound is a slower, longer build. You can’t produce high-quality content for a month or two, then call it quits. It takes time for people to discover your content. It’s a long game with a snowball effect.

When Should You Expect Results?

If you haven’t seen any changes by the second month, don’t fret just yet. Most strategies don’t start to turn results until the sixth month after implementation.

That’s right. It can take inbound marketing around half a year to start showing results. You can see why it’s incredibly important to be patient. What you’re doing in the second month might actually be working, but you won’t see the pay-off for a little while yet.

Have faith that what you’re doing is working, and the results will follow.


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.