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6 Inbound Marketing Misconceptions and the Truth Behind Them

August 23, 2021 3 min read

With the term “inbound marketing” more prevalent than ever, it’s no wonder people have some misconceptions about what it is and how it works. After all, the inbound methodology has many moving parts that can be hard to keep track of. In this article, we bust 6 of the most common myths about inbound marketing and reveal the truth behind them.

Misconception #1: “Inbound marketing will get me results immediately.”

Where it comes from: This fallacy may have to do with the language that many inbound marketing agencies use to describe their services. Inbound marketing is often labeled as better and more effective than traditional marketing—all with a greater ROI. To business owners who are itching for improved marketing results, this may translate to “faster.”

The truth: In reality, it takes time to ramp up a truly effective inbound marketing program. Building an inbound marketing machine that gets real results means developing a strategy, creating a foundation (which could include a new website), and using data to constantly optimize the program. And yes, all of this takes time.So, while it’s true that inbound is more effective and more measurable than traditional advertising, you won’t get results overnight.

Misconception #2: “If I hire an inbound marketing agency, they’ll do all the work.”

Where it comes from: Again, beware of messaging from inbound marketing agencies claiming they can handle everything for you.

The truth: You will be less stressed when you hire an inbound marketing agency. Your agency partner will take the bulk of inbound tasks off your plate and do a great job with your marketing strategy.

But there’s no way they can do all the work while you sit back and watch the results roll in.

You’ve hired an agency to help you with strategy and execution—but you’re the subject matter experts. This means that participation, especially in content creation, will be an absolute necessity if your inbound marketing plan is to succeed. Be wary of agencies that claim they can create content without your input. The blog articles and eBooks they deliver won’t be nearly as deep, meaning they won’t be as valuable or useful to your customers and prospects.

Misconception #3: “Inbound is just another name for content marketing.”

Where it comes from: This misconception probably comes from the fact that content creation and distribution are a huge part of the inbound marketing methodology. With inbound, we create content—such as blog articles, videos, eBooks, and whitepapers—that our prospects will find valuable. We use that content to help us attract and convert new leads for our business.

The truth: Content is a tool we use in inbound, but there is so much more to inbound than simply content marketing. Content is only one piece of the inbound methodology. It’s one gear in a complex marketing machine. It’s an important piece—but it’s not the be all and end all.

Misconception #4: “Inbound marketing is just a fad.”

Where it comes from: It’s easy to see where this misconception comes from. There have been countless sales and marketing fads over the years that have come and gone. Why should inbound marketing be any different?

The truth: Inbound marketing isn’t a fad—it’s a response to the constantly-changing behavior of today’s buyers. The methodology isn’t set in stone, and its key tenets are based on personalization and targeting. In other words, it’s about tailoring your content and your communications to what your prospects want. So, while general digital marketing trends and platforms may come and go, inbound is here to stay.

Misconception #5: “My buyer persona isn’t online, so inbound won’t work for me.”

Where it comes from: Business owners know their customers really well. But sometimes they form assumptions about their customers’ buying behavior that aren’t entirely accurate. This misconception about inbound marketing stems from fundamental misunderstandings about today’s buyers.

The truth: Whether it’s the nature of the industry, the age of the buyer, or the niche market of the product, many business owners don’t believe that their buyers are actually searching for their products and services online. And I have to admit, when I first started researching for some of my manufacturing and contractor clients, I was secretly on their side.

However, a simple look at average monthly searches for the keywords in their industry proved me wrong. People were definitely searching for what they do—frequently. Believe it or not, decision-makers and influencers alike are looking to the internet to solve their pain points.

Misconception #6: “My industry isn’t a good fit for inbound marketing.”

Where it comes from: This misconception comes from the belief that certain industries are too boring, or too niche, for inbound. The worry is that there will be nothing to write about—nothing to say to prospects online.

The truth: Sure, not every industry is “sexy.” But that does not mean they’re boring. To the person who’s searching for answers to their pain point, your blog article that answers their question is the most interesting thing in the world. Good business is about forming relationships with your customers. Inbound marketing helps you do just that—which means it’s right for any industry.

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This post was originally published August 5, 2016