Getting started with inbound marketing can be daunting. In this episode was talk about how we all started with inbound marketing and pass on our tips for success!

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Full transcript:

- Hey everyone. Welcome to inbound After Hours. Thanks for joining us. Today we're off site on a strategy day and we're joined by Paul, Andrew, and Ricky.

- Hey.

- And we'll be talking about the first six months of inbound marketing. Some pains and challenges we've had as a company, me as a past client, and as marketing managers alone.

- Yeah.

- Yep.

- Okay well let's kick it off. Let's go with Ricky today.

- Right. Awesome.

- How did we get into inbound marketing?

- Not too long a story fortunately. We started off life as a search agency. So focused on SCO and PPC. Kind of noticed a trend that SCO in particular was going the way of content. Didn't want to get left behind so we adopted inbound marketing ourselves. Quite coincidentally HubSpot were trying to sell to us at the same time. So we ended up buying HubSpot and giving it a go ourselves. Like we do most things, testing it ourselves with that we do with clients.

- They target like SCL people.

- So yeah they have a team who sell to agencies to get agencies signed up under HubSpot. So I think they cold called us, which is an interesting story. I think we're one of the only agencies who've been cold called too, which is an interesting twist on inbound that they keep reminding me about. Well yeah that's how we started. We want this for ourselves, noticed that was the way it was going, and yeah jumped all in as we usually do. And then gave it a real go so then needed start hiring a team to deliver on that 'cause obviously our background was in search, technical, outreach, PPC, and not content really so. Andrew one of the first guys who even worked on this and Paul joined the team later as well.

- Yeah well that's go to you Andrew. How did you find the first six months of just let's start with Digital 22 alone. Those six months of the company. Yeah so I mean I joined just over two years ago really. I came from an e-commerce background on the other side of, so the client side, working with marketers and in my team, I wasn't on marketing teams, but I've been on the other side in retail. And we found that stuff was going a similar way. People were getting more into the content side and paid and stuff like that. So I came to Digital 22 no idea what it was at the time, but understood the concepts and I think that was what attracted me. You'll get it eventually. So... Yeah so to start the job was sort of-- I've always said about in my marketing it's really common sense. Like if you don't know what marketing is, like okay I'd like that sort of marketing please. It's very-- - It's built around the way people want to be marketed to isn't it?

- We've said enough times. It is very common sense to me. So I enjoyed that side of it. But yeah early days, you know you'd been doing it and hadfor a little while before I started. Early days I mean, there wasn't anyone doing it in the UK. I think you said to me, "You're gonna be an inbound marketing consult, "and there aren't any." Like yeah. There really isn't like, like this is your job spec, but it's gonna change 'cause there really isn't any of these out there yet. - Not in the UK. Obviously in the states.

- In the UK yeah. In the U.S. obviously it's different. So we obviously referenced that a little bit, but yeah. I just came at it like we would tell any client. And I did the personas, I think our business persona. I did starting on that my first week. And sort of went through the whole onboarding process as an employee. And had a about six months training process which was tonnes of videos, tonnes of self learning, and just dived head first into sort of the content world, their communities. Things like inbound.org. Anything like that that I could learn because I think I knew it was so new. I didn't feel, it's kind of good 'cause I didn't feel there was any...

- Pressure.

- There was expectations, but yeah there wasn't a pressure of like conform to this sort of stereotype of what you need to be.

- There's a exact path you need to follow--

- Yeah it was literally, let's carve this out as a company, and let's figure it out. Let's do better than there is currently. So I found that really good, but on the inbound side specifically we sort of sat together and talked about persona. And come up with some ideas, and there's to much testing. Tonnes of testing. Things didn't work. Things did work. And we really just grinded at it for a good six months to a year from my side specifically. I slowly started working with clients, but when I first started at Digital 22, I was just learning for a very long time. Which has served me well. It was a quieter time I think for the company. And I'm quite fond of that. You know I did have a bit of a nice incubation period.

- Well I think I just locked you in a room and said watch HubSpot academy straight for days really wasn't it? - Literally just digest every video, which about half of which, which you know all praise to HubSpot. They've had a great academy three years ago, and it's even better now. So I just sat, wrote loads of notes, and regurgitated that in HubSpot, and it seemed to work.

- What did that feel like to go in switching over and going down that, down that road taking your business down the inbound way. It must have been pretty scary. - No. It's good. It's similar to what we're doing with video now. 'Cause we know that's the way it's going, and we don't, we'd be irrelevant. So I think I thought if we were still, when we made that decision however many years ago it was, four or five years ago, if I'd have thought, "Right let's stick this SCO now." or what was SCO then, we would be pretty irrelevant now. I think we'd be scraping the barrel for local clients and stuff so. I think course I actually knew it was the way it was going. Like Andrew said, it makes sense. Like when we talk about video again, like that's how people consume content now. That's help you going down that road with inbound. People are reading and researching and know it 'cause you do it yourself.

- Yeah.

- And that's why it works, and that's why it resonates content.

- I think that helped.

- Yeah.

- It helped me be like a a semi-large career change away from e-commerce, like website you know. Money sort of mindset to marketing. It was an easy transition 'cause I sort of understood it before I started. I obviously didn't put the concept, and I think it was probably very similar for you. The risk to me as an employee who'd been career didn't seem as big because there's this huge community, HubSpot, is very successful in what they do. It's huge in the states. Identified that it was such early days in the UK and thought it was probably a pretty good place to position myself as an employee and probably you as a business. It's like I'll get involved in that.

- I remember you saying to me when I started that it was like describing the industry and your job to like your dad and stuff.

- Yeah.

- It's a bit like I've joined a bit of a cult.

- Yeah, yeah.

- Whereas now it's sort of, it's big enough isn't it.

- And that's true 'cause I think the first thing that drove it home to us both was when we went to inbound for the first time. We'd been probably doing inbound for quite a while then, but the first time you go and there's 15,000 people. And credit HubSpot, one of the things you do well, and we probably talk about HubSpot more than they do, but you got inbound it doesn't mention HubSpot. It's inbound. It's a philosophy. It's, and it sounds like a cult when I'm saying it there, but it'speople go 'cause they believe in it.

- So on the blog, on the blog just earlier, it was paintkits or something it said, help keep the movement going.

- No and that's exactly, that's how it is. Like you go and it's all about we're all here 'cause we believe in this way of marketing to people. It's nice and acceptable.

- Does that not make you feel worse? Sort of double It did or me at first. It still does sometimes. It's sort of like catching someone when doing-- - Research.

-and research. And it's sort of like slowly reelin em in. At least when you do--

- 'Cause you're, 'cause you're aware you're doing that. But for them, they're just thinking this could company's super helpful.

-marketing.

- But it is though. Like I know that's the idea, but you are given value. Like they're reading the blog for free. They actually get a long way. Well they get all the way. It's so information without paying you a penny. Like I know it is psychological. Certainly think 'cause you know I owe some of it. Like 'cause I've got all that information for free but--  That's why it sits right for me 'cause it's not intrusive, it's value.

- Yeah.

- And you can't block it. Like the way stuff's going, obviously ad blockers were big a few years ago. Don't know if that's still growing or not, but you can't block content. It's not going to die. People want to research themselves. It's the ways the content manifests itself or the media that you use is going to change, but the methodology's not going. People are gonna want to go and do their own research forever. That's not gonna change.

- You're just putting it in the right lane for people that are actually in it voluntarily. If they find it, they find it.

- Yeah.

- And if they don't, that's--

- What about you Mark? 'Cause business

- Yeah I mean for the listeners who don't know, I used to be a separate company to Digital 22. We had a cross in a lot of services. We were more web based, design based, and creative. So I remember, I went to the second inbound. You guys went to the first inbound--

- Yeah.

- And I joined the second one.

- Is that the second, first ever inbound?

- No, no. It was--

- Three or four.

- Three in or something like that.

- So I went there 'cause it felt right. As a business owner, you get thatinbound video. Now you know it will work. You understand it. You've researched it, but I still like to go to inbound just to convince me. When I see 15,000 people talking, everyone's saying how it was working. And they're 12 months into it, and they're driving leads. And I'm like let's get on this thing. And then I started investing three to 4,000 pound a month, which we were on this small agency back then. We were about seven to eight people. So that was a big chunk of our budget. And we'll get onto this later. The first six months absolutely jack shit was happening. And I was thinking, God big investment. At that time, even if I sold it and I come to you, but I didn't know it would take that long. I kind of, like most people, I thought right. Invest it. In month two, we're getting loads of quick wins, driving loads of leads. And you start getting to nine months and you're creeping up a little bit. And then when it got to 12 months, phones ringing, contact box. And I remember when we merged over a year ago, we shut down my old company's HubSpot, what happened in November, literally within days the phones stopped ringing. The forms started going up.

- Yeah.

- Stop the content pieces.

- It's a good change.

- Yeah most people will know, they get to that. But it's actually a really good way of convincing you that something works is by stopping it.

- By stopping it.

- We turned that HubSpot off 'cause we didn't want to pay the next quarter.

- Yeah. Well we didn't need it.

- We didn't need it 'cause we merged, and we brought everything in house. So for me, that turning it off and seeing the decline so quick showed me how valuable inbound marketing is.

- Paul you're, the probably went a different way from all of us. How did you find inbound? Or you might as well explain from the start.

- It made sense. I came in from a academic content background. Not worked in retail or marketing, but did produce writing. So I had to learn SCO, PPC. I had a bit of SCO from writing blogs, but wasn't a content marketer full time. So my, but always had an interest in advertising and things like that. So to see and learn from, I was lucky to ride off all your knowledge that you've done a year ahead of me and have all the resources and everything. But I remember when I first started, 'cause it was a bigger career change for me, deciding to go full time as a writer. It just making sense, and the penny just dropping. And every time I learned something new about how people searched, or stuff that everybody knows now about inbound. But if you're in that month one, like I'm thinking about at the minute, you realise people are searching. And 90% of the people are in research mode. They're not ready to buy. People go into careers and they know more about the tellies on sale than salesmen. All these anecdotes that contextualise inbound. I remember going home and telling my family 'cause they were like, "Well what do you do now?" like I did feel like I joined some sort of cult, but they were like no they don't. Then you'd explain it a bit more over tea or whatever or in the pub, and they'd be like actually yeah you're right. You do do that don't you? And it's like providing that content is the friendly way of marketing. I remember saying that a lot when I first started. It's a friendly way of advertising. It's the, what I said earlier about tricking people. Being, I was joking. It is being helpful, getting in their trust.

- Even now it's so hard to explain if you're at a wedding or family deal and someone asks you--

- I just work at--

- What do you do? Well inbound marketing. Well what is that? Jesus Christ. Where do I start? - My mom and dad think I build websites. That's as close as I can get.

- Do you know what? I go with that one. It's quite easy get out isn't it.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.

- Except then they want websites for free. You get into that conversation all the time.

- No more. a website. I've dome you three already.

- I remember just looking at my mate when he said that we were on about someone who was down at the club or something. And he's goes, "He's a drug dealer. "It's his job "You build websites." I'm like who, me? I went yeah, yeah.

- I remember when we moved into the new office not long back and I brought my mom down 'cause she lives a way away. And she come round and she's looked around and she's like, "Wow. "Have you done all this through drawing pictures?" Yeah Mum we draw pictures for a living. Just.

- Crazy.

- Father will introduce me as blogger.

- I love that yeah.

- Like yeah I am.

- It's actually a career.

- We've already touched on the how long it could take. What we sort of say to our prospecting clients, now it could be anywhere from nine months to 12 months to 18 months depending. We've seen it as quick as six with some people. So that's one sort of challenge and frustration. What else is there within the full six month inbound process?

- That strategy phase for me. I always feel a bit funny. Or if I would, if I was in the position you were in in the takin out an inbound package. I've signed. now let's pay.

- Yeah.

- Seeing em off. I'll send you some personas in a few weeks.

- Exactly yeah.

- It's even harder for people start as well because, obviously we, clients come to us, and then we tell them how we work. And they buy it or they don't. If somebody is in house and the boss says we want to do inbound and you go, "Okay but give me 30 days. "I wanna get this in my head right. "I wanna plan personas."

- That's so vital though. - But you can't not do it. But in house, I imagine that pressure's huge 'cause your boss is like, "Start putting block in. "Just get some"--

- Get some lead blog.

- Yeah, yeah, yeah. You want to spend that time--

- You won't do anything. I could do it now--

- No exactly. You get the returns back out. I know exactly what you mean. Like--

- That's why I like PPC. When we brought PPC more into our inbound work, I thought it feels a bit like a comfort blanket of just while inbound's building, just have some mass PPC. Just bringing in some.

- It's at least testing you for nulls. It's testing your London pagers, and it's getting the right people in your databases. And that's what PPC kind of can do to you. And if it's--

- If they're e-commerce, it's giving them some sales and On the other side of it, which helps the long term stuff you know. You speak to the personas, and as much as you know inbound and the binds with it still, they're a business owner and they want to make money. So you have to sort of balance the two don't you. - When I was, when I thought about for our business and knowing it'll take a year. In my head I think I'll give this a year and see what happens. Like you say, it can happen much sooner, but that's the benchmark I had. When I sat down and thought about it, you think well what's the alternative? And that's always what it comes back to. Well like today, what actually is the genuine alternative to inbound? And I still don't know a good answer to that. 'Cause inbound's--

- Then what you've got.

- Unless you're a brand and you've got a massive budget and then--

- For outbound yeah.

- Yeah offline and TV and stuff can make sense 'cause you can afford that wasting. 'Cause you can afford that wastage.

-aren't they? -

Yeah they are. But you can afford the wastage if you're Coke or something like that. But for most mid-sized businesses, I genuinely don't know what the alternative is, which is a good place to be.

- I think if you do, you are watching this and you think, "Oh I could cut corners and do traditional stuff." We know it doesn't work.

- No.

- And I'm telling you, you're gonna struggle.

- I'm thinking about what it does for your business long term. Like cold calling out and, I know we touched on this a few weeks ago, and cold email and stuff like that. What's that first impression you leave with someone?

- You're almost like, the thing with that is I think, some people still do it and get results or they wouldn't do it, but I always think the only way you're gonna get a sale is like you are literally tricking and chancing someone on you. Like you just in the right place--

- You are that client, you might get singled out a bit, but what are you gonna get out of the Who are they gonna recommend you to?

- I mean Ricky's out on LinkedIn, heated discussion with sales people who like cold calling--

- Yeah.

- Still in good idea. It's another podcast but--

- I just think it was a shitty thing to do to people. - People will argue till they're blue in the face. No my cold calling's, I research and I place and I choose who I'm gonna offer this random product to you know very well, and it's not cold, it's tepid.

- It is cold on it.

- And it just is you know. I don't expect--

- I did have a car accident six months ago, and I've started getting calls everyday from my car accident. Drives my fucking head in. And I am, I'm ready for, if I wanted to I could be interested in that but--

- The problem when you have, don't get in arguments with people on social media, but if you do, remember that they're always coming at it from their context. They think I've researched it, I've done this, I've done that. So it's good, but that's your context. From the other person's context, whether you've researched it or not, you're still interrupting their day picking up the phone and cold calling them. So there's no good way to do that in my opinion. It's still a shitty thing to do. You're interrupting someone's day, and you're trying to just sell them goods off the bat. That's not a good thing to do in my opinion.

- Success isn't getting lucky 'cause someone's--

- Happens to want that. - Yeah I'll buy it. That's not success to me.

- Ione because I'm sat this side of the fence now. You've just told us that HubSpot cold called you in the early days.

- Definitely is.

- There's different levels of cold calling. There's just the absolute there's the list, blast it calling someone. Or there's you've signed up for an awareness piece, and then you're ringing to add value. How can you help this person? 100% on that.

- Yeah.

- I think if somebody's shown buy in signs or signals and they've given you a number at some point in process and I'd call it warm calling.

- And that is that what HubSpot did with you in the early days?

- Yeah. And I think that's a little bit different--

- That's what I just want to define to the viewers. I don't want the viewers listening to this. "Well Ricky's just told he's been cold calling, "and now he's saying it's shit." So I just wanted to--

- No definitely. I think there's a bit of a difference with being warm. Like they're in the database. They've shown some signs of purchase. Like you've downloaded a pricing page, or you're considering your option versus your option. Then by all means ring them and come at it from the approach of you've downloaded that, did you get everything you need? Or have you got any other questions? If that happens to lead to a sales conversation, fantastic. And most of them will. But I think purely just auto dial cold calling, I don't know how people still get away with-- Well they're not gonna get away with it soon when GDPR comes in hopefully.

- So will my phone stop ringing everyday or 30 minutes past one?

- If not you can report them, and they'll get a pretty hefty fine. And I think, I don't know it's one of those where I'm not bothered to do that. But in the back of my mind, if everyone was vigilant enough to do that, we could cut cold calling out very sharply 'cause those fines from GDPR are massive. They'll just shut companies down straight away from that with the sizes they are.

- I think we might

- We did. Let's reign it back in then, and you asked earlier about my frustrations on the business side, and I do remember the fact that I signed up for your guide. I knew you were trusting anyway 'cause we working together with clients, but I didn't hear from you in that first three weeks and back them, you didn't have, or we didn't have, the processes in place, such as base camp, where you can see every task take through and it would transparent. So I didn't hear from you in three weeks, and then yeah I got my persona on week four. Alright that's what you've been doing. And that really frustrated me. And then I didn't hear anything again till the end of the build of the engine, which is month two.

- Yeah.

- And I think that's why now we've got so many transparency systems and processes in place. The client can see every day what we're doing.

- And I think that's another good learning is if you gotta be an agency or in house, you make it really clear and transparent how much work goes into something like strategy and setup. Because your boss and business owners aren't gonna care, but if you show them we've got to do all of this to make sure the results are right in the long run then.

- It's like how you asked me before about doing personas 'cause you've said, "Oh I've seen you typing" But there's so much justreading.

- Before that.

- There's just, it's little things like when you're watching a news bulletin or something and then it rings a bell of a persona that you're working on in that strategy month. It just, you absorb in a persona from so many different places. You need conversations with the client. You need feedback from similar people you know are in that position. I'm talking to about one of our personas this week. It takes time just to gather that knowledge for it to be right. You could never do a persona in an hour of Google.

- I've never done this, but it's almost like getting in character isn't it?

- Yeah.

- You've gotta get in the head of that person and have that total empathy with their situation and what they're trying to achieve.

- And it's become a bit of a joke away from the podcast of how often, and I don't know if it's come across--

- Probably.

- But maybe. But it always does come back to persona, and it's become a bit of a cliche when we say that. That's why he's downed his pint. But everything does come back to why would you not spend all those weeks at the beginning making sure it's right.

- Well I think

- For in house marketer or anyone who's thinking of getting stuck into inbound and thinking, "I can probably get my boss onboard, "but what do I do then?" When I know that these results aren't gonna come in in six months, and we're paying for a HubSpot licence. We've learned internally just to, however small the task is that you might do, we as inbound managers do everyday. Some research and building stuff and you know mapping things out. Just tell the people around you. Let them know. At the end of your day, just share with your boss that you've found this out about your persona. That the persona's gonna be ready in three weeks, but you've found this out about him. Or you're gonna speak to this person next week. You've booked in a meeting with them. Just share everything you do with. It can be a bit a bit frustrating because you're so busy and you've know you've got a mountain of work to do. And it's really important, but it's gonna serve you well to just share what you're doing day to day. The people outside looking in don't have a clue how this is gonna look. And like you're the expert, as novice as you may feel. You're the one who knows the most about inbound. You're the expert. So share what you're doing with confidence. Keep everyone up to date, and them feel, whilst it's not a sale or a result, they're getting a result internally in the business for research and strategy. Documents being created.

- It needs to be a bitas well doesn't it? If things like just seeing something on Twitter. The amount of times, I know you aren't the same as me, you see something, you bookmark, you have a read and you bookmark it 'cause you know it's gonna come in handy for that persona your working.

- Screenshot and put it on the slide, sort through.

- Yeah.

- And it's there and it's in the bank. But that must take so much trust from your side or from the client side or the company that's going in to inbound side.

- But again the alternative's worse. Whether you're an agency or whether you're

- That's where you need to get

- If you just start right. Day one inbound, I'm gonna start blogging. And I'm gonna start doing social. I don't know that much about the people that I'm doing this for. You're going to get six months in, nine months in, 12 months in. However long you get. Your results are going to be shocking. Your boss or your client will say why. And you'll say 'cause I didn't get my chance to do my strategy or the research. Again they're not going to care. They're gonna say well you should have pushed for it. You should have made sure you did it. You're gonna end up losing the client or your job. So it's better to make sure you're forceful at the start. Say I'm gonna do this 'cause we need to do it for the success long term. And you can put your hat on it then. I think just jump--

- And a month goes quickly. That's what I've noticed. That month strategy. The client's of ours might think, "I've not heard from him. "I've heard from him like "every couple of weeks or something." But if you put off doing that early strategy stuff, and then get in touch. And don't have that round of amends on the persona and the buy in journey, then a two hour meeting with the sentence team and ask the right questions. You might as well just not do it.

- Yeah that's the depressing thing about inbound, as great as it is. If you get it wrong, you can't fix it on the spot.

- It's a foundation of a house. If the foundation's dodgy, it's just gonna fall, it's gonna sink. It's as simple as that.

- And it's not nice to have to face that and say, "That thing we didn't do six months ago, "or you didn't agree with "or you didn't tell us was right. "We're now six months in and that was all a bit of a waste." It's very frustrating something in house if you're the one flying the flag for inbound. Just we say to clients, the strategy and stuff is the most work or most-- It's a bit front loaded. We're absolutely so busy before we even write our first blog. It's masses of work.

- I love month two of a campaign.

- After launch. Just boom. Yeah no but that's it. It's so much work and don't, don't think I'll sort this all out when I start writing, when HubSpot kicks in, when we launch that website. I'll start then. Just don't think like that because it's too late then. Once you're up and running.

- Well the stuff you've been writing in interim's probably been wrong.

- Yeah.

- And the chance's of being able to carve out enough time while running to stop and think, it just doesn't happen. - No. - It doesn't happen.

- Another frustration to experience is we try and be transparent now with clients about getting back to us quickly. So the first 30 days is strategy. If those guys have done personas and they sit with it for three weeks, we're not gonna meet that 30 days. And then what happens after six months when everything's been delayed, they're not getting the results. Which it's just being transparent from day one, to try and get back to them in a two day period. So we found that as a frustration.

- Yeah you're bothering to do the research as an in house guy or whatever and thinking, "No one cares. "I've done these personas. "They don't even reply to my emails." You need to think, "I need to go and sit with them. "I need to print it out. "Put it on the desk and just ask them." And it's gonna be awkward, but it's the same thing. If you don't get that sign off, if you have got a new website going live or a new product or strategy or whatever, and you're part of the business launch. Before that deadline, you need to get your stuff, ducks in a row so to speak because otherwise everyone will just effectively blame you and you think you have--

- And as much research as you do and as much time as you spend on your persona, social media, hangouts and blocks and forums. As much time as you spend doing that, guarantee if you go to someone who deals with your prospects, ask them about conversations they've had with failed prospects as well as regular customers, you will find new stuff. I've never had a persona come back from a client who's gone oh by the way, you could add this in as well. Another pinpoint is this. There's always something.

- Yeah. well either.

- No.

- No.

- I think bringing it back to a positive note. Like there's a lot of frustrations with inbound, this is because we're talking about the first six months, and I think having that buy in from your boss or your client, whoever it is, that this isn't about six months. I think that's really important.

- Yeah.

- That they understand the philosophy. They understand the methodology, and they're buying into something for the future.

- Compoundable.

- Yeah. Something that's compoundable. Something that's scalable. Something that will always grow. - It's not just one campaign is it?

- No, it's not a campaign, no.

- It's not one new thing that you're gonna have a go at. It's a complete contextual reset your brain to this new way of doing it forever. Then it's just a continuous thing isn't it?

- And that's a wall assigned to us. It should be if you're in house and your boss says, "Let's do inbound and we'll review it after six months." Don't bother starting. 'Cause you've got a month of strategy. You've probably got a month of foundational setup work. You've got four months of running with a campaign. You will get increases in SCO and organic traffic and increments through that period. Of course you will. It's not like nothing happens. But you're not going to be able to put a line in the sand and say there's your ROY. This is how amazing inbound is after six months. You're definitely not going to be able to. So I think, if whoever you are, you're the stakeholder, you're the flag carrier for inbound, your job's to educate and get buy in. And when you truly get buy in from people, it's a great process. The ROY's better than anything you can probably get. So you've just got to put the work in to get that buy in; and make sure the whole company, or at least the top stakeholders, actually appreciate what it is and why it is and how this is protecting them for the long term and giving them a business model.

- I agree 'cause people tend to reactive. They get to that six month, we call itstage.

- Oh yeah definitely.

- Where they're thinking six months, there's no results, and then they get reactive. They panic. They're in threat mode. Change this, change that. Like strategies change. Everything goes to-- we've seen how.

- Definitely.

- Yeah.

- Yeah 'cause we've made mistakes in the past by taking on the wrong clients. Let's be honest.

- Yeah definitely.

- And that's something to watch out for.

- I think we're quite lucky that we've come from a search background and SCO's always been a medium long term game anyway. So we're coming from it from that angle of the SCO sort of analogy or six to nine months you'll start seeing a curve come in. inbound's similar, maybe even slightly longer. So we've always come from it from that. But if you've been doing trade shows and magazines and paid ads and media, and then changing to inbound, it's actually quite a big change in mindset. That you don't just hit it, send it out, get your results back. I think that's quite important that everyone's aware of that upfront and agrees with it. It is important.

- It's licence to bring money way thing. We know it works now. We've got 20 plus clients on our boxes working for us, working for us. We've gone by the point of no return.

- Yeah.

- And it's just convincing other people like it bloody works. If you've got the budget and you've got the patience--

- I mean--

- So yeah.

- We were saying like just going back to our own marketing, I've been chatting today on how, well I've been, again, I'm here just over two years. And I was looking doing our reports on last month and just looking at our traffic. That last year we thought was good. And we were really happy with it. And we were getting leads and all that sort of stuff. I looked and we're probably, I don't know, at least five to 10 times more than that. It's like, it's still going up.

- Once you're on the curve--

- Yeah and the thing is.

- It's great isn't it.

- Obviously we've got more knowledge and we know what works and we're reiterating and that sort of stuff. But just that compound--

- Yeah.

- Not just to look at SCO, but just the compound of inbound and the leads of the older stuff and the stuff we know that works. It's still coming in from when I first started. I think the first ever content download I came up with was a competitor comparison spread sheet for our business owner persona. Spreadsheet that you filled in, you put your competitors URLs in in metrics. And we gave the links from what you did and it gave them all scores. And it was a handy tool for competitive business owners. People still downloading that today. They're still running to our workflows. They're then downloading the newest stuff we've done. I'm thinking, I did that two years ago. And it's still--

- Isn't it?

- It's free yeah.

- And that comes from--

-yeah.

- No man it's back to-- sorry I was just thinking ahead of the--

- Definitely it's exactly the same.

- Office client who's--

- Yeah.

- They have more successful downloads, more successful blogs. Things that were done before I was with the company. One of them is when I just joined. But it's stuff as well I think worth mentioning, the things that we've done to make sure that gets capitalised on is redoing the blog day to day. Tweet the CTA. Redesign the download. Make it more relevant.

- Yeah.

- And then that brings in the compounding. So okay so we've got the right keyword. It's bringing in searches every month and it's winning, but not as many people converting. Right let's do a new CTA. Come back six months later, it's converting. The download isn't quite as good. So the workflow isn't in effect. Redesign the download piece. To us getting better and better.

- Something you don't get the benefit of in the first six months, but a huge benefit of inbound is you've always got data and analysis. So the amount of times I look back on a blog and think oh something's happening with that blog. Alright I was saying that the gain this morning, "Oh we've gone in the snippet for this blog. "I've just noticed it going from 50 reads a month "to 200 reads a month." Something's happened with that. The gain as well a year in ourblog just suddenly gone into snippets. Send us a load more data. We can say right we've got that now, what do we do with it? Do we put a new CTA or do we invest more in the piece? I think that's something you're gaining up on experience in the first six months, but it's knowing that's coming down the road. The content you're ranking now. Some of them do resonate really quickly and you rank for very quickly, but some of them might take years. - It is hard though for I think it's real, we're talking where marketers are. We're confident, I mean were marketers at an inbound agency talking about inbound marketing for us, which is like the best possible scenario for like relaxation. Imagine being a marketer for like a non-digital industry trying to sell that stuff.

- An inbound budget out of advertising and shell out like--

- Yeah.

- Leaflets for the construction company or whatever you think. That's gonna be tough but--

- That's what I was saying about the buy in because if you're, if you have to specifically have the conversation of I wrote this blog, and your boss says 10 people read it. Don't worry. In a year and a half, you'll be up there. It'll be bringing those in.

- If your keyword persona's right.

- Yeah.

- That one thing on the reiterating and retuning stuff, when you've seen a blog eventually gain traction. There was a one for a client in their persona. We've talked about video and everyone consuming video. Their persona is still lagging behind that. Their views and everything, it's 90% desktop. The social media is behind everybody else and so on and so on. They have two blogs that were getting loads more views. They've obviously started ranking. And then the CTA, we're getting no click throughs. Switch the CTA to the most boring, simple, obvious button--

- Yeah.

- And that worked. Whereas we've been designing CTAs that are for people like us.

- So would you say that that just goes back to the persona?

- This episode too many times already.

- Yeah.

- That's why it was interesting steps backwards as well in terms of--

- Yeah 'cause we've been talking about the last couple of days trying animated CTAs and keep pushing the envelope forward at that. But you're right.

- They're opposite in that--

- If you don't really keep to your persona and understand truly what they want. Do they literally just want a big green button that says click here and something will happen.

- 'Cause we had it nice and big that looked fancy and it had each shots of ebook and it looked lovely. It works for other stuff.

- Yeah.

- But a big, simple, ugly button.

- Sometimes better.

- I've enjoyed this episode 'cause we haven't just talked about how great inbound is and everything. We've gone on the dark side really of all the challenges--

- But please do do inbound.

- I think--

- It's realism isn't it?

- It's realism and people wanna know that rather than all the wins.

- Yeah I think the episode, this has been like we know... Most of our podcasts talk about how it's great, how other people love it. And we get guests on and talk about why they think it's awesome. A lot of it's the future of this marketing thing. And we know the listeners are not there yet, and they're very much at the start of their journey, which we've been at. So it's just wanting to share that if we've sounded a mix bag of positives and negatives, that's because we've been through it and we've been in your shoes. And we've absolutely felt as you're feeling right now, but we're now. We're on the other side, and we're really happy and because we've persevered yeah. And just stuck with it understand what to, we've mentioned it, what to share at what time in that first six months. If you can weather that first six months, it's probably a bit longer till the real results. Remember that first six months, weather it with your team, get people on board, share with what you're doing it, and sell the construction of this future. You're gonna be alright and you're gonna, goes back to personas, but yeah. If you're doing everything right, I was in sceptic mode in the first week I did inbound. I loved the idea, but I didn't know it was gonna work. I'm now on the other side so, I may be a convert or whatever, but you've got to stick with it and just share and communicate with your team and you're gonna keep people interested, which is the main thing.

- I think it'swho eluded to Rick. I think you were thinking about, when you mentioned earlier on, about what's the alternative to inbound? 'Cause the way people are using the internet. The way people have got access to all this resource. If you try and put an advert in front of them, statistics already show that a decline in the number of people pay attention to it. It's happening when people watch TV. It's happening online with ad blockers. Even, just if you spend a lot of time on the internet, which everybody does, and more and more people are doing all the time. You don't pay, you don't even pay attention to the side bars. You pay attention to what you're reading. So if you're content you're producing is a leaflet that's landing on someone's doormat or a TV advert or something. Well not that you have the budget for TV advert, but something you outbound, it's not gonna compare to that helpful video or--

- Well download the status of any inbound partner, you'll see that any business size, I think it goes up quite enterprise size-ish, gets better on a rife inbound than outbound. And the only time you're gonna tip over that other way is when you get seriously, seriously big and massive budgets. That's the only time that you can afford the 90% wastage that you have on something like TV and magazine and billboards--

- The best TV ads and stuff though, the best outbound campaigns are all selling you stuff.

- It's brand awareness.

- It's brand awareness.

- The guy on the surfboardsis just, yeah it's just brand building.

- But you can afford to have eight touchpoints on extremely prominent places like billboards and TV and ads that to someone like Guinness can afford to do that. And overtime I've seen enough of those over five years, that one day I'll try Guinness. And that's worth it to them because they can afford to put that money and the money's going to come out the other end. But you need to get--

- We're not all that big.

- No. And you need to get seriously big to hit that threshold I feel. And that's only gonna get bigger because the effectiveness of all the stuff we just talked about is going down because of technology. And the cost of it's not going down. The cost of it's probably going up. So that's only getting bigger that gap. And it's only, in the future, it'll only be much bigger brands doing outbound branded stuff. I think that'll just continue for quite a long time until the outbound advertising industry realises it needs to change and adopt it's pricing model. You've seen people like Sky try to do this without, they're trying to do something like, if you've seen the adverts, where it's got very segmented local adverts you can do on Sky now. And until that industry changes, this is the way it's going to go.

- Yeah but even then, that's gonna change because... Whenever you read any reports or see any studies into how people are gonna treat TV, obviously if you look at Netflix, Amazon Prime at the minute. Everyone's on demand. So it ads, the only ads are gonna be on live stuff. So ads are gonna be fewer, which pushes the price up which pushes all those along. I wouldn't have been able to get those ads. - I think it's another conversation. Obviously but I think people like Sky are in just huge danger of being, I think that'll be the next Blockbuster. They're just not getting the, okay we pay them for a subscription, but actually they still massively rely on advertising as a revenue source. But as the rest of us are going and paying subscriptions to not have ads, like YouTube Red, like Netflix, like Amazon. That's the way it's going.

- Yeah.

- It is a big design.

- Exactly.

-For YouTube and Netflix first now. And everyone remote now has got a Netflix button.

- And I'm happy paying all those subscriptions to just watch what I want without interruption. And I think people like Sky and stuff have got a shock coming in the future if they don't adapt that models in their advertising.

- Great I mean apologies it's gone over 40 minutes. But I think it's been worth it. There's some great value there. I'd like to give the listeners some evidence and proof as well. So don't just take our word for it. What we've done is we've screenshot-ed some actual graphs and blog statistics and we can show you how we've accelerated. And we'll give you some links in the show notes for that.

- Yeah. Make sure you bust those. Like that's four or five typical curves that we've seen with clients shown 'cause to get ahead of that curve you've got to do a pretty amazing substantial job. So benchmark yourself again. I think it's worth mentioning as well, we're talking about this in terms of inbound as a concept, not look what Digital 22 does. Look at these graphics.

- No, no.

- It's about that, it's getting through that pain of not a lot happening, not a lot happening, not a lot happening. Okay now we can see something.

- 'Cause sometimes when you see the cases on HubSpot you're like yeah, yeah. But what we're telling is real people. This is working for us, is this screenshots from HubSpot. Where else can we get with, the report you mentioned. The recent one for Moz, well put that in there.

- The state of inbound.

- Yeah the state of inbound. We'll put them in the show notes. Really valuable. Let us know what you think. Okay well let's wrap that up. I was really enjoyed that.

- All the pints are empty so that's-- We're ready for another.

- Okay great, take care guys. And thank you. Please visit our website at www.digital22.com and there's loads of stuff on there. And have a great day, thank you.

- Cheers.

- Cheers.

- See you later.

- Bye.

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