Inbound marketing could also be called “opt-in marketing.” The basic premise of inbound marketing is to make your site appealing to those that are already looking for it. Instead of trying to force your message on your target audience, you are setting your site up to be found when your audience needs it the most. Inbound marketing (which involves social media, SEO and content marketing) is an incredibly powerful online marketing tactic. It seems like a simple enough approach, but can actually be incredibly complex once you get involved.

Like any new (relatively) marketing tactic, there are a lot of things about inbound marketing that some people don’t understand, which means they aren’t doing it right!

Here are 3 common inbound marketing myths:

Inbound marketing is free.
Sure, it doesn’t cost anything to create and launch a social media profile and there are hundreds of free blog templates to choose from. But just because the vehicles used to run an inbound marketing campaign are free, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a cost. First off, optimizing a site (the first step in SEO) isn’t a quick process. Depending on how large your site is, it could take you several weeks to conduct keyword research (on a page-by-page basis!), write unique Meta tags and descriptions, rewrite content, build new pages and so forth. If you have an in-house employee doing all that work, you might not be paying a third party for your SEO, but you have to consider the man hours involved!

After on-site SEO comes link building, this includes everything from blog commenting, social media marketing, online PR, video marketing and more! And SEO is never really done! Even after you hit the holy grail of SEO, the top spot in the search engines, you have to keep at it or risk slipping back down the SERP.

Inbound marketing works overnight.
None of the components of inbound marketing will lead to immediate results. Social media marketing might be even more long term than SEO. It takes a long time to build up real relationships with your target audience, understand how they use social networks and find the right time/way to connect with them. And launching a blog today doesn’t mean it’ll be an industry darling by tomorrow. Great content will attract visitors overtime, but it could be a year before your blog really finds its voice, hones in on the needs and wants of your target reader and earns a reputation as a valuable industry source. If you are looking for quick turnaround, inbound marketing isn’t going to give it to you!

Advertising and inbound marketing are the same things.
Advertising and inbound marketing are like night and day. Advertising is about interrupting the daily life of your target audience with a catchy slogan or image, in hopes that they will notice you and act. The big problem is that your target audience is not a passive consumer. They are exposed to thousands of marketing messages a day, and might only remember 1 or 2 and act on none. With traditional advertising, you are trying to bring your brand to them.
Inbound marketing takes a different approach—you wait for your audience to come to you. It’s not about trying to create a want or a need; it’s about satisfying a want or a need that already exists. You turn your brand into the answer to their question.