Short-Term Benefits of Making a Long-Term Digital Marketing Investment

Making an investment in a digital marketing campaign centered around the inbound methodology is a long-term play.

It can be a marketing strategy that works while you're sleeping.

You publish great website content that brings people to your website and converts them to leads, use marketing automation to move them down the sales funnel, and reach prospects and customers via email and social media.

Even better: it's not dependent on a steady stream of advertising dollars.

But it takes time. Google and other search engines give more space on results pages to websites that are already established and authoritative, meaning if you’re just building out your “base” of content, you’re probably not there yet.

But the good news is as time passes, your content strategy will start bringing people to your website. Google will notice the new pages and the increasing amount of time people are spending there, and start ranking you higher in search.

In our experience, it often takes three to six months to see real ranking results, but this amount of time depends on your situation.

Meanwhile, you’ll start to build trust with visitors and some of them—those who best fit your buyer persona—will convert to leads and eventually sales. 

Here's an example of what this process looks like when it comes to website traffic. Traffic is very often not the best way to measure digital marketing success, but it does represent success in a way almost every marketer can relate to.

Organic Search Driven Sessions

One of our clients started strategic content marketing in March 2014. 18 months later, they were driving nearly 40,000 visits per month with no ad budget. This chart probably represents a best-case scenario.

It’s a slow, steady march. But if you’re consistent about publishing content and good at making it easy for people to convert into leads, it works. It’s been proven time and time again.

In the meantime, you’ll also start to see a few positive things happening on your web spaces. While these “quick wins” may not be the ultimate prize, they’re among the many reasons an inbound approach to marketing is worth pursuing.

Read about real life inbound marketing strategies →

1. You’ll have a ton of social media content at your disposal

My first job in digital marketing was a social media publishing gig, and I quickly learned how much easier my job was when the companies I was working for were producing a ton of quality content.

Finding or creating relevant, interesting social media content isn’t easy. Your inbound marketing campaign will be producing a ton of this kind of content.

top social platforms cmi

Source: Content Marketing Institute

2. You’ll be able to re-engage your email list

Just like social media, email marketing is more difficult when you don’t have a content strategy. You can only hit your email lists so many times with the same sales and product messaging before they start to tune you out.

But when you’re producing blog posts, videos and other content, your email subscribers might not hate it when you send it to their inboxes.

3. That email list? It’s going to grow

Before you started your inbound marketing campaign, your website visitors probably had very little reason to hand over their email and, therefore, allow you to market to them that way.

Now, your website is making a better case.

You now have blog content. If people like your blog posts, they can subscribe and start getting those blog posts delivered straight to their inboxes

You also have at least one premium content offer–something of high value you’ve made accessible on your website only after a user fills out a form.

If people like your free content enough, they might be willing to give you their email address (and other information, too) in exchange for your premium piece.

4. If you’re doing advertising, you can reach people at different parts of the buyer’s journey with appropriate content

Too often, companies treat digital advertising the same way they treat traditional advertising: all potential customers get the same messaging. In fact, companies that spend the most on advertising are often the biggest perpetrators.

One advantage the internet affords marketers is the ability to laser-target different groups of people based on very specific data, and one of the tenets of the inbound marketing methodology is to develop content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

The ad platforms of today allow you to target potential customers at each stage of the buyer's journey with appropriate content. Here's an example:

  • You publish a blog post and promote it on Twitter, targeting users who already follow you and others with characteristics similar to those users. Here, your goal is capturing the awareness of your potential customers.
  • You promote your new eBook—or similar gated content—with Facebook ads, targeting people who have already visited your website or subscribed to your email list. Here, your goal is capturing the consideration of your potential customers
  • You use LinkedIn ads to promote a sales webinar or free consultation, targeting people who have visited your website multiple times or downloaded an eBook. Here, your goal is capturing the decision of your potential customers

This approach has been put to work by thousands of advertisers.

5. You can finally put old content you've created in the past to work

Even if you're brand new to content marketing, someone in your marketing organization has likely spent a whole lot of time creating marketing content for some other purpose.

Take a moment to take stock of your content inventory. Do you have any of the following?

  • Industry reports
  • Sales or marketing slide decks
  • Printed sales collateral
  • Digital sales collateral

These types of content can be re-purposed for the web and start helping you drive traffic and convert leads.


Digital marketing centered around quality content and the inbound methodology is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time to earn respect and loyalty from potential customers and search engines.

However, your social media and email channels will start reaping benefits right away, and your digital advertising will be more relevant. You'll also be able to get value from old marketing content created in the past.

Learn how a 3 B2B company's investments in inbound marketing generated results over the short, medium, and long-term.

How we helped the fda group increase seven year sales revenue

Sam Zastrow

Sam Zastrow has worked in digital marketing for 9 years. He's a generalist with particular interests in B2B lead generation, analytics, and keyword strategy. Outside of the office, he enjoys hiking, travel, and following Aston Villa FC.

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