For a variety of reasons, companies suspend their B2B inbound marketing programs. Budgets may be reallocated, executives may not have been fully committed to the program, goals may be misaligned, or executives may not understand exactly the value of inbound marketing in establishing a digital presence.
Don’t. Do. It.
It is a big mistake.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a methodology that brings a number of online marketing activities that are necessary to establish a strong digital presence. It is an umbrella term where SEO, email marketing, marketing automation, social media, digital advertising, blogging and content publishing are all done in a coordinated fashion to achieve a specific goal.
Most B2B executives believe that establishing a digital presence is necessary in today’s market however; many underestimate the effort to make that happen. For example, when talking about keywords, we find that non-marketing executive generally believe that the company needs 5-10 keywords. When we tell them they should be thinking about 200-300 keywords, but focus on 5-10 themes, they are stunned.
Confusion still exists in terms of the effort, resources, and timeframe that are necessary to achieve a strong presence. With a fully funded effort, it takes 6-9 months to see traction. Even companies that have a solid digital presence in one market have a ramp time of 6-9 months when they enter a new or an adjacent market. Under-funded programs take a longer to gain traction.
What happens when you suspend the program?
Let’s take a look at what happens once the program is suspended.
Web site traffic drops off quickly – Generating more web site traffic usually means more leads for your sales team. Within the first 30 days of suspending a program, we generally see a 20-30% drop off on overall web traffic. In 60-90 days, you are likely to see a 40-50% drop from the day that you suspended your program.
New sources of traffic disappear – If you are not doing any email marketing, social amplification, guest blogging, or paid advertising, then you are not driving any new traffic from any source.
Lead Flow Declines Rapidly – With no new content or active outreach, lead flow stops slows within 30-60 days and stops completely within 90 days.
Drop-off in engagement – We see a steady decrease, 10-20% per month, in the amount of time and pages viewed on your site. With no new content, there isn’t an incentive to explore your site.
Keyword Rankings – In about 60 days, we begin to see keywords start to drop in the rankings, negatively impacting organic search. If you are not publishing content, Google is not crawling your site.
If you feel your inbound program isn’t meeting expectations, first reexamine your goals, funding, and results before you pull the plug. Your goals may be not be achievable or maybe you have not fully funded the program and therefore are not getting the expected results in the specified timeframe.
There are numerous reports in the market that claim that anywhere from 60-80% of the B2B buyer’s journey is online before they even contemplate speaking to a sales person. To be successful in this environment, you need to draw people to your website or they will go to your competitor’s website to get the information they need. If you suspend your inbound marketing program, then you severely diminish your online presence. Why do it?