As the internet continues to revolutionize how we interact with brands and buy their products, it is clear that marketing is changing on a fundamental level.
Marketers have picked up on that and have shifted from traditional marketing to inbound marketing and have claimed that inbound has been the most effective marketing method for doing business online.
Hubspot describes inbound marketing as the best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business.
In comparison to traditional marketing strategies which consists of buying ads, pushing content down clients’ throats, and hoping for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that attracts people to your brand and your offerings.
Inbound marketing is all about aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests to attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and keep over time.
With outbound budgets continuing their annual decline, amounting to just 23% of all marketing spending in 2013 and 60% of companies having adopted some element of the inbound marketing methodology into their overall strategy the question is: Should or shouldn’t companies invest in inbound marketing ?
Here are 5 reasons why I believe marketers should shift their attention, marketing efforts and budget towards inbound marketing:
By using inbound marketing, you can track your results and identify whether you are spending your time and money effectively. Some of the ingredients that make up inbound marketing are: Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click, marketing automation, social media, email marketing, paid online marketing and lead generation. If marketers use the right marketing software, they can track the results of all of the activities above. They will be able to know how many leads a tweet generated, or what keywords brought in the most qualified leads, or which blog post received the most amount of call to action clicks.
Things like which landing page has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate,which email campaign caused the most unsubscribe, which page on your site is viewed most often – can all be trackable.
2. It helps you to continually improve your strategy
Inbound marketing helps you as a marketer keep an eye on the data to see what works and doesn’t. This enables you to go back to your marketing strategy and make the necessary adjustments. In time you will have a clear understanding of what marketing efforts are effective and worthy of your time making you more knowledgeable and insightful. With a marketing strategy that is always improved and developed, you will become one unstoppable marketing terminator!
3. It positively impacts your business for years to come
18% of marketers confirmed that developing quality content was their top priority in 2013. I am pretty sure that in time this figure will only go up !
Taking the time to create relevant content to publish on various platforms is the key to success when it comes to inbound marketing. Once you publish the content on the web it will be out there forever (unless you take it down) and is more than likely to continue to benefit your business’s ranking.
People will always have questions. Questions that you have answered in your blog post, white page or e-guide. Your content will encourage your prospects to submit their details in exchange for the information they are after and voila! You have just acquired another lead. And it’s all thanks to the content you published, a day, a week or a month ago.
4. It attracts more leads
The HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Annual Report, shows that inbound marketing produces both a higher quality and quantity of leads when compared to traditional marketing. Approximately 34 %of leads came from inbound marketing practices and 22% were related to more traditional outbound marketing efforts. Not only does inbound marketing generate more leads leads than outbound marketing it is also cheaper. Research shows that inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing.
5. It is affordable
Taiichi Ohno, a prominent Japanese businessman once said : “Costs do not exist to be calculated they exist to be reduced.” – which is exactly what inbound marketing is doing.
When it comes to costs, outbound marketing demands marketers to invest funds in things like: newspaper advertising, leaflets, TV adverts, etc. which ends up costing thousands if not millions. Inbound marketing is not that high maintenance. It won’t ask for thousands – let alone millions – in order to generate return on your investment. Studies show that 3 out of 4 inbound marketing channels cost less than any outbound channels.
Once you’ve set yourself up with the proper foundation – the right content and branding; social media profiles; a website armed with keywords, the right inbound marketing software for personalization and analytics – you can be sure that your not so pricey investments will reward you with big returns . I am not saying it will all be rainbows and butterflies. Some of your blog posts, tweets and call to actions – will not work out. Some will go viral.
But when you go with inbound marketing odds are you are going to save more money on your marketing efforts than if you go with high-priced outbound marketing.
If inbound marketing appeals to you due to its success in lead generation and you want to learn more about it download Marketing Director’s guide: How to enable the sales team with hot leads