7 reasons to use Inbound marketing
Seven reasons why your business needs inbound marketing
Marketing has changed substantially over recent years. It has evolved from outbound methodologies – attracting customers through aggressive, untargeted ad campaigns – to a symbiotic relationship between brands and customers. Inbound marketing is the arsenal of strategies that help customers find the solutions they need, and businesses find their ideal customers and achieve growth in the digital age. If you’re not already investing in inbound marketing, now is the time to do so. Let’s run through seven reasons why your business needs inbound marketing:
1) Inbound marketing is more cost effective than outbound marketing
Yes, you read that right: inbound marketing really is more cost effective than outbound marketing. Companies can save up to $20,000 per year by investing in inbound marketing, according to data from HubSpot’s State of Inbound Report 2016. Not only that, but content marketing – a branch of inbound marketing that drives website traffic and lead conversion through original content creation – can generate three times the number of leads as outbound marketing, but costs 62% less, according to marketing research agency Demand Metric. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
2) Inbound marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing, and better quality ones too
Another key finding from the HubSpot State of Inbound report is that inbound generates 54% more leads than traditional paid marketing. How does it achieve this? By creating a sales funnel with dedicated content and specific protocols when it comes to communicating with leads at each stage of the funnel. By reaching out to your target audience with content that appeals to their current needs and pain points, you’re far more likely to strike a chord with them. Likewise, if you reach out to them in a personalised and appropriate way when they’re ready, it’s more likely they’ll be open to your business and product. Lead scoring is another aspect of inbound marketing: a lead is only passed on from marketing to sales if it fulfills certain criteria, thereby saving sales time on fruitless sales calls, and increasing conversion rates.
3) It’s measurable and strategies are based on hard data
Unlike many outbound marketing strategies, which are fueled more by creativity and intuition than by science, inbound marketing has hard data at its foundation. Data collected by tools like Google Analytics and marketing automation software such as HubSpot are pivotal for virtually every aspect of formulating your inbound marketing strategy: from content creation to lead nurturing. All kinds of data can be collected about your website traffic, leads and customers that is then used to both measure the success of goals and inform changes to your strategy.
4) It brings value to your target customers
Along with identifying your sales funnel, one of the first steps in creating a well-oiled inbound marketing strategy is to identify who your target customers are. From this you create personas, fictional representations of these customers around which your strategy and content on your website (blogs, eBooks, guides) revolves. Your primary aim with this content is to educate, inform (or entertain) your personas, rather than sell to them. Who would you trust more: a knowledgeable business that helps you figure out a solution to your problems, or one that is only interested in touting the virtues of their services? And this approach works too, with marketers who prioritise blogging being 13 times more likely to gain positive ROI than those who don’t, according to HubSpot’s State of Inbound report 2014.
5) It creates harmony between your sales and marketing teams
In outbound marketing, the sales and marketing department rarely work in concert with each other. In fact, they’re sometimes sworn rivals. Needless to say, friction between teams does nothing to boost ROI or grow revenue. Inbound marketing is structured in such a way that sales and marketing do much better when they’re aligned. Marketing works hard to identify leads that have a high chance of converting, and sales convey to marketing what the criteria are for sales qualified leads. Not only does this save sales a lot of time by not going after leads that are unlikely to convert, it creates goodwill between both teams if each is working towards a common goal.
6) You only need a website to start facilitating growth
Your website forms the launchpad for all your inbound activities – and that’s all you need to start eliciting real growth for your business. The right keywords (targeted at your personas) on your website – on pages and in blogs – make it possible for your website to be found in search results, and the right content draws your target audience to your website. Once on your site, conversion assets – such as eBooks, guides, checklists – encourage your prospects further down the sales funnel. Your website also acts as a means of collecting that data that is at the core of devising inbound marketing strategies.
7) Automating your inbound activities helps you save time and cuts down on admin
Marketing automation is the essence of inbound marketing. It might sound contradictory to what we’ve been saying about inbound marketing being highly targeted and personalised, but marketing automation not only reduces the number of tasks you have to do manually, it can also get things done you wouldn’t have been able to do before (data collection being the main one). Besides having to do less admin, automation software helps you track and analyse every facet of your inbound strategy: not something that can be said about billboard campaigns. What’s more, companies that automate lead management in particular enjoy a 10% or greater jump in revenue after 6-9 months, according to data from Gartner Research published in HubSpot’s marketing statistics.
Executing a stellar inbound strategy requires the help of an equally adept inbound marketing agency. If you’d like to find out more about how inbound marketing works and how 100 Degrees can help you grow your business, download our guide: