7 signs you should invest in Inbound Marketing
Seven signs you need to invest in inbound marketing
Knowing where to divert your marketing efforts can be tough. The internet abounds with all kinds of approaches to generate more leads, raise conversion rates and increase revenue. Email marketing, direct marketing, digital marketing, account based marketing – it’s a hell of a lot to take in! And then how do you know which one would suit the unique needs of your business? We might be biased, but we think that inbound marketing might be as close to a silver bullet as you can get for growing online businesses – or any business with a website. If you’re wondering whether your business is in need of some inbound marketing TLC, read on to see if you recognise any of these seven signs:
1) Interest in your business seems healthy, but the sales don’t match
Whether it be through social media likes, email inquiries, or lots of people reading your blog (oh, you don’t have a blog?), it might seem as if interest in your business is growing, but is it really? And the only yardstick by which to measure that is sales. If you recognise this symptom, you’re probably not targeting the right people – the people who actually want or have a need for your product. Those likes on Facebook might as well come from people who have no intention of purchasing. Inbound marketing is based around personas: prototypes of your ideal customers based on data and plenty of market research. Once you know who you’re targeting, you can shape your website, content and communication around them, ensuring the majority of interest in your business comes from the right people.
2) The traffic on your website is stagnating
Even though the success of any marketing campaign is measured by whether or not leads have been converted to sales, your web traffic is a good indication of the health of those marketing activities. And slumping figures don’t bode well, especially if the bulk of your marketing revolves around your website (as they do with inbound marketing). So how can inbound marketing increase the number of unique and returning visitors to your site and generate more qualified leads? Through SEO, content and calls to action. SEO helps your personas find your website in search engine results; content makes that persona want to visit your site, and calls to action turn them from a visitor into a lead. We can’t emphasise the importance of creating high quality, informative and original content enough. Not only must your content add significant value to your audience, it must position your business as a thought leader in its field.
3) It’s a struggle to get past the 100 follower mark on Twitter
Social media is hard to get noticed on, especially if you’re a B2B company rather than Kim Kardashian or Bryan Habana. And even if you can proudly boast a four digit number of followers, how many of those are engaged followers? Inbound marketing is about engaging your leads and customers and creating strong and lasting bonds with them, turning them from a customer into a loyal fan. As well as having incredible and shareable content, another part of engaging your audience is keeping up the conversation with them. After all, the best kind of endorsement is that from a customer who willingly talks about your business online. Inbound marketing allows you to keep track of the conversations you have with your audience, and (through marketing automation) assists in the lead nurturing process that’ll create those loyal fans.
4) You don’t know what marketing automation is
Hand in hand with inbound marketing comes marketing automation. Marketing automation is made possible by software and technology that streamline and automate inbound tasks across multiple channels such as social media, content creation, email, and your website. If you haven’t heard of it, it means you’re potentially wasting hours trying to carry out tasks that marketing automation software can do twenty times more effectively. Not only can it do things that marketers couldn’t do before (like monitor every interaction a lead has with your business), it gathers data about your leads and campaigns, letting you keep track of the efficacy of your inbound marketing strategy.
5) Your cost per lead is high
Any business owner knows that cost per lead is an important metric for making sure that ROI is kept as high as possible. Let cost per lead rise and your profits suffer. Inbound marketing – when implemented by the right inbound marketing agency – has the potential to drastically lower your cost per lead, as well as generate many more qualified leads than traditional marketing. Costs are brought down by the fact that you can automate many inbound tasks, and because you regularly tweak your strategy based on the analytics, your campaigns will be more successful.
6) You have web traffic, social media followers and leads, but still no sales
On the surface, it seems that your business has all the hallmarks of a healthy, sales-generating machine, except without the sales. If this sounds familiar to you, it could be because you haven’t identified sales funnels for each of your buyer personas – don’t worry, a large number of businesses haven’t done this either. A sales funnel tracks the buyer’s journey through the stages of awareness, consideration, evaluation and purchase. You need to have defined lead nurturing and management activities for each stage of the funnel.The content on your website and how you interact with your leads also needs to be tailored for every stage of this journey. It’s no good offering a product guide to a first time visitor to your site, just as much as it won’t do to speak to a sales qualified lead as if you’ve met for the first time. Luckily, marketing automation software lets you automate much of the lead management process.
7) Your sales and marketing teams are sworn enemies
As cliched as it might be, rivalry between sales and marketing departments does nothing to grow revenue. Inbound marketing turns this paradigm on its head and aligns sales and marketing to form one cohesive ‘smarketing’ unit. Marketing is responsible for a larger part of the sales funnel than they would have been in the past, and sales has a greater involvement in shaping the content and messaging that would have solely been marketing’s domain. And instead of getting sales to pitch to cold leads, leads are only passed on to sales when they’re ready to buy, so that sales have a greater chance of closing.
Recognise any of these signs? If so, download the guide to find out how inbound marketing could help your business generate more leads and grow revenue: