For those unfamiliar with the term inbound marketing, it is the process of converting a stranger into a brand loyalist over time by providing the consumer with high-quality content that answers their questions about a product or service.
If your company is not already embracing the shift away from traditional marketing, here is why you should get behind inbound marketing:
Inbound marketing efforts are subtle and “hands-off” in regards to pitching sales, and they are more efficient than that radio spot during morning rush hour, too.
Hubspot research, for instance, concludes that the average cost of an inbound marketing lead is $135, as opposed to its traditional marketing counterpart, which rings in at an average of $346 per lead.
A well executed Inbound marketing service leaves greater room for return on investment because there is less overhead cost, but over 60% of companies surveyed in a Hubspot questionnaire report a visible traffic increase within just 4 months of making the switch.
Cost is not the only reason that inbound marketing is taking precedence, though. Inbound marketing takes a personal approach to solve a consumer’s troubles, and it doesn’t convey the sense of urgency to buy, buy, buy, the way traditional marketing efforts do.
A unique aspect we see with inbound marketing is that it is permission based, meaning that each consumer chooses to engage with the advertisement because it is presented to them through mediums that they voluntarily participate in.
Around 80% of consumers noted that they would rather receive information about a brand they love through a series of articles or blog posts as opposed to an ad.
Because of voluntary participation, a good starting point is blogging and tracking SEO. Business owners report generating 67% more leads after launching a blog versus when they did not offer a blog to their consumers, which is a hefty pay-off for a little extra behind-the-scenes work.
Additionally, according to a published article by ContentPlus, adding a blog to your website gives your page 434% more indexed pages and also 97% more indexed links.
Basically, this means the more you blog, the better chance you have of your site ranking highly on the web’s most popular search engines.
Inbound marketing opens the door to all of the benefits that social media brings (increases in website traffic, more new leads, and increased exposure and brand loyalty, which will eventually lead to increases in revenue).
Social media is your best friend when employing an inbound marketing strategy. Typically, signing up for social media sites is free (again, lowering overhead costs here), and it is easy to gain a decent following when you market the company correctly across multiple platforms.
The best way to start building a social empire is to take a look at your target audience and buyer personas which will be immensely helpful in determining the types of content to display on your social media channels.
Target audience research can present valid information about sets of buyers who share similar characteristics or demographics, and buyer personas take this information one step further by allowing marketers to see what situations members in their target audience face daily, what goals they want to meet, and where the product or service can fit into all of that.
Once you have figured out who to market to and what to post on your channels, all that’s left is keeping a consistent brand tone, engaging with followers, and maintaining a steady flow of content to build a following.
The best part about social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook is that these give you the option to view what your followers are liking, sharing, and subscribing to.
By building a following you will also get all of the free data that comes along with it which will, over time, show you patterns in buying, spikes in sales, and other valuable data to better market your product and increase sales.
While on the subject of social profiles, social collaboration becomes a reality with inbound marketing and it is popularly used to promote business to a different set of viewers.
By collaborating through social media, brands can execute promotional materials together and it creates a space for multiple communities to come together and talk about what is being marketed to them, thus increasing exposure to more than one target audience.
An example would be a men’s clothing company and a women’s clothing company creating a limited time only giveaway that would be featured on both of their platforms to drive sales and engagement on both pages.
In more cases than not, social collaboration is a budget-friendly way to make a huge impact while ensuring that the brand remains “effortless” in their attempts to sell product.
Businesses that took place in social collaborations saw a 27% increase in sales revenues and a large increase in employee engagement, which is a feat that not even money can buy.
You can track how well your pages are performing during promotions using free tools like Iconosquare (formerly known as Statigram), which can be used in more long-term planning on the social landscape.
Inbound Marketing is NOW
Whether your company backs inbound marketing or not, the reality is that this strategy is the present, and it is also the future.
Small business owners allocate about 43% of their marketing budget to inbound marketing alone because the leads cost considerably less than outbound marketing and it works.
Consumers want custom content, and they do not want a sales-based approach. The motive is always exposure and increased revenue, and starting an inbound marketing funnel is the best way to increase both without compromising your company’s integrity.