Inbound marketing has become a staple of most marketing departments today. Over the course of the last 10 years or so, more marketers and business leaders have turned their attention to inbound strategies. What they’ve realized is inbound marketing strategies provide some distinct advantages over older, outbound techniques and tactics. The proven effectiveness of inbound marketing strategies is likely the reason people keep adopting it for their companies.
Why do you need inbound marketing?
First and foremost, inbound marketing has been proven to be effective. Inbound marketing also provides many other benefits, including better lead generation, improved sales, boosted revenue growth, better brand visibility and awareness, and so much more.
If you’re not entirely convinced about the benefits of inbound marketing just yet, review these eight advantages. They might just change your mind.
You can generate leads, or you can generate qualified leads. Inbound marketing helps you find more of the latter. How?
Inbound marketing revises the traditional marketing paradigm, in which the marketing department uses various channels to broadcast a message to a largely passive audience. Instead, inbound tactics recognize communication in the customer relationship is a two-way street. Inbound even encourages this kind of interactivity, allowing leads to directly participate in their relationship with you.
Good inbound marketing reaches audiences who are already interested in and attuned to receiving your message. These people are already primed to act. When they click a link or watch a video, they’re communicating their interest to you. Your follow-up efforts can then be targeted to the individual lead to show them more relevant content and continue building the relationship.
Since the people you’re reaching are already interested and ready to take action, you’re usually reaching more qualified leads. Various inbound marketing tools can help you refine your audience even further so you follow up with only the most qualified leads.
Getting more leads into your sales pipeline is important. Finding more qualified leads is also great. What you really want, however, is to close more deals and boost sales. What good is a marketing strategy if it generates more leads, but those leads don’t translate into more sales?
The good news is inbound marketing does translate those additional leads into more sales. Most companies report acquiring new customers through their social media marketing efforts, while the majority of people turn to their social media networks for purchase inspiration. Many respond to brands they see there.
Closing more deals is one of the top challenges facing salespeople in many industries today, so an effective inbound marketing strategy that generates more sales is important. What’s more is inbound also propels revenue growth.
You may think this is obvious. If you have more sales, your business’s revenue should also be growing. This isn’t always true, however, especially if you stick with outbound techniques. Inbound, in turn, actually accelerates revenue growth. Most marketers using an inbound strategy, coupled with sales enablement, found they were able to increase their revenue growth. They often outpaced their competition quite significantly.
It’s difficult to get people to buy things from a company they’ve never heard of. Word of mouth is still a powerful selling tool, which is why you want to get the word out about your brand, product, or service.
Inbound marketing is a smarter strategy than broadcasting techniques like TV spots and radio ads. The secret to its effectiveness lies in the focus on relationship-building. With an inbound strategy, you’re more likely to narrowcast your message to a niche of interested parties. Instead of focusing on many uninterested leads, you can spend more time building trust and a relationship with interested individuals.
In turn, this encourages interactivity and reciprocity. As people discover your blog is a trustworthy source of expert information, they begin to share it with others. Social media interactions can make you more visible to new audiences. As more people discuss your brand and interact with you, even more people will be reached.
Some foundational principles of inbound are interactivity and a focus on relationships. While outbound marketing sees the audience as a passive group waiting to receive your message, inbound recognizes the importance of having a dialogue with potential customers.
Most inbound tactics revolve around the tenets of building trust and relationships. They emphasize interacting with your audience authentically, answering questions, supplying information, and occasionally entertaining current customers and potential clients.
Providing quality content establishes your authority, and prospective clients learn to trust your expertise. This happens even before they’ve made a purchase or contacted one of your salespeople. As you build your reputation for being a trustworthy brand with great expertise, you’ll attract more leads.
One of the inescapable facts about inbound marketing is it costs less than traditional outbound techniques. Think about the price tag associated with producing a TV or radio spot, or the rate chart in your local newspaper or a national magazine.
Now think about inbound tactics. Social media can cost next to nothing, especially if you use organic posting and traffic. Paid options can give you more reach, and their price tags are still quite reasonable. Search engine marketing can also be quite cost-effective.
The overall result is the cost of marketing comes down, as can the cost per lead. In turn, the value of each sale increases. Since your investment per lead is lower, your return on each and every sale is a larger percentage.
Inbound tactics are cost-effective, and they can lower the overall marketing spend somewhat. They can also save you and your marketing team time, which produces greater efficiency.
Marketing automation is on the rise. Outbound tactics don’t truly loan themselves to automation, whereas inbound tactics do. An email marketing campaign can largely be automated. Chatbots can facilitate customer interactions 24/7, even when you’re not available, answering simple customer inquiries.
The precision of inbound marketing analytics can also demonstrate where it makes the most sense to follow up. You can better prioritize your time and select the most highly qualified leads with more ease.
One of the best things about inbound marketing is the ready availability of data. Just as analytics can show you the best leads to follow up with so you can prioritize your time, inbound metrics can show you exactly what’s working and what’s not.
Adjusting your inbound marketing strategy or tweaking an ad campaign for better results has never been so easy. With the insights your metrics power, you can make better business decisions in real time.
As these eight benefits demonstrate, inbound marketing is a smart strategy for any business, including yours. If you haven’t already made the switch or adopted at least some inbound tactics, it’s time to consider incorporating them into your marketing strategy to power your results and continue growing your business.