What you need to know about inbound marketing and why you should be using it.
Advances in technology and the availability of information on the internet have resulted in a significant shift in the customer’s buying process. Nearly 90 percent of buyers conduct online research on their own, and up to 57 percent of their decision process is completed before they contact a supplier. This change can have a dramatic influence on the success of your business, which means just reaching out to customers through traditional marketing and advertising is not enough. The most effective strategies will actually bring those customers to you.
Inbound marketing is the response to buyers taking on more of the research process themselves. Rather than going out and finding customers through traditional practices of pay-per-click advertisements and cold calls or emails, this strategy focuses on crafting high-quality content that answers buyer’s questions, drawing them to your solution as a result. Brian Clark explained this content’s value: “These days, people want to learn before they buy, be educated instead of pitched.”
Benefits of Inbound
Attracting more customers to your content and site is just one of the benefits of inbound marketing. By providing leads with information that meets their needs, you can achieve the following additional benefits:
- Established Authority – Consistently offering customer-driven, quality content helps to establish your business as a leader in your industry. As the go-to source for answers, you are far more likely to be their go-to for purchase.
- SEO – Done well, the inbound marketing approach results in a wealth of content that will be indexed by search engines. By offering the information your customers search for, inbound efforts will boost your search engine ranking, bringing more customers to your site.
- Cost-Effective Marketing – Traditional marketing can get expensive; pay-per-click campaign startup costs alone average $4,000 to $10,000. By contrast, inbound uses internal resources to craft content that delivers traffic on an ongoing basis without an additional financial cost.
Inbound Marketing’s ROI
All of the advantages of inbound marketing also contribute, either directly or indirectly, to an increase in your business’s revenue. Inbound marketing campaigns are three times more likely to see a higher ROI than outbound marketing campaigns. Inbound provides this advantage through its focus on the customer’s specific needs and the ability to better track inbound campaigns.
Getting Started With Inbound
Just like any marketing efforts, an effective inbound strategy begins with planning and preparation. By following the proper steps to create and implement inbound marketing, you can make the most of this process, starting with an understanding of the principles of inbound. HubSpot’s resource library is a great place to start. Once that foundation is set, you can bring your inbound marketing team on board and assess your current marketing strategies and resources, evaluating how they fit with your new inbound focus.
The next step is defining your goals, specifically what you hope to achieve with your inbound marketing efforts. These goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. They should also align with your overall business goals. Before delving into more specific strategies, you’ll need to define your buyer personas and the journey each takes to reach the point of decision or purchase.
Based on this background information, your marketing strategy follows, along with drafting the various types of content you will share across all platforms, from your website and social media to other industry websites. Your content will then be ready to promote — then the reporting, analysis, and refining of your inbound strategy will start.
Why Inbound Works
Although this is just a brief overview, you can clearly see how inbound marketing can bring you more qualified leads. By focusing on customers and relevant content, an inbound approach can increase your customer base and your revenue.