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They Ask, You Answer, the book

“One of the 11 Marketing Books every CMO should read.” — Forbes

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Inbound marketing benefits explained (updated for 2021)

Much like getting in shape, embracing a true culture of inbound marketing is like getting in shape with your business. You won't see long-lasting, transformational results if you don't do it the right way.

Inbound marketing benefits explained (updated for 2021) Blog Feature

Liz Moorehead

Editor-in-Chief, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast

December 15th, 2020 min read

'Tis the season for us to all start making New Years' resolutions, am I right? Or is that not something we're all doing, thanks to the dumpster fire that has been 2020? Are we all just resolving to simply be functioning humans going into 2021?

(Having extended conversations with someone other than my cat is one of my 2021 reach goals. Well, that and wearing an outfit one day that isn't some variation of pajamas or loose interpretations of "gym clothes.")

Well, for the sake of this article, let's pretend we're all living in the "Before Times," and everything is normal... whatever that means. Anyway, typically, this is the time of year where we all make promises to ourselves about how we're going to entirely revamp our lives. 

We'll swear off using phones in our bed or smoking, or maybe we'll promise that we're finally going to take that trip to Rome or hike some ridiculously high mountain top. (To be fair, I do love hiking and peak ascents are positively breath-taking.) 

🎓IMPACT+ course: Digital sales and marketing for today's modern buyer

Most of us, however, commit that this will be the year (whatever year it may be) we finally get our health act together. We're going to Work Out. We're going to Eat Healthy. We're going to put down the party-sized wedge of brie cheese and pick-up a free weight. We're going to Get Fit.💪

We desperately want the benefits of this lifestyle, right?

Longer life, smaller waistline, and so on.

But what happens to most of us? The benefits don't come quickly enough. The workouts become less motivational and more of a pain. Making changes to our diet seem more like an exercise in self-punishment rather than nourishing ourselves and treating our bodies like temples. 

So, we give up. The benefits aren't worth the perceived cost or effort, so we retreat back to the creamy comfort of our brie, the devil we know.

This is how a lot of folks approach inbound

Inbound marketing is a digital marketing strategy in which a business organically earns the attention of their ideal buyers at different stages of their purchasing journey — awareness, consideration, and decision — rather than having to seek them out and competing for attention with traditional outbound marketing and advertising campaigns.

This sounds amazing, right?

Instead of duking it out for the attention of ideal buyers via traditional, outbound approaches, we earn the love and affection (and money🤞) of our ideal buyers. They come to us, without us having to chase them. 

All we have to do is fire up a business blog full of educational content, maybe publish a few content pillars and premium content offers for good measure, and we'll start seeing all of those inbound benefits roll in, right?

I mean, that's what the numbers tell us... 

Inbound marketing benefits statistics

As you look through these numbers, keep in mind that while the terms "content marketing" and "inbound marketing" are used interchangeably by the marketing industry, they are not the same.

Content marketing is a tactic underneath the larger inbound marketing umbrella. Video marketing, content promotion via social media and other channels, and email marketing are other examples of inbound marketing tactics.

  • 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing as part of their overall strategy and ~60% of those marketers consider those efforts "very" or "extremely" important to their overall strategy (HubSpot)
  • 73% of B2B consumers reported consuming between three and seven pieces of
    content before speaking with a salesperson. (Demand Gen Report 2019 Content Preferences Survey Report)
  • Inbound leads cost 61% less on average than outbound leads. (HubSpot)
  • Only 18% of marketers believe outbound practices generate high-quality leads (HubSpot)
  • 87% of marketers say video has increased traffic to their website, while 80% say it has helped increase sales. (State of Video Marketing 2020 by Wyzowl)
  • 96% of B2B buyers reported that B2B vendors could improve their content by curbing sales messages. (Demand Gen Report 2019 Content Preferences Survey Report) 
  • 80% of business decision-makers favor getting brand information via articles rather than by way of paid advertisements (Content Marketing Institute)
  • 83% of online tech buyers found their vendor via Google search (MarketingSherpa
  • After five months of consistent inbound marketing strategy execution, the average cost per lead drops 80% (Eloqua
  • When inbound marketing tactics are executed properly, they are 10 times more effective for lead conversion, as compared to outbound methods (Gartner

But you can only achieve those numbers with inbound marketing if... 

...you're willing to put in the work:

Because, much like getting in shape physically, embracing a true culture of inbound at your company is like getting in shape with your business.

You don't truly see the long-lasting, transformational results with your business through inbound if you don't commit to doing it the right way. You have to be aligned, top to bottom, with everyone in your company bought in on inbound as a way of doing business

That's when you see the real benefits of inbound marketing

Alignment

  • Sales and marketing teams are fully aligned, trust each other, and have mutual respect. They have an open line of communication, meeting at least once a week.
  • Sales understands and sees the value of their role in creating content that drives qualified traffic, leads, and sales. 
  • Salespeople are more fulfilled and happier in their roles. 
  • Marketers see more value in their work, taking pride in the direct connection between what they produce and the revenue generated for their company.

Content creation

  • The sales team heavily influences the editorial calendar, as well as the priority of which content gets produced and when.
  • The content being created by your company attracts better, more qualified prospects and customers.
  • You are creating content for buyers already in the sales process, not just for attracting new visitors and leads. 

Impact on sales

  • You can see the content being created used during the sales process, both video and written.
  • When you review your ROI reporting, you see content being leveraged regularly to close deals by reviewing the contact records in your CRM. 
  • Your sales team is able to close more deals faster, because the content you're creating is empowering them to educate their buyers faster and spend less time with bad-fit prospects.
  • Sales knows how much revenue this content is creating.

In short, the real benefits of inbound marketing aren't just wins for marketing. Inbound marketing — when implemented properly — is a sales-focused, full-company initiative where everyone wins, and you can see the results in your bottom line. Where qualified traffic converts qualified leads into closed deals with more educated buyers. 

🔎 Related resources:

That's because the purpose of marketing has evolved over the course of many decades, but particularly in the past 10 years, due to advancements in technology and changes in consumer behavior.

Instead of chasing nebulous goals like brand awareness, the purpose of marketing today is to generate revenue for a brand, company, or organization. Marketing professionals and teams achieve this through the execution of strategic digital activities that drive traffic, qualified leads, and sales, in direct collaboration with their sales team.

That's right. Inbound marketing — the true way forward if you want to be successful with today's modern buyer — is a joint marketing and sales initiative. 

Does inbound marketing actually work, though?

This all sounds great, in theory, I know. But the proof, so to speak, is always in the pudding. So, here are a few inbound marketing success stories that will illuminate the true benefits for you:

Read Aquila's full inbound marketing success story

Read AIS' full inbound marketing success story.

Read Mazzella's full inbound marketing success story.

These companies embraced a full culture of inbound marketing and are now considered the #1 teachers and go-to resources in their space for their ideal buyers. Are you ready to write your company's own inbound marketing success story?

If so, I recommend you getting started with our inbound success playbooks and getting started with our free IMPACT+ course, Digital Sales and Marketing Framework for Today's Modern Buyer.

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