considering implementing an inbound marketing campaign, simple facts aren't as impressive as just how inbound marketing can increase your company's return on investment.
There are some best practices of inbound marketing that are directly responsible for positive results. Not only will these best practices increase traffic to your site and increase leads, but you will cut major costs from your spending. These best practices are the real return on investment because you're not simply grabbing sales; you're creating a memorable relationship with a consumer.
These may seem like inbound basics to those of you familiar with inbound, but providing content, being active on social media, and email campaigns will show you positive results at a minimal cost to you.
Reducing Costs with Inbound Best Practices
Beginning an inbound marketing campaign can seem overwhelming at first, but consider a cost breakdown to understand the possibility for profit.
First, drop the costs of those inefficient marketing practices. Stop paying for direct mail, brochure-like websites and television ads, because guess what: nobody is viewing your material. You’ll already be saving money once you stop wasting it on outdated media channels.
Consider the tools available for you to use for inbound marketing. Social media sites, blogging platforms, and email are all low-cost or free to utilize. If you gain a customer through these inbound methods, then you will already be seeing a return on your investment.
In the past, content marketing meant something you could hold or see on the side of the Interstate.
But here’s the problem, increasingly more people are digesting news on their smartphones rather than the newspaper. They’re not even looking at billboards. (Sadly, because of text messaging, many may not even be looking at the road.)
Print and television ads were your grandparents’ content marketing.
These days, blogging, interacting on social media and providing useful information are the best ways to engage consumers.
It’s about being the resource your prospects are looking for to assist in their buying process. It’s for this reason that blogs and premium content have become an integral part of any successful marketing campaign.
Search engine optimization used to mean stuffing your website with industry related keywords in the hopes your prospects would find you in their search queries.
Then, smartphones and tablets happened. Consumers now had access to information whenever they wanted. Anywhere. A significant shift happened during this time, as businesses start employing blogs and content strategies in order to cater to this “information overload” generation.
Now content is everywhere. Google knows this. Which is why keywords don’t matter so much anymore as the quality and consistency of the content you’re distributing.
Content is the new SEO. Not will be the next big thing. It’s here. Right now. And it’s critically important.
Most importantly, it works.
When it comes to cost per lead and acquisition, nothing provides value quite like social media marketing.
There’s simply no other place where marketers and business owners have such limitless access to members of their target audience...for free!
Word of mouth marketing has always been the most powerful form of advertising. And with the addition of social media as a marketing initiative, businesses have the ability to put that word of mouth marketing on steroids, as one happy customer could mean 100 more.
According to a study by Syncapse on the value of a Facebook fan, “85% of fans of brands on Facebook recommend brands to others, compared to 60% of average users.”
The beauty of it all is that while extremely effective at targeting your ideal customers, it’s also one of the cheapest methods for doing so.
Social Media Marketing is not a luxury for businesses who simply have the time for it. It’s a necessity for any business or marketer that’s functioning in the 21st Century “Connection Economy.”
Businesses still using direct mail as a method of customer acquisition are basically paying to end up in someone’s trash bin.
According to HubSpot, 44% of direct mail is never even opened.
And while it’s still effective in some industries, distribution costs render the ROI minimal, particularly when compared to email marketing.
Below is a chart detailing the total spent on the various channels in 2012.
Due to the expense of Direct Mail, Email is the clear winner in terms of return on investment. (See below.)
Email marketing is the clear winner in terms of ROI. Similar in revenue, utilizing email marketing over direct mail allows you to reallocate resources to other marketing initiatives in order to strengthen your overall campaign.
However, before you go hiring someone whose sole purpose is to hit the send button all day, know that email marketing is much different under the umbrella of inbound marketing than what you’re probably used to.
It’s all about proving context. Think about how many emails you receive (and ignore) from brands throughout any given work week. The reason for this is because marketers have ruined it for everyone.
Which is why we needed a new approach. We needed to be more human. Inbound marketing utilizes list segmentation tools in order to deliver a more targeted message to each email recipient, ensuring increased engagement, as well as a greater likelihood to buy.
Hiring an Inbound Marketing Agency
If you don’t think you have enough time to practice inbound marketing techniques or if you’re unsure of how to initiate a new marketing campaign then hiring an inbound marketing agency could be a good investment for your company.
Hiring an agency will come with a pricetag, but that cost should be comparable to your current marketing expenditure. An inbound agency will be experienced in streamlining marketing efforts to achieve the results you want. Inbound marketers know best practices inside and out and will make your company's success a priority.
If you’re looking for a more detailed description of how inbound marketing can increase your company’s return on investment, check out IMPACT Branding and Design’s latest Ebook, “Proving the ROI of Inbound Marketing."