Head of Editorial Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K
May 6th, 2013
When it comes to the implementation of any new marketing initiative, the value always lies in the ability to experience a positive return on investment.
Obviously at one time or another you’ve asked yourself, “Is Inbound Marketing right for my company?” To properly answer this question requires a thorough understanding of what Inbound Marketing is, what it achieves, and what it entails.
Once you’ve attained this, you’ll have a much better understanding that the cost associated is actually a smart investment when implemented effectively.
So what does that mean?
Traditionally, when we hear the word marketing we automatically think of commercials, advertisements, brochures, and direct mail coupons; yet all of these would be filed under the increasingly underperforming Outbound Marketing methodologies.
Unlike Outbound Marketing, Inbound Marketing does not force information on your target audience. In contrast, Inbound Marketing primarily uses the Internet to make you “easily found” by your prospects.
It avoids cheesy, forced sales pitches and tries to provide value via content to gain their audiences trust and ultimately turn them into a qualified lead.
3 Benefits of Inbound Marketing
Content & Communication
As a “new approach” to marketing, inbound techniques have many benefits that keep the modern consumer in mind. These include two-way communication and non-disruptive content.
In today’s fast-paced world, no prospect wants to be treated like a moving target for product pitches. Inbound marketing is about providing valuable content and earning a customer’s attention and ultimately loyalty.
It’s designed to draw you back to one main website with all of the information you need and focuses on educating, entertaining, and obtaining your visitors contact information in exchange for premium content. Inbound Marketing does not bombard you with disruptive, unwanted content via banner ads, sales flyers, or spam mail.
In addition, most inbound methods enable your target audience to engage in two-way communication. Unlike outbound methods that just lay out information, inbound methods like social media allow consumers to respond, give feedback, and often receive responses. This communication allows for better understanding of the target audience and, in the end, an even better solution to their problems.
Lower Cost per Lead
Arguably the biggest benefit of Inbound Marketing is that it delivers a lower cost per lead than traditional outbound techniques. According to a survey by HubSpot in 2012, Inbound Marketing costs 61% less per lead than Outbound.
More specifically, of the 972 marketing professionals surveyed, the average cost per lead for outbound organizations was $346, while the average cost per inbound was a stark contrast at only $135.
To better illustrate this, let’s take a look at one of the most expensive forms of Outbound Marketing: Trade Shows.
Attending and participating in a trade show requires expenses on registration, signage, marketing literature, “tchotchkes”, and even travel amongst other things. This can add up to hundreds, if not thousands of marketing dollars for a one-time event.
If that’s not enough, 46% of professionals have reported trade shows as a major above average cost per lead.
Inbound methods such a blogs, social media, and SEO, on the other hand, were more frequently reported as below average costs per lead, as they are cheaper, yet more effective methods of lead generation.
The Big Picture
No marketing campaign is worth your time if it is ineffective. Inbound Marketing software such as HubSpot offer comprehensive and detailed analytics regarding each marketing initiative performed as well as everything your customers do. With this you can more easily track what is actually working, what isn’t, and make adjustments accordingly.
Is Inbound Marketing Right for Your Business?
For a business driven by sales-leads, inbound marketing has proven to be powerful. Once implemented, studies show that inbound methods generate more leads and ultimately more customers than any of their outbound counterparts.
A recent report from HubSpot shows that after using their inbound marketing software, 92.7% of users experienced an increase in leads. 38.4% reported an increase of more than 100% in their leads and 83.9% of these individuals noticed the change within 7 months. 65.25% reported seeing an increase in as little as 4 months! In terms of sales, 49.2% of customers experienced a higher lead-to-sales conversion rate and 49.7% noticed it within 7 months.
Percentage of companies reporting customer acquisition through social media channels:
57% of customer acquisition via company blog
57% of customer acquisition via LinkedIn
48% of customer acquisition via Facebook
42% of customer acquisition via Twitter
These results are rooted in Inbound Marketing’s ability to draw in “qualified leads” that are already actively looking. There is very little time wasted on people who are just browsing or happen to be in the area as there would be with a billboard, direct mail, or other outbound methods.
Are Your Customers Online?
A better question is probably, who isn’t online?
Regardless of your industry, a strong online presence is a necessity in today’s business climate.
In our mobile and social media driven world, the Internet is almost always a consumer’s first stop when it comes to product/service research. They are shopping, looking for reviews, photos, news, whatever information they can gather before making a purchase, and at the core of inbound marketing is a well-designed, professional website that will provide them with this.
Google isn’t just a search engine anymore, it’s a verb and Inbound Marketing strives to make sure your target audiences are finding you and your resourceful content easily and effectively.
Should You Invest in Inbound Marketing?
Overall, Inbound Marketing is a more streamlined, integrated, and modern approach to marketing. You can more easily track your campaigns to plan and see ROI, engage your audiences in two-way communication, and reach more leads.
Though Outbound Marketing is not ineffective, its concepts are becoming increasingly obsolete as audiences learn to drown them out. If your business is going to thrive in today’s changing market, you need to assess your current efforts and determine if they’re as effective as they used to be, or more importantly, as effective as they need to be.
In addition, it is important to note that the reach of Inbound Marketing is nearly limitless. Once you have established your presence and distributed content, anyone and everyone can find them, and costs to you remain unchanged. Whether you have 1,000 visitors a month or 1 million, the cost to you will stay the same.
Thinking About Investing in Inbound Marketing?
Check out our newest Ebook! You will learn everything you need to know in order to make a smarter, more successful investment with inbound marketing and get the results you need.