Inbound marketing has become an industry norm, but what are the benefits of inbound marketing for your business?
The other day I was working with a marketing strategy agency. As we were chatting about the goals of the client and how we can help get them there a funny thing happened. We started to place marketing tactics to the “revenue buckets” that were defined and the process became harder and harder to figure out what we should do. The only clear path to execution was digital based marketing tactics.
As we sat with the client it became clear that they wanted to rely heavily on inbound marketing to get the job done because of the ability to track and measure the results.
What Is Inbound Marketing
Before we chat about the benefits of inbound marketing, let’s define inbound marketing and get on the same page.
Inbound Marketing changes the way you think about marketing. No more buying direct mail list, no more spending thousands of dollars at trade shows, no more cold calling. Let’s attract customers with your most valuable marketing asset, your website. The main difference between inbound marketing and outbound marketing is we are not interrupting potential customers. We are attracting customers and pulling them through the sales cycle.
Inbound marketing attracts these customers through keyword research, social media, and blogging. Once on your website, you are able to add a value offer, an eBook, a case study, or anything the customer might find beneficial. No more pushing unwanted offers to your customers, it is time to start pulling them in with great marketing. So cast your net and get ready for the haul of your lifetime.
Develop a Holistic Digital Marketing Solution
Digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, blogging for business, and search engine optimization are all great ways to find a new customer. However, many companies use 1 or 2 of these tactics and fail to see results. Inbound marketing will create an integrated marketing strategy that incorporates all digital marketing tactics to generate real results.
Show Your Customers You Care
Think back to the days of Donald Draper. As a marketer, you needed to be creative and come up with a great advertisement. You would take it to the newspaper, local television station, or radio. You would force your customer to listen to the jingle about your product. Sales would increase because that was the way it was.
Today, we live in a “me” world. Inbound marketing is about creating content for the customer, not the marketer. Show your customers you care.
Align Your Sales & Marketing
Sales and marketing alignment is a buzz word that continues to become more and more popular. The reality is that sales and marketing should be focused on the customer, thus, aligning sales and marketing goals. Inbound marketing is customer focused, naturally creating sales and marketing alignment.
Educate Your Sales Team
As a sales professional, would it be better to know a little about the customer before you give them a call or send an email? Inbound marketing helps educate your sales team about the customer pain points by tracking the blog posts and pages they have visited. Inbound marketing will help your sales team know about the customer and interests before they make an initial contact.
Give Social Media A Purpose
Okay, by now you should know that social media is important to your business and marketing. If you are using the 80/20 rule of social media, 80% will include your blog posts or educational content. The other 20% is going to be lead generating in the form of a white paper or case study, for example. Inbound marketing will give your social media a purpose other than posting cute cat videos.
Enhance Your Marketing Execution
Marketing is about getting things done. Marketing is about executing a plan. Many companies are using traditional marketing techniques to attract new customers. Nothing wrong with that. However, it can take up to 16 impressions to attract a new buyer. Inbound marketing will help you increase the change of your traditional marketing tactics working.
For example, you are attending a trade show in 2018. You have boxes of free pens ready to give away and jump on the plane. You land and give out your pens to thousands of people. 2 months later that lucky tradeshow participant grabs your pen out of their desk drawer. They see your logo and head over to your website. While they are on your website, they read your blog and download a whitepaper. Now, you can nurture this lead through marketing automation and close the deal. Boom, marketing execution has been enhanced.
Educate Your Customer Base
Do your customers know they need your products or services? Maybe. Use your inbound marketing to help educate your customer base on your product or service by answering their questions. This blog post is an example of this. You probably have a high-level understanding of inbound marketing but are looking to see how inbound marketing can benefit your business. Well, the goal of this posts is to do just that. Educate you on the benefits of inbound marketing.
Learn More About Your Ideal Customer
You probably know a little about your customer. Maybe you did some market research or did some surveying before launching your business. Inbound marketing will show you if your research was correct. If you create valuable information for your ideal client, your blog and web pages will show this. Look at the pages that are getting the most views or social media shares. This data will give you an insight into what your customer is really thinking or wanting. Continue to learn as much as you can about your customer and get smarter.
Bonus tip: Use social media for market research. Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook will give you tons of demographic information that you can use in your marketing.
Generate Higher Quality Leads
Most inbound marketing platforms include what is known as lead scoring. Lead scoring is the practice of ranking your leads based on the value and attractiveness they represent to your organization. Inbound marketing will show you the leads that are ready to purchase because they have engaged with your content, social media channels, and opened emails. Use lead scoring to give your sales team a chance in the competitive sales landscape.
Stop Forcing Your Brand Message (Shouting At your Customer)
SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY. The BIGGEST car sale of the year. Yeah, you know what I am talking about. I also hate the commercials that are shouting at me to buy something that I don’t want. Inbound marketing gives your brand the ability to stop shouting and start helping your customer.
Customers Start Buyers Journey Online
When was the last time you used Google to find a product or service? Yesterday, today, this hour? 71% of B2B researchers start their research with generic searches. Further, B2B researchers do 12 searches on average prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. Inbound marketing is all about attracting these buyers to your website. Go to where your buyers and customer are looking for your products and services.
Getting Left In The Dust
67% of B2B companies rated inbound marketing as a high priority to their overall marketing strategy. However, only 44% of B2B marketers have a documented inbound marketing strategy. The odds are your competition is already doing or thinking about inbound marketing. Do not get left in the dust. Get started with inbound marketing.
Lower Your Cost of Acquisition
On average inbound marketing leads cost 61% less than outbound (traditional) leads. I am not going to lie to you and tell you inbound marketing is easy. I am going to tell you that inbound marketing over time will generate more leads at a lower cost per acquisition than traditional marketing. Inbound marketing is like a great annuity. The leads and traction continue to compound. Every blog is a small “investment” into your marketing plan, maybe a $10. Over time, your small “investments” add up.
Save Time With Marketing Automation
Part of the inbound marketing process is nurturing potential customers. This task can be daunting for any salesperson. Marketing automation is the act of automating repetitive tasks to save time. Marketing automation will help follow up and deliver a marketing message at the right time to help close the deal. Let inbound marketing save you and your sales team time and money.
Get Smart About Your Data
Data-driven marketing is all the rage. Being able to measure your marketing performance is vital to the inbound marketing process. Inbound marketing gives you the insights into web traffic, leads sources, and revenue opportunities. Inbound marketing relies on inbound marketing to push your brand.
Track Revenue To A Source
Your sales team just closed a deal. Do you know where the revenue came from or are you just happy that you have a new customer? Well, it should be both. Inbound marketing platforms are connected to your CRM, this gives insights into real revenue. Know where your revenue is coming from, so you can invest in the right tactics.
Attract More Customers
Inbound marketing starts with a content. This content can be a blog post, video, or social media post to name a few. Your customers are searching for content right now. Creating content for your customer will attract more customers to your website, increasing brand exposure and the likelihood they purchase from you, not the competition.
Stay In Front Of Your Customer
Does your brand give them the impression of a big or small company? Inbound marketing gives you the opportunity look bigger than you really are by staying in front of your customers through blogs, social media, email marketing, and search engines. A good inbound marketing strategy will increase your brand impressions and get you in front of your customer multiple times, not just the one awkward outbound sales call.
Increase Customer Referrals
The one marketing tactic that most companies forget is the “delight” phase. This marketing phase is about connecting with actual customers. Remember, finding a new customer cost 7 times more than keeping a customer. Use your blog, social media, and marketing automation to continue to delight your customers and show them you care. The delight phase of marketing is a lost art, start treating your customer how they want to be treated.
Give Your Website A Purpose
Let’s face it. You spent a ton of money on your company website and are starting to wonder if this whole internet thing can actually benefit your business. You hear over and over how important your website is, but you can’t track any revenue back to your website. Well, inbound marketing will finally give your website a purpose.
In our planning meeting, we were talking about all the potential marketing strategies we could deploy for a client. Everything from executive door openers to channel marketing techniques. At the end of the meeting, the only clear path to execution was inbound marketing. Every revenue bucket had a tie to inbound marketing. We could set an inbound marketing strategy, place goals, establish key performance indicators, and get to work.
The benefits of inbound marketing will help your company increase website traffic, generate leads, and grow predictable forms of revenue. What are you waiting for, it is time to get started with inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is a great marketing idea for small businesses that will start generating results for your business.