Value of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing can provide the best return on business development monies spent. Learn why.

Inbound marketing uses tailored messages to attract the right type of customer – the kind actively looking for answers or solutions.

[Compared to outbound marketing, which involves sending the same message to a large group of people.]

More and more small businesses (and larger ones, too) are moving from traditional marketing to inbound strategies and tactics because it solves their most significant challenges: small marketing teams and limited internal resources. Moreover, the inbound methodology boosts lead generation, costs less than outbound leads, and increases sales.

[Unlike outbound marketing, inbound marketing does not compete for customer attention.]

Inbound marketing involves creating content (written, audio, video) about your offerings that potential and existing customers can easily find in blogs, via SEO, on social media, and across multiple channels. Your content needs to appeal to your audience’s needs or wants: answer their questions, solve their problems, engage, educate, and/or inspire each potential or existing customer. Your ‘advertising’ is no longer viewed as disruptive when it becomes relevant, perhaps helpful, to your viewers.

Your business needs an inbound strategy; it involves understanding and providing the content your potential and existing customers seek in each stage of their buyer’s journey. When the viewer is interested, they will engage more, click on a call to action and receive offers from your business; audiences qualify themselves as a lead. As a result, your business will generate better (actual) leads, increase sales, and retain customers longer.

[More than 9 out of 10 companies using inbound marketing increase their lead generation, and most companies increase their leads by +50%.]

Let’s delve more into the buyer’s journey, as it is the backbone of an inbound marketing strategy.

There are three stages of the buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness (learning about your business and its offerings).
  • Consideration (looking at your offering vis-à-vis their needs and those offered by your competitors).
  • Decision (being one click away from purchase).

With great content marketing, people find the right message at the right time; its message moves the prospect further along the buying journey.

Similarly, using the same methodology, your content can convert initial contact into a more highly desirable sales-qualified lead. When you close your sales-qualified lead, the prospect becomes a customer. After that, you must delight your customers with great content that makes them more frequent, loyal, and/or more significant buyers.

You can segment potential customers into buyer personas. Separating types of customers into specific target groups allows you to learn which audience sector is most interested in content marketing and which buyer persona most often converts to becoming a customer. Then you will better understand where to direct your content marketing.

[Inbound marketing is less expensive; inbound leads cost about 60% less than outbound leads.]

As you know, most people do not want to be prospected, nor sold to. Yet, they still have questions and want answers in a personalized, engaging way. All the great content you create is findable at any time when a potential customer searches for it. Also, interested potential customers are willing to exchange personal information if they get something in return, such as a free brochure, white paper, or a free trial estimate.

Once a potential customer has gotten enough information (downloaded, read, and/or listened to it), they should be ready to take the next step in the buyer’s journey as a marketing-qualified lead and be directed to a landing page to learn your sales offer.

[Nearly 50% of companies using inbound marketing increase sales within seven months.]

This approach focuses on providing the right information at the right time, wherever the potential customer is in the sales funnel.

Inbound salespeople can focus on attracting new leads to grow the sales pipeline, engage with prospects ready for sales conversion, and delight them with specific solutions to their challenges or fill their wants.

A bonus is smaller sales and marketing teams can manage inbound marketing. Most prospective customers have the same questions: they want to know why they should trust your company and what makes you different and/or better than your competitors. Your business’ inbound teams can focus on evergreen content that answers those questions.

Marketing your business well is essential to your success. If you have the in-house talent, use it. But, if you do not have the expertise then look outside and choose wisely.  Consider your needs and budget, then review possible firms, and utilize key performance metrics to measure your ROI.


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