Inbound Marketing: What You Need to Know
Marketing is crucial to a business's success. Failing to spread the word on the products and services a company offers can cause enterprises to struggle, and sometimes fail.
Outbound marketing has been the norm for many years, presenting potential consumers with information whether they asked for it or not.
There is a shift, however, in how businesses are looking to market themselves today. Inbound marketing is becoming more popular, helping companies find more qualified leads and increasing conversion rates.
Outbound vs. Inbound
Outbound marketing is not without its benefits, especially for larger companies with a more sizable budget. Using television, print ads and direct mail, among other tactics, these businesses can bring exposure to their offerings and brand, according to BoldThink Creative.
Referred to as "interruptive marketing," outbound strategies can be pretty expensive.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, promotes the good or service to an audience that has already expressed interest. This strategy is more of a two-way interaction, as opposed to outbound marketing's one-way conversation.
Common inbound tactics include blogging, social media and public speaking. More importantly, inbound marketing is 62 percent less expensive than outbound methods, according to Nektur.
Producing daily content isn't just for personal websites anymore. Businesses have learned that frequently posting relevant articles to their sites actually generates readers that could be converted to customers.
Hubspot, a marketing firm, studied the success rate of blogging as an inbound marketing method and found some astounding results. For example, companies that blog bring in 126 percent more leads than enterprises that don't.
While 43 percent of marketers generate customers from their blog, 82 percent of businesses that provide daily content bring in leads.
Customers Like Direct Communication
Consumers are less likely to interact with a brand if they are being bombarded with information from a company. Instead, inbound marketing relies on customers to make the first move, then enables the business to respond with marketing ploys.
Enterprises can use social media pages to keep up direct communication with leads. These sites allow companies to update leads on upcoming promotions or discounts, advertise their product or service and direct people back to business landing pages for further information.
In addition, social media pages are a smart place to incentivize leads.
Companies can offer specific sales to potential customers who sign up for their email newsletter or enter information into a landing page's form. Businesses can also reward leads who refer their goods and services to other people.
A simple Facebook, Twitter or Instagram share could win customers prizes, in the form of discounted or free merchandise or services.
Outbound Methods Are Easily Ignored
Since customers see this interruptive marketing when they don't want to, outbound marketing methods largely fall by the wayside. Leads will skip online television ads and put their phone number on the "Do Not Call List."
According to the CMO Council, 44 percent of direct mail is never opened. When people don't have a previous interest in a certain product or service, they are more likely to disregard outbound marketing efforts.
That's why inbound marketing is becoming so popular. Companies have figured out that customers will show their interests by liking a social media page or entering their data into a landing page.
Businesses can then take that lead and generate targeted content to their audience that will convert potential clients into valuable customers.
Inbound marketing is producing the results companies always desire, while keeping costs low.