Nobody likes receiving cold calls, unsolicited emails, and junk mail. These outdated outbound tactics are like standing on the roof of your business with a megaphone shouting at people in the street.
In today’s digital world, the only way to cut through the noise is to be there at the right moment with content and messaging your customers find interesting and relevant.
That’s why more and more businesses are turning to inbound marketing.
- 74% of businesses now primarily use inbound marketing.
- 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get information through articles rather than an advertisement.
- 75% of marketers say that inbound is effective, compared to 62% for outbound marketing.
If you’re not already using inbound marketing to drive leads and customers to your business, your competitors most likely are.
What Is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a methodology that focuses on attracting customers through content and experiences tailored to their needs and interests. Rather than blasting out a promotional message and interrupting the lives of your potential customers, inbound is focused on building connections and relationships by helping people to solve their problems and achieve their goals.
An inbound marketing strategy is built on knowing what your customer personas want at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Your goal is to create content and experiences that meet their needs, and nudges them to the next stage.
The four stages of inbound marketing:
The first stage is about making people aware of your business and your products and services. This is achieved by creating targeted content that helps people to understand their problems and promoting it on the right channels. Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing (SEM) are vital for getting your content in front of the right people and increasing online visibility.
Interactive content and voice search are two of the hottest inbound marketing trends in 2021.
Once your potential customers have shown interest in your content and know more about your brand, the next step is to encourage them to find out even more. Lead magnets, landing pages, and opt-in forms play a vital role at this stage. By offering free value in the form of a newsletter, e-book, or free trial, you can gather details on your leads and open up new channels to build relationships.
As with any marketing initiative, sales define the success of an inbound marketing strategy. In this stage, you reach out to your leads across multiple channels to convince them of your products and services’ benefits. Nurturing leads towards a sale can take time, and the use of a customer relationship manager (CRM) is essential for tracking and optimization to increase outreach efficiency and effectiveness.
Inbound marketing doesn’t end once you have made a sale. This stage is about turning your customers into brand advocates through exceptional customer service and support. By delighting your customers, you increase the chances of gaining social proof through positive word of mouth and reviews. The happier your existing customers, the more likely you will attract new leads and bring potential customers into your funnel.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
Blasting out promotional mass messaging and hoping you’ll find customers is a tactic from a bygone era. Inbound helps you to build relationships and become a trusted source of information in your industry. When people find you, they’re more likely to listen to what you have to say and purchase your products and services.
Here are the key benefits of inbound marketing:
One-size-fits-all mass marketing is costly, risky, and less effective in today’s digital landscape. If you opt for an expensive ad campaign, there’s no guarantee it will drive results, and once you stop paying for exposure, the number of leads you generate will dry up.
On average, inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound leads. With a leaner and more targeted inbound strategy, you can consistently attract customers over the long term and save on your marketing costs.
Increase Trust and Credibility
When you focus on helping your customers to better understand their problems and goals, you appear much more trustworthy than an annoying cold caller or billboard in the street. Research shows that 70% of people would prefer to learn about a company through content than through advertising. Inbound is about building lasting relationships with customers and leveraging content marketing and social proof to help people overcome barriers to purchase.
Higher Quality Traffic and Leads
Inbound marketing brings the right people to your website and your business – the people most likely to buy your products and services. People want to educate themselves and do their own research. When you have an effective inbound strategy, you bring people along the funnel until they are ready to convert and reach out to sales or make a purchase. Inbound leads are 10x more likely to convert than outbound leads.
Predictable and Trackable
Rather than a short-term boost in leads from an expensive outbound marketing campaign, inbound builds a sustainable funnel that consistently attracts new customers to your business. You can track prospects as they navigate their way through the buyer’s journey towards making a purchase. As you generate more leads and sales, you’ll start to see patterns and be able to make data-driven improvements to make your inbound tactics more effective.
Aligns Sales and Marketing
Inbound marketing empowers sales and marketing by bringing the teams together. Businesses with a strong alignment between sales and marketing are 67% more effective at closing deals and drive 208% more revenue from their marketing initiatives.
Sales can provide marketing with the information they need to create content that answers questions and solves customers’ problems as they move through each stage of the buyer’s journey. When a prospect reaches out to sales, they are ready to make a purchase. Sales teams spend their time closing deals rather than dealing with cold prospects.
Inbound Marketing: In-House vs. Agency
Before you can take advantage of a dynamic inbound marketing strategy, there’s one important question you need to answer.
Should you invest your time and resources creating an in-house inbound marketing team, or should you enlist the help of a specialist agency?
There are pros and cons to both options.
When you create an in-house team, you have complete control of every marketing initiative and can oversee everything from tone of voice to topic selection. Your in-house team will also be entirely dedicated to your company alone.
But there are significant drawbacks to an in-house team and advantages that you can only get by partnering with an agency.
It takes a large team of marketing professionals with diverse skills to create an effective inbound marketing campaign. You’ll need to hire web designers, SEOs, SEMs, copywriters, developers, and project managers. These team members will all need to be hired and trained to use your inbound software.
According to Glassdoor, the average company spends around $4,000 to hire a new employee. And it takes an average of 24 days before each position is filled. When you partner with the right agency, you get instant access to a skilled and experienced inbound marketing team.
Inbound marketing helps you get more qualified leads, more sales, and more business growth. It does this by being there when your ideal customers actively look for your products and solutions.
If you’re ready to unleash the power of inbound, schedule a call with the growth marketers at Ogno. We’re a fast-growing inbound agency of search engine fanatics.