Inbound Marketing, while not a new concept by any means is one that through the explosive growth of HubSpot and other marketing automation platforms is firmly planted as the strategy of choice for new and existing companies, large and small.
At its highest level it involves drawing customers to your website by the use of attractive content.
Different from traditional outbound marketing that forces its way to the customers aka interruption marketing, inbound marketing earns its way in.
However, before any company embarks on implementing an Inbound strategy they should understand some of the benefits and drawbacks associated with Inbound.
Below are a few points that we always highlight with our prospective clients, in their considerations on whether to adopt Inbound.
Benefits of Inbound Marketing
Inbound is Cost effective
The main costs you incur for inbound marketing is content generation and setting up a website.
While it costs you more to generate content for inbound marketing than outbound marketing, the overall cost per lead is actually lower than on outbound marketing as a result of the compounding returns.
Your content will continue to create opportunities for lead conversion well into the future and with each lead generated that initial investment from a cost per lead standpoint will reduce and reduce.
Tomasz Tunguz, the Venture Capitalist has a fantastic blog on this, it's a must read.
It Creates Authority and Credibility
Outbound marketing involves interrupting the prospects from their business to tell them about a product or a service that they did not actually ask for.
This generates immediate friction and bad impression about your company. Hardly the ideal way to start a business relationship.
Inbound marketing, on the other hand, involves continuous delivery of useful and authoritative content to build credibility. The aim is to develop trust and authority around your industry so that prospects engage with you based on this demonstrated expertise.
It Builds Customer Loyalty
Marketing your business using inbound marketing requires that you consistently deliver information over a period.
Therefore, the prospects have time to build trust with your brand and establish a long-term relationship to a point they are ready and comfortable to make a purchase.
Core to Inbound Marketing is amplification of your content through social media channels. The two-way nature of the social media gives you a chance to communicate with your leads on a one to one basis. Used effectively companies can easily know what is important to them, share information about your business and engages with them. This fosters relationship and trust.
It Generates High Quality Leads
When using inbound marketing, you attract the relevant prospects. Coupled with an the right buyer persona strategy the leads that convert on your website have come to you seeking help to solve a challenge.
Drawbacks of Inbound Marketing
It takes time to work
Inbound marketing takes time to show results. Its not an instant fix and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. If you want instant leads start with Google Adwords.
It will take 6-12 months before you start to see the consistent returns, and thats provided you are creating regular content for your website and there is ongoing growth.
It Requires a Set of Skills
Success in inbound requires that you to have well-honed skills in several disciplines.
Web designing, social media, SEO, content sourcing and writing are a few of the main areas that are critical for inbound success.
It is hard for one person to have all these skills. Therefore, small companies with small marketing teams may struggle without the help of external experts, be it agencies like Grow Inbound or other freelance talent.
Measuring ROI is a challenge without the right tools
Predominant digital marketing techniques are usually easy to measure Return on Investment (ROI).
However, in the case of inbound marketing is not easy to relate a certain lead to a certain activity.
To solve this, marketing automation tools are essential.
HubSpot are the leader globally for Inbound Marketing software with over 20k+ customers using their all-in-one platform. From an ROI standpoint, HubSpot allows companies to tie back all leads and customers to measurable activity.
With HubSpot you know what works, what doesn't and where to invest more to accelerate growth.
Brands have to shift from the era of pounding messages into the heads of consumers telling them about their products and services in order to stay competitive. Never before has your online presence through website and social media been so important. The time to start is today, instill your culture of content from the top and reap the rewards that inbound can deliver.