As rightly said by Guy Kawasaki “If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing”, inbound marketing is a rage in today’s digital world. Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. So let us check how inbound marketing benefits an organization.
1. Cost Effective
When it comes to business and benefits, the first thing that comes to mind is cost. Generating leads for a company (of all sizes) by inbound marketing is much cheaper than outbound marketing.
Small businesses can generate leads from inbound marketing by spending only ⅓ of what it costs them to get a lead from traditional outbound marketing.
This is vital to keep a check on the marketing expenses especially for business that have small budgets and want to make efficient use of every penny they are spending on marketing.
2. It stays in the long run
The goal of inbound marketing is to establish connections with your customers. Once the trust is established then it’s not a once off relation but it’s something that will last for a longer time. Currently, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and blogging are the most popular tools of inbound marketing. When you write blogs consistently providing good and unique content and also implement good SEO practices, you are sure to attract traffic. SEO is the process that takes time in the beginning thus reaching only a few customers when you start, but once it starts to click and the ranking increases, the traffic starts to flow. And this traffic flow is for a long time and also can be repetitive in some cases. Social Media Platforms like Facebook has also made it easy to have an impactful social presence. Customers get to know about all the updates through the page which helps them in connecting with you instantly and vice versa. This also helps in making a long lasting impression on the mind of the customer. Also, the costs involved are minimal or nothing. Once you can provide content that your potential customers want to read and provided that you have gained their trust by establishing your authority on the subject, everything else becomes easier.
3. Reach new markets and audiences
The fact that inbound marketing is purely executed online, this allows you to reach new audiences and diversify your reach by running different types of campaigns. SEO helps in reaching new markets by improving the ranking of the company.
For example if you are selling ‘SEO services’ online and you decide to add ‘social media’ services to your list of products.
With inbound marketing and PPC (pay per click) in particular, you reach people looking for social media services by targeting only those keywords in your ppc campaigns. Whereas in traditional marketing you cannot easily segmentize and target the market.
This is just a simple example but the fact that you can select exactly and in great detail who will see your content has huge advantages and that’s why the return on investment is higher. It’s more targeted, more relevant and it goes out to people that need it without reaching out to a larger group of people hoping that some will be interested in your products or services.
4. Immediately Effective
Someone is looking to buy a product online, they find your website while they are searching on Google for that product, they read your content which has everything they need to know about that product, they trust your store as being reliable and safe and they purchase the product from you.
This is the ideal scenario and of course this is not always the case but it’s possible with inbound marketing.
With outbound it’s a different story as there are more steps added to the process that make it more complex and not immediate.
We can take radio ads as an example, someone while driving listens to a product ad and finds it interesting. After he goes home (and if he still remembers the ad), he will search the internet and find the products in the ad. Then he will follow the inbound marketing path (as explained above) but still may not buy since this is not something that he really wanted (unlike in the case where the customer was searching for it on Google).
5. Brand awareness
So far all the benefits outlined above have to do with costs and sales but this is not always the only marketing goal of companies.
There are cases where you want to build your brand name and raise awareness about your company or change the perception people have about your products. Inbound marketing is the perfect solution for this, not only it can help you in building brand awareness but indirectly this will generate more leads and sales in the future.
You can make use of social media, quality blog posts, slideshows, infographics, PPC, SEO (to name a few tools), to get your brand in front of thousands of prospects and educate them about your company without them understanding that you are trying to ‘shape’ their opinion about your company.
While we talk about authority and perception we have a burning example in front of us, Hubspot. They invested heavily in educating people about it and are now considered the ‘authority’ resource on inbound marketing. This of course has a positive impact on the sales of their marketing tools.