How Can Inbound Marketing Save Your Business Money?
Traditional advertising is dead
Marketing can generally be divided into two camps: ‘outbound marketing’ and ‘inbound marketing’. Outbound marketing is traditional marketing - think Trade Shows, TV commercials, radio commercials and print advertisements. This has been the default strategy for marketers for decades. The problem is that traditional marketing isn’t working anymore, with 86% of people skipping TV adverts and fewer than 3% of millennials saying their buying decisions are influenced by traditional advertising. There are many drawbacks to this method of marketing, including the following:
- it is difficult to track return on investment (ROI)
- increasingly, it is being ignored by consumers
- it is high cost yet low yield
Despite the fact that it is largely ineffective, a surprisingly large number of businesses still use outbound marketing as their primary marketing method. So how do you avoid the pitfalls of traditional marketing and leapfrog over the competition?
Inbound Marketing - so what exactly is it?
Inbound marketing is simply using digital tools to ensure your customers can find your business when they need your product or service, rather than using traditional advertising techniques which are aimed at interrupting the user’s attention. Inbound marketing is built around your customer’s buying process, ensuring that at each stage of the process your business is there helping the customer find solutions to their problems.
Inbound marketing uses search engine optimisation, social media, email marketing and pay per click advertising to present users with content that offers solutions to their problems. This content, which is written to educate and assist users when they have a problem they’re looking to solve, has the objective of being helpful to them in their buying process.
Once the user has viewed your content you can collect their information through a call to action (an instruction to your visitor to provoke an immediate response), this can be a free trial sign up, contact form or a newsletter signup. This contact information is gold dust because it can be used to subtly get your brand in front of the consumer whilst they’re going through their buying process.
Inbound marketing offers a mutual exchange between a business and the consumer: the consumer is receiving information to their question/issue and the business is making a micro-conversion (e.g. signing up to the newsletter or following on social media). Because inbound marketing is based on satisfying a user’s quest for information or answers, they are more willing to give up their personal information.
Efficiency Reduces Cost
The reason inbound marketing is so cost effective is because it is targeted only at your audience, therefore avoiding time and money spent on fruitless advertising to too many consumers. For instance, through writing good content relevant to your business’s products or service, you are naturally attracting relevant users via search engines. This differs from traditional outbound marketing which broadcasts a message to everyone and simply hopes that the target market sees the advert. The more targeted your marketing, the more cost efficient your marketing becomes because you are not wasting it on consumers which are not interested in your product/service.
Consumers no longer want to be sold to, they are more desensitised than ever to adverts and promotions. This has meant that the effectiveness of traditional marketing is decreasing dramatically. Outbound marketers now have to spend more to get the same number of customers, which is why inbound marketing is growing very quickly. Businesses are now reporting that inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing, which are savings your business simply can’t ignore.
Building quality content on your website will show consumers that your business knows its stuff. This will build authority within your industry and will increase the conversion rate because users can see your expertise before they get in touch. Additionally, you will be building a long term relationship with your customers, which will keep them coming back time and time again. This customer loyalty will reduce your advertising costs long term as you won’t have to continuously attract new customers. These customers which have a good relationship with your business will then begin to transform into business advocates, promoting your business on your behalf through social media or word of mouth, reducing your marketing costs even further.
Traditional advertising is dying and it will very soon no longer be a viable marketing channel for your business. Inbound marketing has the power to transform your business and dramatically improve the efficiency of your marketing campaigns, not only saving you money, but generating better quality leads. Plus, because it can help with your customer retention it will help grow your business organically.
As the internet gets more and more ingrained in consumers lives and decision making processes, the power is moving away from the business and firmly into the hands of the consumer. Your business needs to make sure that it’s adapting to this changing world or you risk getting left behind.
P.S. Thanks to Hubspot for the stats!