Inbound Marketing is on the rise, and latest statistics from a HubSpot webinar prove that these marketing channels are providing both value and results for many companies who do it right. Indra's latest post featured an Inbound Marketing pro who has mastered the content that belongs in Inbound Marketing. But let's take a step back and evaluate what Inbound Marketing includes, why it is slowly taking over marketing budgets, and why it is such an important complement to traditional outbound channels.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is a set of marketing strategies that focus on pulling relevant prospects and customers toward a business. Inbound Marketing provides consumers with useful information and tools that promote interaction, two-way communication, and develop a relationship with consumers. This includes Blogs, Social Media, SEO, lead generation, email marketing, etc.
A good way to think about Inbound Marketing is as anything that is permission-based - if consumers are opting-in or seeking out interaction with a company on their own - it is probably considered Inbound Marketing.
Why is Inbound Marketing becoming so popular for companies?
Four Key Takeaways
1. Inbound Marketing Brings Low-Cost Leads
61% lower to be exact. In 2011, the average cost per lead from Outbound Marketing was $346 while Inbound Marketing leads only cost $135 on average. More importantly, leads from inbound links are 5x more likely to become customers. Why? They've already read your information and they're still interested. That means they are pre-qualified leads.
2. More spending on Inbound Channels
47% of companies surveyed were planning to increase their 2012 Inbound Marketing budgets and citing "past success with Inbound Marketing" as the reason.
Spoiler Alert: Inbound Marketing is working. Smaller businesses spend about 43% of their marketing budgets on Inbound Channels, while larger business allocate about 21%.
3. Social Media Growth
62% of companies say that social media has become a more important lead source in the last six months.
Why is this significant? Because for all those companies that started social media "because everyone was doing it and told me I needed to as well" are beginning to see the tangible benefits and business results from their involvement in social media. Social media and blogging are the least expensive tactics in terms of hard dollars spent.
4. Increasing Value and Power of the Blog
81% of businesses rate their blogs as Useful/Important/Critical, while 92% of highly active blogs (meaning more than one post per day) reported acquiring at least 1 customer directly from the blog.
Recipe for Success = Inbound + Outbound Marketing
Bottom line: The combination of both Inbound and Outbound brings the most success to marketing programs.
Companies need to push their message to consumers in traditional, outbound ways to create brand awareness and recognition, and pair that with tools to pull consumers toward the brand by encouraging interaction that builds a long-term relationship. As it is the long-term relationship that will keep that company top of mind as consumers align their purchases and loyalty with brands. It is critical that this power duo is guided by a cohesive strategy, executed seamlessly. In other words, the left hand can't just be talking to the right hand, they need to build together in order to be effective.
Is your left handed team talking to your right handed team?