Technology has levelled the playing the field between the small to medium sized companies (SME) and the top dogs. You no longer need expensive outbound advertising campaigns to win over clients. In fact 75% of buyers want you to curb the sales pitch and 78% of buyers are hungry for more information about their business problems.
Enter Inbound Marketing.
Inbound marketing raises awareness about an organisation through the creation of compelling content, optimising it for search and pulling people towards your organisation, where they naturally want to be. The main channels of distribution are social media, a blog page on the website and pay per click (PPC) ads. The message has changed to. Instead of trying to sell and push products onto customers (like traditional outbound marketing), Inbound educates and attracts customers with engaging and compelling content.
So how do you know if Inbound Marketing is for you? woO has created a quick guide to the benefits of Inbound for small to medium sized businesses:
Interaction with millions:
Lots of businesses are using Inbound Marketing in the form of social media and blogs to communicate with customers, attract new leads and ultimately grow their business.
It's important to manage effectively all your social media streams linking them together and to your website for ultimate coverage.
Creating content and publishing it in the form of blogs, E-books and podcasts is a great way of communicating your ideas and business insights with 87% of B2B marketers already using Social Media to distribute their content.
It's also a free and powerful way to reach potential new customers and can help with search engine rankings, increasing traffic to your website.
It creates a more human side to your company, a way to virtually engage with your customers and potential customers helps build trust and customer satisfaction.
More Website Views:
In the age of virtual communication your website has become the 10 second elevator pitch. Many customers first impressions of a business is their website meaning it's crucial that yours makes an impact.
It must be inviting, user friendly and well laid out so customers can find the information they want quickly.
So you've created a stunning website with all the right pages. That's all well and good but potential customers need to find it. That's where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in. Brainstorm about what your customers would search for when looking for a solution to a business problem, and make a list of keywords. Then have as many of these keywords in your content as possible so that your pieces feature at to the top of search engine rankings.
Also the more pages you have the more likely search engines will find your site. Companies with 51 to 100 pages have 48% more traffic than those that have 1-50 pages.
You don't have to spend lots of money on creating a great website, there are great marketing automation platforms that can help you create a professional websites. We're big fans of Hubspot.
Unless you've been hibernating under a rock you'll know that smartphones are all the rage right now and you need to make your website mobile friendly so you don't alienate any of your potential customers with frustratingly oversized image and weird text formats.
Marketing automation has come a long way since spamming emails and instant follows. Harness the power of marketing automation and you'll turn Inbound efforts into actual revenue.
The main benefits are improved lead management, email, campaign and social media management and an aligned sales and marketing processes, making your marketing program more streamlined, effective and profitable.
These systems help to make sure all your channels are fully optimised in order to pull leads through the sales funnel converting them from prospects to leads to customers.
Marketing automation tools like Hubspot, also have great monitoring and analytical systems built in so you can track your lead and email nurturing campaigns, social media and content engagement, helping to identify weaknesses in your marketing program that can be improved.
We know it can tough in growing businesses because employees often have a lot on their plate, but with extra help automating repetitive tasks, everyone is left with more time to focus on other important aspects of your business.
Track your Progress:
Inbound methodology highlights the importance of tracking and analysing all your Inbound Marketing efforts to improve your marketing performance. The first of these methods is by implementing A/B tests. A/B testing is when you incrementally change parts of your marketing program to assess what your prospects and leads engage with most. For example, with a Call-to-action (CTA) you may change its size to see whether it gathers more or less clicks.
This method helps you identify pieces of content or parts of your website that aren’t performing as well in your marketing strategy, allowing you time to change them in order to improve their performance.
Maximise your ROI:
We concede that this is still the area where most marketers struggle with and we're the first to admit it's not easy or clear cut. In fact 88% of marketers in general would like to have a better understanding of how to measure ROI. But Inbound Marketing gives much better ROI than traditional outbound marketing.The Inbound cost per lead is 62% lower than traditional marketing, and by providing tailored content for your audience you have a higher prospect to lead and lead to customer conversion rate.
Outbound marketing relies on putting an advertisement or sales pitch in front of as many people as possible, in the form of cold-calling, internet banners and pops ups, hoping it will appear in front of the right customers at the moment they are ready to buy. Inbound puts your content in front of a relevant audience at the best matched moment in the buying process.
You can also align your sales and marketing efforts to make sure that your marketing department is only passing on sales qualified leads to the sales department and your sales department aren't chasing leads that aren't ready to become customers. This streamlines your lead conversion performance saving you a big sales bill. Here's some more tips on how to maximise your ROI.
So it's clear that Inbound Marketing has many benefits and can be extremely profitable for small to medium sized business. So here's our speed read on all the key Inbound Marketing tactics.