What is Inbound Marketing and How Will it Help Your Business Grow?May 17, 2012 No Comments
It’s no secret that the internet has drastically changed the way that people buy. Your potential customers no longer look to salespeople to provide the information they seek about a product or service they are in need of… in fact, many actively seek to avoid salespeople.
Television, radio and print advertising have been rendered almost totally ineffective due to the proliferation of technology such as DVRs, Satellite Radio and iPads. One survey reported that 86% of people skip TV ads. (Source: The Guardian, 2010)
Even highly targeted marketing methods such as direct mail and promotional email have seen sharp declines in recent years. Another survey reported that 44% of direct mail is never even opened. (Source: EPA.gov, 2010)
Why is this? Why do the tried-and-true marketing methods of the past continue to be less and less effective?
Because they are interruptions, distractions in our daily lives that, 99% of the time, are not offering something we are interested in or care about at that particular moment. And we are becoming better and better at blocking out these interruptions.
So what is your business supposed to do to keep the lights on, keep the leads flowing and keep the sales coming in the door? How do you break through the distractions and market your business in a way that doesn’t interrupt people, but instead attracts them?
The answer is INBOUND MARKETING.
Inbound Marketing is a process that allows interested buyers to actually FIND YOU via a combination of:
- Content Marketing - Providing information relevant to your business that your potential customers are interested in learning about.
- Search Engine Optimization - Showing up in Google and other search engines when your potential customers search for something you can provide.
- Social Media - Using online word-of-mouth to build relationships, spread your message and drive more traffic to your website.
- Lead Generation & Nurturing - Capturing leads through your website and nurturing them until they are ready to buy.
A recent survey concluded thatInbound Marketing cost 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing. Thousands of businesses (including ours) have jumped the traditional marketing ship and are boarding the Inbound Marketing train.
How will Inbound Marketing help you grow your business?
Many businesses have been burned by traditional marketing in the past. Trust me, you’re not alone if you’ve spent $1000s on a advertising campaign only to be left scratching your head when the dust cleared, wondering if your money was well spent. Terms like “brand awareness”, “reach”, “media impressions” and “engagement” may have some value, but most businesses measure their success in sales revenue, operational efficiency and profitability.
When properly executed, Inbound Marketing aligns with your business goals and sales process to create measurable results that have a real impact on your company’s bottom line. The ROI of Inbound Marketing is not measured in increased “awareness” or stronger “engagement”, it’s measured in leads, new customers and direct sales revenue.
The four ways that Inbound Marketing will help you grow your business are by:
Attracting more visitors to your website.
Converting more of your visitors to qualified leads.
Nurturing leads until they are sales ready.
Measuring your results so you can make improvements.
Inbound Marketing is not a quick fix… it’s a process that requires consistency, commitment, technology and time. It allows you to better understand how your potential customers discover and interact with your company online, and then use those insights to make educated decisions that will improve your marketing results over time.
Written By Aaron Corson
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