Inbound marketing isn’t a well-known phrase to Australian marketers (yet!), but 2012 sees B2B marketers quickly catching on to the inbound marketing revolution. Inbound marketing refers to the art & increasingly the science of attracting buyers to your site, (getting found) converting them to leads (nurturing) and figuring out what is and isn’t working (analytics). Better known phrases are website marketing, digital marketing or online marketing, but inbound marketing is a more comprehensive, inclusive discipline than these phrases suggest.
Here are the top three reasons why we are beginning to make the switch:
#1 It’s Budget-Friendly (And We Can Prove It!)
The average cost-per-lead for businesses using inbound marketing is 61% less than that of businesses using outbound marketing. Marketers can choose to cut their spending and achieve the same results or achieve significantly more with the same investment.
Not only that, but inbound marketing is completely measurable. This ability to measure and change your game plan, to fine tune your marketing engine using real data is very powerful. Smaller businesses can genuinely compete with much larger enterprises for mindshare and leads.
#2 It’s More Effective
Put simply, it works. Listening to buyer’s problems, then offering them content that genuinely improves their understanding and helps fix their problems drives many more qualified leads than random blasts of marketing to bought email lists. Beginning a conversation with buyers who land on your website of their own will (because they found your content attractive enough to check you out) is a much higher yield activity than spamming prospects with your sweet-as-sugar, but ultimately insubstantial messaging. With inbound marketing, buyers find you because you’re genuinely helping them; they read your blog post, see that they can learn from you, and trust you enough to download your content in exchange for their information (usually name and email address).
#3 Buyers Depend On Google
It’s no secret that Google and Search Engine Optimisation have dominated digital marketing, with their almighty search algorithm forcing marketers worldwide to create valuable content instead of keyword-stuffing to get found on Google’s first page. Buyers know that whatever Google pulls up organically is probably what they’re looking for. There are workarounds with paid ad-space of course, but anyone who uses Google knows that results with the light yellow background have been paid for, and adapt to differentiate the two accordingly. SEOMoz posted an interesting blog on heat maps that outline where your prospective buyer is looking when they get to Google’s results page:
This is a local long-tail search; the buyer knows what they want, but they’re still unaware of where to find it. This is why inbound marketing places such an emphasis on SEO. Good SEO will get you in the top ten results for a search term, while outstanding SEO will get you in either first, second, or third place. Of course, like all great things, it takes time and energy – and lots of it.
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Chris Fell is the Managing Director of g2m Solutions, and an accredited align.me Funnel Coach. To read more of his insights, go to the g2M Solutions blog.