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What are the Benefits of an Inbound Marketing Strategy?

By Sara Beth Jonassen
http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/497826/blog-images/inbound-marketing-lg.jpg

inbound-marketing-lg.jpgYou have a pressing need or problem. You go online to search for an answer, or you consult Siri with great urgency.

After posing the query, you are met with a wealth of content built to address your need or problem. Some of this content is especially relevant, engaging and informational. It speaks in your voice, it commiserates with your dilemma, it offers helpful solutions. It informs your decision-making and prepares you to solve your problem most effectively.

One brand thoroughly illuminates your problem and offers a quick and free solution. You're impressed. So impressed, in fact, that you sign-up for their newsletter and like their Facebook page. You feel a trust connection with the brand, and you welcome more good information relating to your problem.

This is the beginning of a relationship that is built to last. You were offered a logical solution instead of being rudely interrupted with irrelevant advertising. Their free content made your life easier, and you will be inclined to conduct business with the company, maybe even make referrals down the road.

Welcome to inbound marketing!

 

Is Inbound Marketing Risky?

I used to think that inbound was the defiant, punk cousin to traditional outbound marketing -- you know, the one with purple hair, a nose ring and an excess of tattoos. She was the rebel who refused to play by the rules just to be different. She was a little dangerous, very unpredictable, and you had a hard time tracking her movements.

In actuality though, inbound methods are:

1. Extremely trackable
2. Insanely predictable
3. Easily executed
4. More cost-effective than PPC
5. Highly beneficial for SEO

And they result in improved ROI across a variety of industries.

Increasingly, inbound has become the norm in marketing. Inbound methodologies are time-tested methods with proven results, and those results are phenomenal. In fact, more traditional methods of intrusion marketing are generally utilized in support of a solid inbound marketing strategy (if they are used at all).

It would almost appear that conducting business without an inbound marketing strategy in place might be the riskiest proposition of all.

Want more proof?

According to Hubspot's 2013 ROI report, average results achieved within 7 months of implementing an inbound marketing strategy are as follow:

  • 85% of companies using inbound marketing increase their website traffic
  • 84% of companies using inbound increase their leads
  • 50% of companies using inbound increase sales

The average lead growth of companies over 2 years is even more impressive, regardless of industry. According to HubSpot’s most recent ROI report, leads were increased:

  • 2.64X after 6 months
  • 5.99X after 1 year
  • 24.69X after 2 years

Still not convinced? Find out how much your annual revenue could be growing with Hubspot's ROI Calculator

 

Inbound Marketing is:

 

1. Trackable 

Creating content without the ability to track their efficacy is like throwing a variety of baits and lures into a stream and then netting a big fish. Which bait or lure ending up bringing in the big one? Or maybe it had nothing to do with your baits and lures, and the tide carried the fish downstream just at that moment. Without a solid tracking method, you'll never know!

The inbound methodology relies on fine-tuned tracking. We track results on landing pages, calls-to-action (CTAs), content downloads, form submissions, email campaigns, newsletter engagement, and more. Every action that the customer takes is tracked and reviewed for efficacy. 

Tracking is key here, and it's a fundamental part of any inbound campaign. No less important, however, is reviewing granular data gleaned from tracking, and refining your content as necessary to constantly improve results for each stage. 

 

2. Predictable

Inbound marketing operates from an advanced knowledge of your target customer (or persona). The idea is to anticipate your customer's need, attract them to your landing page, and then track them through all the stages of the sales funnel.

As strangers become leads, and leads turn into customers, trackable actions follow behind like a breadcrumb trail. When several customers successfully maneuver through all the stages of the sales funnel, you begin to see patterns emerge. 

The result is a streamlined process you can predict and anticipate.

 

3. Easy

Creating a perfect solution for your customer's problem is easy once you know your customer inside-out.

By targeting your content to a Buyer Persona, you create more targeted marketing efforts, and can build and design elements to support the needs of that persona. 

The persona is directed through the sales funnel through a series of landing pages that leverage information exchange with helpful content or information. This moves them towards a sale in a natural, unobtrusive manner that feels more like a friend helping them solve their problem, as opposed to being accosted by a hard sell. 

Here's how it works: 

  • You build a viable persona based on experience and research.
  • You create landing pages and content offers targeting the persona.
  • You write helpful blogs that your persona is likely searching for online.
  • You attract the persona to your landing pages for more great content.
  • Rinse and repeat through the stage of the sales funnel.

 

4. Cost-Effective

Inbound methods take full advantage of organic traffic, encouraging the attraction of customers to your landing pages naturally, without costly PPC (pay per click) advertising campaigns. More and more, these efforts are supported by powerful search engines, such as Google, which is giving increasing preference web pages that offer solid, thorough content.

By providing the very best, most thorough content on your persona's pain point, you will naturally draw them to your landing pages, free of costs per click.  

What kind of content will get them there?

  • Content that describes their BIG problem
  • Content that offers a simple, uncomplicated solution
  • Content that tells a great story they can relate to
  • Content that motivates an action, change or growth spurt 

It's helpful to pick one of these strategies and build your content with that strategy in mind.

The best part of all: it's FREE!

 

5. Beneficial to SEO

Hand-in-hand with successful organic traffic generation is the optimization of your web pages for search engines. This is easily managed with the Hubspot software, which highlights SEO weaknesses as you draft your blogs, emails, and landing pages, making it nearly impossible to execute an SEO faux pas.

But it's also important to note that sound inbound practices result in improved SEO anyway. Because solid, thorough content on any giving subject matter is given preference over weak content with excessive keyword use in Google search results. 

Why? Because Google wants to be affiliated with serving up not just mediocre content, but the very best, most salient content on any given subject matter. Content written by industry experts that will stand the test of time. This is why "evergreen content" (outdated but infinitely relevant content) is so powerful. It doesn't matter when it was written. Strong content stands the test of time in regards to SEO and organic traffic generation.

I hope this has inspired you to create an inbound marketing campaign for your business. The sky's the limit, so good luck and GO FOR IT! 

 


 

What is quality content? Quality content creates curiosity, captures imaginations, compels actions, describes possibilities, ignites new modes of thinking and challenges old ones.

So, how can a small business generate, not just run-of-the-mill content, but truly killer content? Check out this helpful eBook:

 

Creating Killer Content eBook

 

Happy content creation!