The internet has given rise to new marketing channels that have proven to be just as effective (if not more effective) than traditional outbound marketing. Inbound marketing works through content such as blogs, podcasts, videos, e-books, e-newsletters and whitepapers that are meant to draw consumers to products. The marketers create web-sites whose landing pages are designed to convert leads. These web-sites are optimized for search engines and consumers are attracted to the landing pages using graphics and content that is aimed at earning the attention of the consumer.
Why All the Fuss Around Inbound Marketing?
- Lower Costs
- Consumer Attention
The main cost in any inbound marketing campaign is the cost of hiring a highly skilled creative team. The team consists of a marketing strategist, a graphics designer, a content manager, a creation team, a web developer and a market data analyst. The team is tasked with creating content and monitoring market data to gauge performance and finally adjusting the marketing strategy to yield the greatest results from the content. The costs of engaging the creative talent are still incurred even where outbound marketing is used.
Unlike outbound marketing, the advertising channels available on the internet are very cheap. Statistics show that blogging, SEO and social media cost less than any outbound marketing channel. Moreover, inbound marketing costs up to 62% less than outbound marketing for every lead generated. The major cost savings of inbound marketing is the cheaper media that is employed.
Where is consumer attention directed in the current market?
Consumer surveys have shown that:
- Over 44 percent of direct mail is never opened by the recipients
- 91 percent of consumers eventually unsubscribe from company emails which they opted into and
- 85 percent of people skip through TV commercials
What this means for outbound marketing is that the majority of consumers do not even get to see the adverts. The result is lower conversions and higher prices per lead. Contrasting this to the 66 percent of buyers who indicate that consistent and relevant communication from sales and marketing is a key influence in their buying decision, it is clear that inbound marketing is more effective because it provides this communication.
Social media is the most powerful development on the internet in the modern marketplace. It plays a very significant role in any inbound marketing program.
Surveys on companies that use social media platforms for advertising reveal that:
- 57% of companies have reported customer acquisition through LinkedIn
- 48% through Facebook
- 42% from Twitter
With such numbers, no marketing campaign can afford to ignore the social media space in their marketing efforts.
A major win for inbound marketing has shorter sales cycles. The time it takes to come up with creative content and deploy it on the internet is 23% less than that taken in outbound marketing. Mistakes in content are also easier to correct and less expensive. Changing marketing strategies after performance evaluation is also easier done in the online space than through any other media.
An interesting result from surveys is that the average deal size is 95 higher than outbound marketing. This has resulted in an increase in revenue, with companies reporting at least 10% increase revenues within 6 to nine months of using automated lead management processes.
Consumer indicate that they are more likely to engage with brands that are informative and value adding. Inbound marketing through white-papers, podcasts and e-books have resulted in higher return on investment and consumer retention mainly due the value of their content.
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