If you haven't heard, traditional marketing methods are on their way out the door! And, inbound marketing for business is in!
Why? Because technology, the internet and social media have changed everything for business buyers.
It wasn't long ago that the martini lunch and a listing in the local Yellow Pages was enough to keep customers coming in. Or, businesses relied on sales people to locate and contact prospective customers and provide them with information and pricing.
But, now with the internet, prospective customers can find just about any product or service that they are looking for on their own using the internet. Considering 61% of businesses say that generating traffic and leads is their top challenge, (HubSpot, 2018) not adapting to changing times can have dire consequences.
In today’s world, businesses, especially business to business companies, must change their marketing approach to attract new prospects and customers in a vastly different way.
Traditional Tactics Don't Work Like They Used To
Businesses that seek out customers using traditional outbound marketing tactics such as direct mail, print ads, cold calls and the good old Yellow Pages are using a one-way communication method that no longer delivers the quality leads you need.
After all, when was the last time you answered a marketing call, read direct mail letters, used a Yellow Pages phone book, or didn't use a DVR to skip through all the commercials.
People now turn to the internet to search for the products and services they want or want to learn about and are presented with thousands of choices at the push of a button.
Adding to the complexity of today’s marketing challenges, the evolution of social media has turned outbound marketing on its head. Social media is a powerful tool for generating leads because it provides an avenue for sharing engaging and relevant content that then drives potential customers inbound to your website.
Still not convinced traditional tactics don’t work anymore?
The proof is in the pudding. Here are some statistics to consider:
- Only 18% of marketers say outbound practices provide the highest quality leads for sales. (HubSpot, 2018)
- 30% of marketers think outbound marketing tactics are overrated. (HubSpot, 2018)
- Prospecting is the most difficult part of the sales process for salespeople. (HubSpot, 2018)
- 40% of salespeople say getting a response from prospects is getting harder. (HubSpot, 2018)
So, how does a business stand out and generate high-quality leads for its sales team to close?
Does Inbound Marketing Deliver the Goods?
Inbound marketing for business is the new tactic that businesses are using to deliver quality, targeted leads. Inbound marketing relies on earning people's interest instead of buying it.
Inbound marketing uses engaging and interesting content that is created, usually around keyword research, to pull potential customers from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing and brings them to your website or specifically-designed landing page.
This gives the user exactly what they are looking for and starts the process of building trust and loyalty.
Then, by adding additional resource information designed around that essential search, you can begin to draw the customer further down your sales funnel and ultimately reach your goal of a call, consult or free quote.
By the time the customer has gone through your sales funnel process, they are already a very good prospect for your service or product. Closing the sale from this point is much easier, since the customer has already bought into what you have to offer.
Is Inbound Marketing Right For You?
Understanding what your customers need from you and then delivering content to match that need, will bring you the right customers and the opportunity to convert them from a lead into a customer.
But, is inbound marketing right for your business? It may not be. Certain businesses are not a good fit for an inbound marketing agency. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do your products or services require a level of education before a purchase is made?
- Do you have a sales cycle that is longer than a few minutes?
- Do your prospects spend time researching your industry and businesses like yours before making a purchase?
- Do your prospects spend time on other industry, association and trade-sponsored sites?
- Are your salespeople telling you that they are having difficulty connecting with prospects?
- Are your competitor’s websites ranking higher than yours in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo?
- Are your customers saying to you, “I didn’t know you had that service or product?”
- Are you finding that traditional advertising like print, trade shows, Yellow Pages and direct mail are showing diminished returns?
- Are your prospects spending time on social media outlets?
- Do you want a steady stream of leads over a period of time?
If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, inbound marketing is a good fit for your business. Even if you answered “no” to some of these questions, it’s still possible inbound marketing can offer benefits for your business.
Still not certain? Check out this Infographic to get a better understanding of how inbound marketing works. Hiring a marketing agency to perform these functions is a lot more affordable than you think.
Many Businesses Are Moving Toward Inbound Marketing
If you think think that inbound marketing is just a new marketing fad, check out theses statistics:
- 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)
- 43% of B2B marketers say blogging is their most important type of content. (Social Marketing Industry Report, 2017)
- Content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute, 2017)
- Strategic landing pages are used by 68% of B2B businesses to acquire leads. (Marketo, 2018)
- 75% of inbound organizations believe their marketing strategy is effective. (HubSpot, 2018)
These aren't just fly by night statistics. they have been building for years as more and more businesses are discovering inbound marketing.
Nearly 72% of marketers say a good content strategy was a significant factor in their success in 2018 (B2B Content Marketing, 2018).
If your business has stagnated and you find that the outbound marketing methods you have been using aren't working anymore, it is time to start looking at something new.
While many companies have been doing business as usual, the businesses that have moved to inbound marketing are moving light years ahead of their competition.
Don't be one of the companies that is left behind!
Bill is the CEO and Founder of InTouch Marketing. Bill drives the vision and direction of InTouch except when England's playing in a soccer tournament, because everything stops!