Inbound marketing is seeing large growth as a method for increasing reach and lead acquisition. Intrusive and aggressive outbound marketing is being replaced by attracting customers to your business through content they are actually interested in. Fostering this relationship by providing valuable resources in exchange for an email address allows you to market your products intelligently while providing something positive for the customer.
Although these methods have been proven to work well, their effectiveness changes with different business types and they require a lot of time investment for results that take a while to materialise.
How effective is inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing is about providing an alternative to intrusive methods such as the widespread, but highly ineffective pop-ups, banners and native adverts that you see around the web. The majority of internet users are becoming immune and distrustful of online display advertising, requiring companies to employ different methods to reach their customers.
Inbound marketing provides the solution. It’s often preferred by users, who find it more trustworthy, and less irritating. Its effectiveness is asserted as a positive form of advertising that brings value to both the user and the business.
An example is the Stars of Dentistry seminar who Forge helped with inbound marketing. By creating content such as interviews, articles and resources, a positive relationship was created with customers and the seminar saw a 28% increase in ticket sales.
What’s more, inbound marketing is far cheaper than conventional outbound techniques. With the average lead costing 61% less through inbound channels, it seems like a no-brainer to incorporate inbound into marketing strategies.
How long does it take to see results?
One thing to bear in mind with inbound marketing is that results are not instant. As the strategy depends on customers finding you through content you produce, the marketing of said content must be strong and consistent. Improving your search results rankings, creating compelling email marketing campaigns and having an effective social media presence are all key in helping this content reach the right people.
Inbound can be a challenge – creating content that converts is difficult and time-consuming. Not all your content will be successful so it’s advised to consistently produce articles, downloads and other resources to maintain–and improve–your position.
Attempting to sell your product straight away is not going to work. Customers landing on your content want to become informed about a topic so the first step is to provide materials that do this. Once you’ve explained the subject and gained the customer’s attention, you can begin to show why your product is the superior solution to their problem. Inbound entails nurturing leads over time – you should see each lead as an investment rather than an instant payout.
The more time you put into inbound marketing, the larger the wave of incoming leads. Hubspot has said that 90% of their leads come from posts older than three months which means patience and persistence is key for a successful inbound marketing strategy.
Would inbound marketing work for you?
Inbound is for companies that need to build trust in their products and brand. Customers who land on inbound content are likely doing research on a product before making a highly evaluated purchase. If your customers tend to make snap purchases rather than read about a topic or product first, inbound marketing might not be as effective.
Attracting customers who have a high lifetime value is the main goal of inbound marketing. Investing time into delighting these customers encourages repeat business and will make the time spent on acquiring them seem insignificant.
Inbound is a strategy that works well for a wide range of businesses and is something every company should consider. Have a read of our article about generating sales qualified leads for a guide on where to begin, or get in touch to have a chat about whether inbound would add to your business.